Are you a new collector or just wondering if coin collecting (also called Numismatics) might be a good hobby for you? Then, you are definitely in the right place as I am going to address this subject in a pretty detailed way to leave no doubts in your mind …
… So, is coin collecting a good hobby? The answer is definitely Yes! Indeed, this is one of the oldest hobbies ever and still pretty popular to this day! This is a solid proof on how good of hobby coin collecting actually is … In addition, if you are a history enthusiast, then there is almost no better hobby you can spend time enjoying other than this one.
In this Post, I reveal many of the appeals of Numismatics, along with a few possible drawbacks, to help you learn more about this long-standing hobby.
What makes coin collecting a great hobby?
Bellow I list 9 solid reasons why you should consider this lovely activity asap …
1. No seasonality
Many popular hobbies are seasonal in nature. This includes outdoor sports and activities, which are of course dependent on the right kind of weather.
It can be hard sitting inside with nothing to do because your usual go-to activity is not an option!
If you are prone to “winter blues,” having a hobby that’s not tied to the warmer seasons could help you stay active through the colder months.
Coin collecting is year-round hobby where you can choose the right activity for your mood. Some of the possible activities include:
- Organizing and caring for your coin collection
- Attending a coin collecting club or event
- Visiting coin dealers
- Researching coins
2. Opportunity to discover more history
Spoiler alert: learning about history is probably my favorite thing about coin collecting.
There’s a reason Numismatics is one of the oldest hobbies in the world. Coins tell us about civilization by marking a point in time!
If you’re a history buff, you’ll love connecting these small pieces of metal with larger events from our world. The history of coins themselves can also be fascinating.
For example, did you know it’s rumored that Benjamin Franklin designed the pattern on the first United States coin, the Continental dollar? (The currency failed to take off.)
Making new discoveries about history is a big part of the excitement of this hobby, and you’ll constantly be learning.
3. Low entry barrier
Some hobbies can require a lot of time, effort, or money to get started. Thankfully, this is not the case here, making the hobby more accessible to a wider group of people.
Things coin collecting does not require:
- Specialized equipment
- Physical fitness
- Expensive memberships
Plenty of information you need to get started is at your fingertips (The Internet: “You are Welcome”)
You don’t have to buy extremely rare and expensive finds to enjoy coin collecting. Your collection could be about what appeals to you.
4. Opportunity to build relationships with like-minded people
On the surface it might seem that we are talking about a solitary hobby. However, collectors, also known as numismatics, are like their own special club.
It can feel great to be part of a like-minded community. Other collectors are interested in hearing stories about your finds—that’s part of the reason for collecting!
You can connect with other numismatics online or better yet, find a local club or attend an American Numismatic Association meeting. The other collectors will share in your joy if you make a new acquisition, and you can all learn from each other.
Meeting others who share your interest can be one of the most rewarding parts of the hobby.
5. Good excuse to travel
Seeking coins from outside your own country can expand your collecting horizons. You might consider collecting coins:
- By topic (such as birds or a specific time period)
- From destinations where you travel
- From countries of your heritage
Expanding to a world coin collection offers an opportunity to learn about other countries’ cultures, their symbols, and their history.
Though foreign coins can be found locally (often with some digging), your coin collecting hobby can be a great excuse to visit another country. This way, you can associate each world coin in your collection with memories of your travels.
6. Possibility to make some money
Rare coins are valuable, and there is an opportunity to make money from your hobby.
By becoming more knowledgeable in the coin collecting market, you’ll know when you come across something good. You can sometimes find valuable coins among junk in places such as:
- Flea markets
- Estate sales
- Garage sales
- Storage unit auctions
If you’re able to get your finds authenticated and sell them, you could make a pretty penny.
As long as you store your coins properly to maintain their condition, their value should only increase over time. Places to sell coins from your collection include:
- Coin dealer shops or websites
- At auction
- Privately through your coin collecting club or connections
7. It is a lifelong hobby
Numismatics has no age limits; your collection will continue to grow with you over time. When you look back at your coin collection years or decades from now, it can be fun to see all the treasures you’ve accumulated!
There’s no need to worry about aging out of this hobby, because your knowledge of coins and connections in the coin collecting community will only get richer with experience.
You can even start to serve as a guide for newer collectors and share your love with the next generations.
