The Thrills of Rare Coin Collecting

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation.” Alan Greenspan, 1966. One of the things every investor quickly discovers is that there are no sure deals or “can’t lose” investments in this wild and wooly world. There is always risk in the marketplace. Always. The key to success is to weigh the pros and cons of every investment, and determine the prospects of success.

For those who are beginners to the world of coin collecting, if you’ve already amassed a decent collection of coins, the first thing that would probably enter your mind would be, “are any of my coins rare or valuable?” This may be a tough question to answer, as an old coin may not always be a truly “rare” one. For example, you may have an old wheat penny in your repository, but what you don’t know is that there may be thousands of these wheat pennies that were circulated before. However, it would also be possible that a coin in your collection may be a truly rare one, although you’re not aware of it. Because of this possibility, it would be best if you delve some time learning about the tools required in identifying rare coins, as well as in embarking on rare coin collecting.

In the art of rare coin collecting, there are two major categories or classes for defining rare coins: Mintage Rarities and Grade Rarities. A Mintage rarity coin is a coin that is rare because it has a low mintage relative to market demand for the type. A Grade rarity coin on the other hand, is an otherwise common coin that is only rare because it falls in certain grades, like the current date U.S. Cents graded MS-70. In properly finding out if you got a rare coin in your collection, it would be best to check out The Official Red Book , which is considered the Bible for US coin collectors. This important book lists and indexes every kind of coin that was minted in the US, and also includes information on when each penny was made, how rare they are now, and what their current values are. Each coin in the book is represented in clear photographs, to properly inform collectors of their size and exact appearance. The Official Red Book comes out with a new and updated edition each year as well. A good source of education regarding rare coins would be the Internet. The Worldwide Web has a number of coin-identification Web sites, which may be very useful to novice coin collectors. Apart from consulting The Official Red Book and scanning the Internet, you could also bring your coin collection to a reputable dealer. These reputable and professional dealers ensure that they properly asses and identify your coin collections, and provide you with vital pointers for identifying rare coins.

Rare coin collecting can be a great adventure. You can search for rare coins that offer good value on the Web, or in coin auctions, or you may also drop by a flea market. Flea markets, according to numismatic experts, are places where people go to buy different sorts of items at truly affordable prices. For budding coin collectors, this market can be a rare coin “paradise”, since you may be able to spot rare coins that are sold at rock-bottom, or very reasonable prices. According to veteran rare coin collectors, the most valuable and truly celebrated rare pennies are those that have minting errors, and have values ranging from a few dollars, and are still in circulation today. In addition, there are a number of rare coin dealer Web sites that provide collectors with a listing of modern rare coins, and show their prices as well. The art of searching for rare coins is truly an exciting and interesting one, especially when it leads you to a rare “find”.

HERMAN KLEIN is a coin collecting expert. For more great tips on rare coin collecting be sure to visit http://www.coincollectingstartshere.com.

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