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Coin Collecting 101: A Beginner's Guide To Coin Collecting

If you decided you want to begin collecting coins, you might be having a difficult time figuring out where to begin. There is a lot of information out there, and it's overwhelming to try and figure out where to start. Here are some coin collecting basics that can get you going on your coin collection.

Find a Reputable Dealer

Don't go to the first coin dealer you find and start buying coins. Not everyone out there is honest, especially when it comes to buying and reselling. Before you pick out a random name in the yellow pages, join some online forums for coin collecting and ask local collectors for recommendations. Search the reviews for all of the dealers in your area to see how they're rated by other collectors. This can save you a lot of money and headache when you start buying.

Know How Grading is Done

Coin worth is determined by more than just age and rarity. There is a grading system that goes by how well the coin has been preserved. Just like old books and paintings, the better condition the coin is in, the more it sells for. Grading is done on a 70-point scale that ranges from unidentifiable to no imperfections.

Protect Your Coins

There are all kinds of things that you can purchase to protect your coin collection. Some avid coin collectors will purchase expensive holders to keep their coins safe, but you can start with something inexpensive like cardboard folders. You can purchase folders for certain types of coins such as dimes, nickels, and quarters. They will have dates under each slot to stick the coin, so you can glance at the folder and know exactly which coins you still need. It allows you to stay organized and protect your coins at the same time.

Coin Supplies

There are a lot of different supplies that you can purchase to begin collecting coins. They are great to have, but you don't have to purchase everything all at once if you can't afford to. Coin collecting books are great for collectors to have. You can find many guides out there that will give you important tips on collecting, grading, and coin prices. In addition to books, magnifiers allow you to have an idea about how the coins will be graded. You can also see the coins better and notice any imperfections before you purchase.

Know What to Look For

When looking for specific coins, make sure you know what to look for in regards to damage once you find it. You want to consider any marks, scuffs, and corrosion you might find on the coin. While some small marks can be restored, corrosion and luster are things that can't be reversed.

Cleaning Coins

When it comes to cleaning your coins, you need to be careful about how you do it. Coins with some grime are worth a lot more than coins that have become damaged due to improper cleaning. It's best not to clean your coins at all if you're worried that you're going to damage them. If a coin gets something on it and you feel the need to clean it, just wash it with some mild soap and water and lightly pat it dry.

Handling Coins

If you ever watch coin collectors, you'll notice that they hold up coins by the outside edges, especially if they aren't wearing gloves. This is because the natural oils on your fingers can adhere to the coins and cause damage and discoloration. Make sure you wear gloves and hold coins gently by the edges for extra caution.

Coin collecting can be a lot of fun. Just make sure you know what to look for and have some reputable dealers on your side. Handle your coins carefully and keep them protected so they don't lose value.