8. It could be a hobby for family and friends as well
Coin collecting could be contagious—in a good way. When you show your collection to friends or family, they’ll often have questions and want to hear more:
- “What’s your favorite coin?”
- “Which one is the rarest?”
- “Tell me about the oldest one.”
- “Where did you get all these?”
- “Why did you start collecting?”
Many collectors have fond memories of a relative who introduced the hobby to them.
These collections could be a great conversation piece, and soon enough a friend or family member may ask to come along with you to coin shops or events as they learn more and start their own collection.
If you give someone you care about their first collector’s coin, they may just be hooked on the hobby for life.
9. Possibility to transition to similar hobbies
A big appeal of Numismatics is the hunt. The hobby is largely about finding those special coins among all the coins out there.
There are other similar and related hobbies that you may find enjoyable after you’ve been coin collecting. These include:
- Rockhounding: Collect rocks, gems, minerals, and fossils. You can travel and search the natural world for the items that excite you, all courtesy of mother nature. Learn more about science and geology in the process.
- Metal detecting: All you need is a metal detector and a small shovel, and you’re ready to search the land for your own treasures, including coins. You never know what you might find!
Could coin collecting be a profession instead?
If you really get into this hobby and start to become more knowledgeable, you might wonder if you could make a living in the industry…
… There is no better feeling than making a living from what you are passionate about!
…There are careers directly related to Numismatics, including:
- Coin dealer: The most common coin-related profession. You can work independently or for a larger dealer.
- Coin grader: Get paid to evaluate coins. Many graders work independently and are called upon by coin dealers, pawn shops, etc. to verify authenticity and assign value to a coin. This position requires training and years of experience.
- Coin photographer: Take photos of coins for sale or for indexing collections.
- Coin cataloguer: Index and organize large collections of coins. These positions are specialized and hard to come by, but they do exist.
There are also professions that are somewhat related. These might not be completely in the field of coin collecting but could include a specialty that deals with coins at least part of the time. They include:
- Antique shop employee/owner
- Pawn shop employee/owner
- Museum employee
- History teacher or professor
Challenges that come with coin collecting
Though Numismatics can be quite enjoyable, let’s explore some of the challenges of the hobby so you know what you’ll be getting into.
1. It requires learning
To be a coin collector, you’re going to need to become more knowledgeable in areas such as coin grading and history.
This is mostly true of any hobby, but you don’t want to get taken advantage of when trying to acquire coins for your collection! You know what I mean …
… Thankfully, you can learn from other collectors, books, the Internet, and even courses.
2. Counterfeits and thieves are out there
The biggest downside of the hobby is the fact that there are people out there wanting to make a buck by deceiving others! Counterfeits of rare coins are becoming more common, many coming from China.
You can protect yourself by being educated, only buying from reputable dealers, and making sure any coins you purchase are graded and certified.
3. It could be expensive
As you start getting more into coin collecting, your tastes for rare finds may exceed your budget. The best advice is to have a budget for collecting and stick to it.
There will always be special coins out there you can’t afford, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the hobby. Just like you don’t have to be Tiger Woods to enjoy golf, coin collecting is possible for regular people!
4. It requires storage space
You’ll need somewhere safe to store your coins. Though they are small, you may wish to have some of your collection available for display.
5. It could be addictive
You might find that you want to spend more and more of your spare time learning about coins. Or your friends and family might get tired of you talking about them.
Really, is it such a downside? I’ve just listed it because I wanted to list a 5th point LOL
How to get started as a coin collector
If after reading this, this activity sounds like a good fit for you, then my advice is to just get started! You’ll never know if you’ll really enjoy it until you give it a try.
These are my best tips for getting started:
- Read a book on coin grading
- Find a local coin collectors club near you and attend a meeting
- Join an online Numismatics community and introduce yourself
- Set an annual budget to empower you coin collection
- Start researching coins
- Make a plan for how you’ll store your coins
- View the collections of at least 3 new coin collecting acquaintances
- Get recommendations for a trusted coin dealer
- Make your first coin purchase as a collector
- Enjoy and don’t look back!
I hope this Post has made things clear for you and has given you the information you need to explore the lifelong hobby of coin collecting!
I felt the need to put together this piece of content, not only because I’ve seen that people continually ask this question, but also, because I wanted this article to serve any one who still has doubts on whether this is the right activity for him or not …
… Hopefully, you’ve learnt something new!