Rare Coin Collecting

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Coin collecting can be a very simple and casual process, but once you begin talking about rarer and more valuable coins, it gets a bit more complex. It is easy to spend almost no money and collect coins which are not worth anything, but it is much more difficult to acquire and collect coins which will retain their value and gain more value over time. You should do research on your own, but you should also speak with experienced professionals and well known numismatic firms. This will help you know all there is to know about the various coins you are considering, including what they are worth and what they are likely to be worth in the future.

Below is a breakdown of how coins are graded.

Mintage–Mintage usually refers to the number of these exact coins which were made either at this time or over the years (with different years getting different mintage numbers, along with combined mintage numbers for types of coins). In many cases, a particular country or mint will only mint a certain coin for that year only. In other cases, different versions of a coin are minted in different years. The combined mintages make up an entire set for that type of coin, while each individual year will also have its own mintage number. At the end of a certain year, that is the end of the mintage (you will also see cases where it is said that, at the end of the year, the mintage “dies”). This means that there will always be that exact number of this particular coin on the market, at the most. It is at the most because there could always end up being fewer available. Some may be lost or melted down or damaged, meaning the number of coins in good condition is much lower. Usually, the fewer coins which are available, the more valuable each coin will be.

Grading–Grading refers to the process of evaluating the condition and quality of coins. Coins which are graded and receive perfect or very near perfect scores are considered to be in mint condition. Mint condition coins are usually coins which are almost untouched or appear to be untouched (no blemishes, wear and tear, scratches, marks, etc.). Coins which are in mint condition are considerably more valuable than coins which receive lower grades due to marks or scratches. Many different companies specialize and are qualified to grade coins, and the grade is very important to pay attention to when buying rare coins. It is very bad practice to purchase a coin or number of coins without knowing the grade of the coin and who the grade was given by. You will want the grade provided by a recognized firm with a strong reputation. Coins can be researched and purchased online, but you should never buy a coin without seeing the coin and without knowing the grade. Not knowing this valuable information could cost you large amounts of money and you may pay much more for the coin than what it is actually worth.

Demand–As with many products, the value of coins is dependent on the demand for those coins. The more people who want to acquire a particular coin or a particular series of coins, the more valuable those coins will be. While the grade of a coin has great bearing the value of that coin, the ultimate value is often determined simply by how much someone (or more than one person) is willing to pay for that coin. This is what makes auctions, which have multiple collectors bidding on coins, are so popular.