Coin Collecting For Dummies
The fine and fun hobby of collecting coins has a long history and no doubt a long future as well. If you’re collecting in the here and now, though, you need info on price guides, auction houses, and coin dealers, not to mention helpful magazines and Web sites.
The most important choice you make as a coin collector is deciding on which dealers to do business with. Certainly there are more good dealers than just the ones in the following list, but these offer a few good places to start:
Heritage Auction Galleries (phone: 800-872-6467): Home of numismatists James Halperin and Steve Ivy, Heritage sells as many coins to collectors as anyone.
Swiss America Trading Corp. (phone: 800-289-2646): Swiss America invites U.S. investors and collectors to rediscover gold coin and rare coin collecting for financial safety, privacy, and profit. It offers knowledge, timing, and quality products from its famous, world-class coin buyer.
Tangible Investments, LLC (phone: 888-655-9255): Silvano DiGenova, one of the world’s best coin traders, sells coin rarities primarily to serious collectors.
Neil S. Berman, Inc. (phone: 914-763-0678): Neil purchases rare coins, primarily representing serious investors, both private and institutional.
Auction Houses for Coin Collectors
Many rare and valuable coins are traded through auction houses. The auction houses in the following list are some of the most respected. Contact at least several of these places, and then go to a live coin auction and follow the excitement and action yourself!
Web Sites of Interest to Coin Collectors
The more you know about coins, the more interesting and fun coin collecting is. The easiest place to look for information is on the Web. And then coin collecting is just a hop, skip, and a mouse-click from being as profitable as it is interesting. Some Web sites to start with include the following:
CoinFacts.com: CoinFacts.com is probably the best all-around factual Web site about U.S. coins. Each type and date of colonial, private gold, and federally issued coins are described and pictured.
CoinGrading.com: Need to learn how to grade a coin? Don’t we all! Expert coin grader and numismatist Jim Halperin’s site is a good place to begin your education.
CoinLink: CoinLink is a first-class site with plenty of well-written and interesting articles and stories about coins.
National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution: Go to this site, click on Collections, and click Coins, Currency, and Medals. Here you can find fabulous presentations about all manor of U.S. coins. The Smithsonian houses the largest and finest coin collection in the world.
NumismaLink: NumismaLink is an educational site that’s a good source of online information about coins, medals, tokens, and paper money of the world, including the United States. It lists other interesting sites, numismatic organizations, and various world mints, with an emphasis on bibliographic sources. This site is as good a place to start as any.
Numismatic Bibliomania Society: This online home of a nonprofit society promotes research and the collecting of rare and common numismatic literature, including auction catalogs, dealer price lists, periodicals, books, and other printed materials on the subjects of U.S., foreign, and ancient coins, tokens, and medals, as well as U.S., colonial, private, and broken banks, and foreign paper money.
University of Notre Dame Library: This site is a really interesting source of information about historical U.S. coins. If you’re looking for information, this site is well worth visiting.
U.S. Mint: The U.S. Mint has been issuing a flood of new commemorative coins consistently for 20 years. If you’re interested in recent modern issues, all you have to do to get in on the action is go to its Web site and see what’s new.
Magazines of Interest to Coin Collectors
Most coin collectors read at least one trade publication to see what’s happening in the industry, who has coins or currency for sale that may interest them, who’s buying what, timely coin prices, coin show and auction schedules, and similar current information and news. The following list contains links and some info about the periodicals you’ll want to add to your reading list:
Coin Prices is published six times per year.
Coin Values is a monthly magazine.
Coin World is a must-read weekly newspaper that’s been published since 1952.
Coins is a monthly magazine.
Numismatic News is a weekly newspaper that has been published since 1952.
Numismatist is for anyone with any interest in coins. It has been published monthly since 1888 and is included in the American Numismatic Association basic membership package.
World Coin News is a monthly magazine.
WorldWide Coins is a magazine published six times per year.
Price Guides for Coin Collectors
When you’re ready to buy or sell coins, a price guide is essential. By subscribing to NumisMedia (phone: 949-362-3786), you get weekly updates on price and availability. When you decide that you’re serious about U.S. coins, Coin Dealers Newsletter (phone: 310-515-7369) becomes a must-have as well. Most professional coin dealers and serious collectors get both.