Collecting coins is among the oldest hobbies. As early as in the late Middle Ages, it was quite popular among noblemen and rich citizens. Back then, antique coins were the main objects of numismatists’ adoration.
Nowadays, collecting things has greatly expanded its scope, and numismatics, as a hobby, has become extremely popular.
What is the essence of coin collecting?
People’s motivation to be involved in collecting varies from person to person. The most common is collecting for fun. In addition, it is the oldest reason for this hobby. There are archeological studies confirming collecting coins to exist as early as in the ancient world, and that is more than 2,000 years ago. For example, in the 3rd century BC, in Rome, under the rule of Emperor Trajan, the mint struck coins which repeated the design of the coins circulating in the times of all the deified Roman emperors. As some of them ruled 200 years before Trajan, it was necessary to have the prototypes of coins circulating back in those times. Historians assume that these prototypes were taken from someone’s collections.
In the Middle Ages, many noblemen and rulers were fascinated with numismatics: the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Maximilian, the pontiff Boniface VIII, the kings of France Louis XIV and Henry IV. In those days, only very wealthy people could afford such a hobby, so it is not surprising that collecting coins became known as the “hobby of kings”.
The desire to make a profit is another important reason to collect coins. Coins are regarded as a profitable investment very often since their prices may fluctuate depending on supply and demand. Some collectors are virtually investors as they buy up coins to earn a profit in the longer term. Moreover, like any other investors, they take little interest in the aesthetic appearance of the coins bought, paying more attention to how quickly and how much the investment will pay off. They invest in coins sold for their actual price exceeding their face value.
Other people who can be called collectors are speculators. The same way as investors, they buy coins to earn a profit, but they focus on the short-term prospects. They use peak demand for a particular type of coins to make a profit as soon as they can. As a spectacular example in this regard, we can take the annual release of collectible coins by the Royal Canadian Mint. Canadian speculators, specializing in numismatics, buy these coins in large quantities from the government, and then, they sell them around the world during a few weeks or months.
The last group of collectors is heirs. Such people are involved in collecting coins after inheriting the already existing collections from their relatives or friends.
Each coin in the collection is of high value for collectors. However, if we talk about the objective value, it depends on 3 things:
- quality grade;
- material of manufacture.
Both an old coin and a coin minted this year can become valuable items in the collection. Many countries annually release small and very small mintage of commemorative collectible coins struck from precious metals. Besides, coins with production defects can be highly valued. As a striking example, you can take coins with two head sides or tail sides, or coins with no image on one of the sides. Such coins can be very expensive because they are virtually unique in their own way.
You should buy collectible coins exclusively from trusted dealers with an established reputation. This way, you will save yourself from all sorts of fraudulent schemes and fakes. Modern collectible coins come with appropriate certificates.