Coin Collecting For Dummies
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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 them your favorite coins

Introduce your kids to some of the more eye-catching designs, in denominations they've 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 them on collecting the 50 State Quarters

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

Use coins in a school project

If your child is doing a project on World War II, suggest they assemble 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. They might even get extra credit for their clever presentation!

Take them 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 kids, you can take them on a trip to a national show or even to the American Numismatic Association show.

Take them 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 them 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.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Neil S. Berman is an expert numismatist and professional rare coin dealer with over 50 years’ experience. He’s been published in Barron’s, Trust and Estates, National Law Journal, The Financial Planner, Pension World, and Executive Jeweler. He has appraised coins for the United States Postal Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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