Is coin collecting the hobby for you?
What do former prime minister Tony Blair, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, King Louis XIV of France and the Roman emperor Augustus have in common? They are all rumoured to share a passion for rare and unusual coins and collect them as a hobby.
And they are not the only ones. Coin collecting dates back to ancient Greece, when it was customary to present people with gifts of coins on festive occasions and now it is a popular hobby, with people seeking out rare ancient coins or more recent special editions to complete their collection.
Today, millions of people across the globe collect coins for fun. Read on to see if coin collecting is the hobby for you…
Coin collecting as a hobby suits anyone with a thirst for knowledge. It’s not just about finding coins and popping them in a folder or box. Coins can teach us lots about the period they were minted in and the notable figures of the time. If you find a particularly interesting coin, get Googling and try to find out more about it.
The rare 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens 50p
If you collect the right type of coins, it can be a profitable hobby. Some old and rare coins sell for thousands, or even millions, of pounds.
However, these coins are rare and you either have to be very lucky or really do your homework and research which coins are likely to rise in value.
It’s best to see coin collecting as a fun, interesting hobby and regard any potential profits from selling your collection in the future as an added bonus.
Regardless of the other benefits coin collecting can bring, for most people it is all about the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction when you finally complete a set after months of hunting for one elusive coin. To get the most out of your hobby, set yourself specific targets of coins you’d like to get your hands on and start searching.
Royal shield of arms coins
With so many hobbies requiring expensive pieces of kit, coin collecting is a relatively affordable pastime. Yes, you can spend hundreds if you are chasing after a particular rare coin, but for the most part there are interesting and unusual coins available at affordable prices.
How to get started
The chances are you already have the beginning of a coin collection in your pocket right now, or lying around the house in the form of a commemorative coin or some unusual foreign currency .
If you want to build up a collection, you just have to decide what it is about coins that interests you and start from there. Perhaps you’ve got the travel bug and want to collect coins from far away lands or maybe you are interested in a certain period of history and would like to find coins minted during that time? Other people simply like to build up collections of special edition coins, such as those released to mark the Olympics or the birth of Prince George of Cambridge.
The inside of the London 2012 50p Collector’s Pack
Whatever type of coins you want to start collecting; it is a good idea to buy a few coin folders to store your collection in. You can either buy blank folders or ones which are organised by date or type of coin. Royal Mint is launching new collectors’ folders for 50p, £1 and £2 coins this month, which are a great starting point for new collectors.
You are then ready to start hunting for coins. If you aren’t sure where to begin, join your local coin club, where you can meet up with other collectors to learn more about the hobby and trade coins. They are also bound to know the best places for picking up unusual finds.
The internet is a great tool for coin collectors, there are hundreds of sites where you can hunt out rare and unusual coins and it’s easy to compare prices to ensure you are not getting ripped off.
Remember, there are also numerous coin designs in circulation at the moment, so be careful to check your change for anything unusual before you spend it!