New Year, New Hobby | Collecting Strategies for New Collectors
Maybe it started when you decided to hold on to the D-Day toonie you found in your change. Or maybe it was when your relative passed down their shoebox full very cool pieces. Then, an ad crossed your path, and the next thing you know, you bought your first numismatic coin. Then another, and another. And now you want more. Welcome to the wonderful world of coin collecting.
Building a collection can be overwhelming for new collectors. With so many choices out there, where do you even start? What’s the best way to build the perfect collection?
First off, there is no such thing as “the best way” to build a collection. To each their own. You will find that all collectors have their own strategy, so there is no right or wrong way, but there are tips that can help. Here are a few for you.
Start at the beginning – why collect?
Coins. To some people, they’re currency pure and simple, for making change and spending. But to others, coins are the gateway to a world of endless discovery – fuelling passionate pursuit and lifelong exploration.
What drives the urge to collect? Sure, there’s the possibility that a well-maintained coin collection will appreciate over time, making it a kind of financial investment, but usually collectors’ motivations are deeper and more personal.
Coins can serve as keepsakes or memorials of a special event or person. They may be revered as tiny works of art. They can represent a connection to the past or be treasures for the future, to be passed down through generations.
So really, the question is – why not collect?
Define your collector personality
Did your first coin catch your eye because of its artistry, or were you intrigued by its value? Are you passionate about a certain topics, or drawn in by the allure of owning a rare gem? Determining your collector personality will help guide your collecting journey.
Take our collector quiz to see what your “collector character” is.
Choose a coin that speaks to you, and go from there
There are as many kinds of collections as there are collectors, but all have one thing in common: defined criteria. Without these, a collection is unfocused, and the sheer number of available options can be overwhelming. With defined limits, a collector knows what to look for and can focus on the most relevant items.
Among the many different kinds of collections people build over time, some of the most common include:
- Design or Artist based collections: Often, a mint will produce a defined set around a common design theme – like shape, size or plating – or coins that feature the work of a reoccurring artist, for instance Laurie McGaw. If you have found an artist you like, or like coins that don’t fit the typical mould (or die technically), then focus on finding those.
- Personal interest collections: You might choose to focus on coins that pique your curiosity, like coins that all relate to a specific theme — natural world, scientific discoveries, famous places or people, moments in history. When it comes to choosing a collection focus, the sky’s the limit!
- Rarity based collections: This collection can be a little more difficult to build, but it can also be one of the most satisfying. A “rare” coin can mean different things to different people. For some, they are special-edition coins, or coins with a low mintage, or innovative firsts. Whatever “rare” means to you, the thrill of the hunt is exhilarating and adds a whole new dimension to collecting.
Join a community
People who are really into something, no matter what it is, love to talk about it. Coin collectors included. So, whether you are new to collecting, or have been at it for years, there is nothing better than connecting with like-minded individuals. Not only will it fuel your passion, it will also help you gather helpful information. There are many communities you can join – both online and in person. From forums, to social media groups, to local coin clubs, the right community for you is out there.
Collecting coins is about creating something of significance - to you. So begin your collection by acquiring coins that speak to you, whether they are related or not. If you focus on those, the core of your collection will be a true reflection of you, making building it a satisfying and fulfilling pastime.
To learn more about the ins and outs of coin collecting, and for some tips on how to get started, check out The Buyer’s Guide to Numismatic Coins: A Beginner’s Guide to Collectible Coins and our blog post; Thinking of becoming a coin collector? Here are 5 simple steps to get you started.