We'll never be able to say with absolute certainty when the hobby of coin collecting began, but historians agree that it began not long after the process of minting coins began, which was about 650 B.C. Precious metals like gold and silver used to be carefully weighed and used to purchase goods. But barter is an unpredictable method of trade because unscrupulous individuals often try to pass off goods of lesser value or items made from lower quality metals. For this reason, barter was replaced by the use of coins that were made of standardized weights of pure gold. Coins rapidly gained acceptance as the most up-to-date method of paying for desired commodities.
During the fifth century, it was the Greeks who initiated the practice of producing coins adorned with imprints of faces and figures designed by commissioned artists. Common depictions include goddesses, gods, and mythical heroes. Alexander the Great originated the tradition of utilizing graphic designs as opposed to fantasy images.
The most famous coin collector was Francesco Petrarca. He was an Italian scholar and poet in the 14th century. He was called the father of the Renaissance, and he was the very first coin collector to draw attention to the hobby of coin collecting. Before long, popes of the Renaissance era became enamored of the hobby because of the beauty and value of the coins.
It quickly became a passion. In the olden days, Roman emperors were reported to have paid high prices for uncirculated coins. Renaissance nobility began to call collecting coins "The Hobby of Kings". People have been avid coin collectors throughout history, and such people include kings such as Louis XIV of France, Ferdinand I, and Henry IV of France. The Berlin coin cabinet was started by Elector Joachim II of Bradenburg.
The city of Detroit, Michigan hosted the inaugural international convention aimed at coin collectors between August 15th and 18th, 1962. The Royal Canadian Numismatic Association partnered with the American Numismatic Association to sponsor the event. About 40,000 people came.
After the passing of the Coinage Act in 1792, the US began official production of coins. The dollar was legalized as the official vehicle of monetary exchange in the US by this act. The United States silver dollar was the original coin minted in the US and the Philadelphia Mint was the original mint. The Denver Mint joined it in 1906. Both the San Francisco Mint and the mint at West Point mostly make proof sets and gold coins. You can tell which mint produced any US coin by looking for the letters P, D, S, or W. These letters identify the mint the coin came from.
Now, coin collecting is a popular hobby, and there are even museums that focus on particularly unique and valuable coin collections. Included in this list of institutions is the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. In 1891 the American Numismatic Society was established in New York City for the purpose of encouraging information and knowledge about coin collecting. Coin collectors love the coins for their innate historical and aesthetic value. Additionally, the thrilling possibility of finding a valuable and rare coin adds excitement to the hobby of coin collecting.
Who Else Wants To Know The Secrets To Starting And Growing An Amazing Coin Collection Time Flat?
Coin collecting, a popular activity for centuries, is more than just accumulating coins for their monetary value. It is the process of collecting and exchanging coins and other legally minted currency. Coins that have value are those that were in distribution for just a short period, coins that were imprinted with faults, or ones that are just very beautiful or historically appealing. Numismatics, while similar to coin collecting, focuses on studying currency.
The majority of collectors start with coins that have been out in circulation. There is no danger here, as you may simply use the coins you have collected, but there is also very little opportunity for profit. Coins that have been in circulation usually are only valuable if they are old, because they are more likely to have incurred damage. Once a collector becomes more involved in their new hobby, they can then start obtaining coins from other sources. Purchasing straight from the US Mint is the best method to make sure that the coin has not circulated. Coins are available for collectors to purchase from coin shops, coin shows, the internet, auctions, other collectors, or flea markets.
Almost any rare or obsolete coin may be valuable, but as is the case with most collectibles, the condition dictates its value. Any type of damage, for instance dents in the edges, holes, scratches, and even cleaning can really decrease a coin's worth. How a person handles a coin is very important. It is important to handle coins with care in an effort to avoid wear, spots, scratches, or color variations. When handling an un-circulated or proof coin, a collector must not touch it anywhere but the edges. Fingerprints on a coin can lessen the coin's value and grade. Even laying a coin down outside of its holder is usually done on a soft, velvety surface.
There is a variety of themes that are usually found and combined in most collections. The goal of some collectors is to get a coin sample from every country. Collectors might want to specialize in coins from a specific country, more than likely their own. Specific books are made for collectors so they can collect coins from every year. For a few collectors, coins released in historically significant eras are the most attractive. Different themes represented in a collection might be the 18th and 19th century; ancient Rome; the Byzantine period; medieval times; and coins with Greek, Indian, Celtic, Merovingian, Ostrogothic, Parthian, or Israeli origins. Coins are a product of historical events from the era that they were created. Collections may differ drastically for this reason, and they could conceivably have coins that were minted during a specific emperor's rule, government, a battle, or another historic event.
You can practice coin collecting like you would any other type of investment. The costs of coins may be stable or the values of specific coins that are not in high demand may go down. Collecting coins is like collecting anything else in that the items you collect do not generate income until they are sold.
Coin collecting is a delightful hobby, and it can be very lucrative too, if you know what you're doing.
Which coins are worth collecting and which aren't
How and where to get your first coins
How to figure out how much your coins are worth
Much, much more!