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Getting Your Kids Involved in Coin Collecting

Unlike so many hobbies and pastimes that kids can participate in, coin collecting can last a lifetime. Your niece, the avid skateboarder, isn't going to be doing a kickflip when she's 50. And your son, who's totally into video games, isn't going to be staring at that TV screen for the next 30 years (despite what all signs point to today).

With so many activities competing for your kids' time and attention, how are you possibly going to break through all that noise with some coins? Here are some tips.

Show him your favorite coins

Introduce your kid to some of the more eye-catching designs, in denominations that he's never seen before. As you talk about when, how, and why the coins were made, where they were made, and the history of the time, you'll probably be surprised by how curious your kid is.

Start her on collecting the state quarters

Next time you're in a store buying something with your kid and you notice that she's gotten one of the 50 State Quarters back in change, point out to her what that is, and ask her if she thinks she could possibly collect the entire series. "That's a lot of coins . . . do you think you could find them all?" If your kid is up for the challenge, she'll probably start emptying out her piggybank and asking for change for a dollar bill whenever she's in a store.

Use coins in a school project

If your son is doing a project on World War II, suggest he assembled a set of U.S. coins from the war, as well as a set from the overrun countries, from the Allies, and a set from the enemy. He might even get extra credit for his clever presentation!

Take her to a coin show

Going to a coin show will take a little planning, but it's worth your time. Start by going to a show that's as close to home as you can. Later, if the small show is a hit with your kid, you can take her on a trip to a national show or even to the American Numismatic Association show.

Take him to a coin dealer

Most dealers love the opportunity to talk with young people about coins. A coin dealer has access to just about anything that a young or inexperienced collector would want to know or see. Most kids are thrilled to meet an adult who shares their interest in coins and takes them seriously.

Take her to a U.S. mint

The only working mints that offer tours are

  • Denver, Colorado: The Denver mint opened in 1906 and is still in operation. You can take a tour of the Denver mint. Reservations are required and can be made online or in person at the U.S. Mint Visitor Center.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia mint opened in 1793 and is still in operation. You can take a tour of the Philadelphia mint, and reservations are not necessary.
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