Collecting Coins for Fun and Profit
Collecting coins can be a hobby, a way of making money or a little of both. It’s an easy hobby to start and when you want to move on from it, selling your collection isn’t very difficult thanks to specialized websites where coins can be traded and collections sold off. Collectable coins have a monetary value, but they also represent a special era of American history as they symbolize the growth of the economy through the 19th and early 20th centuries. During that period some coins were made from precious metals like gold, which means your investment is attached to the price of the material used to make the coin as well as the coin’s value on the collector’s market.
Thomas Jefferson’s stance that Americans could do without paper money because it leads to “fraud and injustice” paved the way for American coins that are collectable to this day. When he wrote that that precious metals are the “most perfect medium because it will preserve its own level… having intrinsic and universal value” he wasn’t anticipating that Americans would collect the coins in centuries to come, but coins like the ten dollar Eagle are valuable because they’re rare and because they’re made from solid gold.
When Congress passed the Coinage Act in 1792, Americans began to pay for their goods and services with standardized American coins like the half-cent coin or the ten dollar eagle. They wouldn’t have been able to buy much with the Indian penny that was first minted in 1859 but today collectors can expect between six and twenty dollars for one of that era in mint condition. If you want to make a collection solely out of this coin, the rarest Indian penny is the 1877, which can cost up to $320.
A coin’s date is one of the factors used when determining how much it’s worth. That can be an issue with British coins as some don’t have dates imprinted on them. When a coin you can approximate a date for it by looking up the reign of the monarch featured on the coin. Another thing that makes distinguishing British coins difficult is that they don’t always list their value so you’ll need to judge the coin’s value by its size, pattern and composition.
British £2 Coin
Although British coins are awkward to collection, they’re worth investing in. One of the coins that’s popular with collectors is the two pound coin. There are 37 different two pound coins in circulation so it makes sense that some are rarer and more valuable than others. This coin has only been in circulation since 1998 so you won’t be collecting it because it’s old, you’ll be looking for the rarest variations of the coin like the 2016 Shakespeare Tragedy coin and the Great Fire of London coin that was minted the same year. Those coins can be worth up to $70.
Canadian coins are another international currency worth investing in. Let’s aim big here and consider buying the 1911 Canadian silver dollar. If you know anything about Canadian coins, you’ll already know that we’ve just set you a nearly impossible task as only three exist- two in silver and one in bronze. One of the silver and the only bronze coin are already safely on display in the Canadian Currency Museum, which leaves one silver coin for collectors to hunt down.
The web is an invaluable source of information for coin collectors, but once you’ve built up a collection, get it valued by an expert so you’ll know how much insurance cover you’ll need. The coin’s condition plays such an important part in its value that you will need an expert’s eye to establish exactly how much each coin is worth. An expert will also be needed to establish if your coin is genuine or if you’ve invested in many replicas that flood the market from time to time.