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General Numismatic Chat Thread, Coin Collecting For Beginners in General Numismatic Discussions; The idea of coin collecting can appeal to anyone through their own enjoyment, history and overall attractiveness of the fact ...
  1. #1
    Member keithaul's Avatar
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    Coin Collecting For Beginners

    The idea of coin collecting can appeal to anyone through their own enjoyment, history and overall attractiveness of the fact that it can be carried on for generations to come.

    Behind coin collecting there are some basics everyone should learn including reasons why people collect coins, types of coins, proper handling of coins to preserve their uniqueness and original condition, coin grading, coin grading services and a set of tools every basic collector should have in their profession.

    First and foremost a Numismatist is someone who studies the history of the beauty of coins and other forms of currency. They greatly enjoy the study of coins when it comes to their history, usage and artistry.

    Why People Collect Coins?
    There are various reasons why individuals collect anything and coins in particular. With coins you can learn about the historical significance they have around the world. For instance, back in 1986 the United States began a program to start minting the Silver American Eagle available to the public and this was the first time they did that since 1935.

    By collecting coins and studying their significance you begin to appreciate their significance of the events that were happening in the world at the moment the coin was first minted. So it’s great to hold a part of that history in your hands. By doing so, you can elect to carry on this history to your children and your children’s children for many generations.

    Coin minting is also an art form. The artist just creates their art on a different form of canvas. So coin collecting can also be admired as another form of art.

    The Many Different Areas of Coin Collecting To Get Involved With

    Below is a list of the different areas of coin collecting you can engage in:
    • Ancient Coins – This area goes all the way back to beginning of time from Roman and Greek coins to the Middle Ages.
    • World Coins – This area not only includes United States Coins but also coins from around the world. U.S. coins have 2 subcategories. The first category would be referred to as Old. This includes coins dating back to the creation of the U.S. to 1982. The second category is referred to as modern issue coins. The period includes coins from 1982 to the present.

    Numismatic Coin Terms
    Throughout our lives we were familiar with the fact that the front of the coin can be referred to as the heads and the back of the coins is referred to as the tails. However, being a Numismatist these terms are different. For examples the front or head of the coin is called the Obverse. The back or tail of the coin is referred as the Reverse.

    When you look at a coin there is a portion of the coin that is raised. This raised portion of the coin is called the “devices” of the coin. For example the portrait of the Liberty on the American Silver Eagle would be considered the “device” area.

    The areas of the coin that are flat would be considered as the “fields” of the coin which are not used for the design or inscription.

    Proper Handling Of Coins To Preserve The Originality
    There are certain ways to hold a coin that can preserve their original state so the coin will hold its value and keep the demand for that particular coin high. Always hold the coin by holding it by the rim with your fingers. Never touch the coin with your bare fingers on the Obverse or Reverse of the coin. The oils from our skin can be a form of ware and tear on the coin. If you have coins that are not encapsulated with a slab you could use white cotton gloves to handle the raw coins.

    Coin Grading
    The purpose of coin grading is to know the proper value of that particular coin in the marketplace. A coin graded at a low level will not be worth as much as a coin graded at a higher level. For a coin to have a higher grade it must follow certain guide lines. If a coin has been given a higher grade it will be more valuable in the coin market.

    Dr. William Sheldon introduced a grading scale to modern coin collecting back in 1949. It was a scale from 1 to 70. The lower the grade on this scale the more unrecognizable it could be considered a coin. The coin is more worn and some of the devices are barely present. As stated before the higher the coin grade the less flaws there are in the coin itself. A coin graded at 70 would be considered perfect with no flaws or bag marks.

    Circulated coins fall in the range on this scale from 1 to 59. Uncirculated coins will fall into the 60 point and above range and they are considered to be Mint State (MS). When a coin is graded as MS70 they are rarer because not all coins are considered perfect.

    Services For Coin Grading
    Back in 1972, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) began offering grading services for coins through their service called ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service). ANACS is considered to be the oldest grading service in America. In the mid 1980’s the development of modern grading standards was adopted through PCGS and included a sealed plastic holder for the coin. This plastic holder is also referred to as a slab and helps the coin from being damaged. There are 4 top tier third party grading services which include:

    ANACS - American Numismatic Association Certification Service
    PCGS - Professional Coin Grading Service
    NGC – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
    ICG – Independent Coin Graders

    Tools Used By Numismatists

    • A magnifying glass with a range of 5x to 10x. Higher magnification is used by grading companies to determine the extra fine details of the coin to give it a grade of MS70, which is the highest grade a coin can receive on The Sheldon Scale.
    • A Sharp eye for detail – This skill will take years to gain.
    • Light – A good light is a table top, halogen light.
    • A good, secure storage location – a good safe that is locked and bolted to your floor. These coins are your legacy to your family and your children so you should protect them. Another place you can store your slab coins in is a slab holder (also store this in the safe). This will help you keep the slabs from hitting each other and keep them in order.

    I hope you enjoyed this post on Coin Collecting For Beginners.
    Sincerely,

    Keith S. Aul

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  2. #2
    Junior Numismatic acan45's Avatar
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    Nicely written and informative
    Alan
    My Sample Slab website

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  3. #3
    Member 19thnervisbrakedown's Avatar
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    Well, I must say I enjoyed that article, it took me back to my early days, it also reminded me of things I had forgotten.
    I really enjoy reading works like this, anybody have anymore?.

    19thnervisbrakedown.

  4. #4
    Toning Freak! Lehigh96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19thnervisbrakedown View Post
    Well, I must say I enjoyed that article, it took me back to my early days, it also reminded me of things I had forgotten.
    I really enjoy reading works like this, anybody have anymore?.

    19thnervisbrakedown.
    Nervis,

    Checkout the Article section of the forum. I think you will really enjoy it.

  5. #5
    New Member coinguyeli's Avatar
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    Great article. Thanks for posting and sharing with all of us

  6. #6
    Member numisbrazilis's Avatar
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    Very cool.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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    New Member Brodon's Avatar
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    Great article.Thank you for sharing you information...........

  8. #8
    Member wovoka's Avatar
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    Very nicely done! I have found a 4 power magnifier with leds around the lense to be an awsum tool! Got it on amazon for just a few bucks. (not an ad - I am sure you can get these in a lot of places...)

  9. #9
    Member andrewerickson's Avatar
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    I love this! Great information for beginners or someone who has saved up a few special coins but never knew what to look at. My niece has taken up coin collecting as a hobby. Now I know what to gift her this Christmas that would delight her. Thanks for bringing this up

  10. #10
    New Member ron-s's Avatar
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    I am using Multi Collector application to arrange my collection.
    For beginners, Free MC version available (i've started from it).

 

 
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