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Introduction to Numismatics for the New or Young Collector

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

I administer a couple websites on the side and for payment I place my link in their links page. One of these caught the eye of a student of an online afterschool education site for teens ( named Rebecca Kiel. She suggested a link to a page by ( which is titled "An Introduction to Numismatics". It offers many good concepts from the history of coin minting to how to care for your collection. I cannot recreate it here as I did not write it but I can leave a link and offer some advice also:

When I was young we collected pennies, nickels , dimes and maybe quarters but that was big money to us then. Parents would supply us with Whitman folders for them and I love to look through them to this day when I find them. Pocket change was what we found and not worth much even now but....the pleasure of finding a coin to fill a hole in the album was priceless.

Today you may choose to collect State Quarters, Presidential Dollars, or the usual pennies, nickels and dimes or mint sets, etc. There are so many choices in Numismatics including foreign coin that you have to settle on an aspect of collecting that excites and interests you. I chose errors and varieties because I find them interesting and sometimes quite dramatic. You may chose something else. Silver and gold are pretty, shiny things but quite expensive and out of reach for most young people. Toned coins interest some people and some are quite beautiful. I would encourage you to go to a local coin show. You can learn many, many things about coins there and most dealers will take the time to help you. Some dealers will have buckets or boxes of inexpensive coins that you can pick through. DO NOT spend more than you can afford. If you see something you just have to have and it costs too much, be patient, another will come along another day when you are maybe better funded and it may even be a better deal.

First thing you need is a loupe or magnifier to see the details of the coin. Even young, 20/20 eyes need a loupe. A microscope is a good investment and 10x magnification is plenty to examine your coins. I use one because I find it more comfortable then a loupe and less prone to making errors. Caring for your collection is important. Never try to clean or rub them and store them in a non-pvc holder. PVC or polyvinylchloride, a type of plastic is harmful to coins in the long term especially copper and silver. Most coin shops or dealers can point you to better storage options which won't break the bank. When handling your coins or forcing them into it's slot or hole use either soft cotton gloves or a piece of soft cloth to avoid fingerprints which will eventually appear as stain on the surface due to grease and acids on human skin. At the very least, handle them by the edges with bare fingers.

Good Hunting!

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