I have written on coin collecting several times but I continue to get emails asking what I think is the proper way to collect coins today. Just this week, I received an email from one of the members of the Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectibles Club asking what I would suggest he do with the family coin collection.
The reason that I believe these emails are sent to me is because, in my book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques and Collectibles, I tell a story about coins. In this story I relate that, as a young kid, I collected coins and when I went off to college, the money from the sale of my collection paid for my entire education.
Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby but to me, if I have a hobby, I want it to make me money. For this reason, this blog will concentrate on the fun of collecting coins but with the ultimate aim of making money. The gentleman who wrote me said that he had the family’s coin collection, his father’s I think, and as he was reading my blogs got the idea that I was telling everyone to sell their coins, whether they were silver or gold. This is partially true but not entirely. Yes, I did say sell all your scrap silver and gold and this does include coins. However, only the coins that are not going to appreciate should be sold.
In the world of coin collecting, there are what is known as key coins, which are the coins that most collectors find the hardest to find. The main reason that a coin is difficult to find is that there was a low mintage of that particular coin; this means only a few were minted. To give you just two examples, the 1909
So how do I suggest you should collect coins today? First, buy only key coins for your personal collection and let all the other coins you purchase be for resale. If any coin can be purchased when the resale value is more than double your purchase price, buy it but resell it as soon as possible. This meets our goal of doubling our investment on each purchase. Your collection will build up much slower by only keeping the key coins, but those coins are what you want to have. I would rather have one key coin than one hundred common ones. To find those key coins, you need to purchase a good coin guide, where all coins are listed along with their mintage. These guides can be purchased on Amazon. You don't have to own the newest one so the cost of your guide should be very little.
Next, coins go by grade, usually fair to mint or proof. The better the condition of a coin, the higher its value so if you find a very good graded coin and the one you have in your collection is only fair, sell the fair one and keep the very good one for the collection. This is the way you build a collection that one day will be worth a fortune. My collection wasn't worth a fortune but it did allow me to make a lot of money several times by paying for my college education. Yes, you may find that you have fewer pieces in your coin collection than your friend but I promise that there will be no comparison in their value and the people who appreciate a great collection will know the difference. Keep collecting and have fun.
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