Coin Collecting for Beginners
Coin collecting is a fascinating hobby, with many new collectors eager to learn about the value and history of the coins they find in their change. However, some experienced collectors can be dismissive and condescending towards those new to the hobby. To help combat this and welcome new collectors, this author will be providing an introduction to the basics of coin collecting, specifically focusing on grading and reference materials.
One of the most important aspects of coin collecting is understanding grading. Grading is the process of determining the condition of a coin, which can affect its value. The most widely used grading scale is the Sheldon Scale, which ranges from 1-70, with higher numbers indicating a higher quality coin. To learn more about grading, it is recommended to read a book on the subject. Some popular choices include "Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins," "Grading Coins by Photographs," and "Photograde: Official Photographic Grading Guide for United States Coins."
After reading about grading, it is important to practice and develop one's skills. One way to do this is by taking the American Numismatic Association's correspondence course "Grading U.S. Coins Today," or by attending the ANA's Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs. This event offers a variety of seminars over the course of five days, including grading seminars for both beginners and advanced collectors.
In addition to understanding grading, it is also important for collectors to have access to reference materials. Before purchasing a coin, it is recommended to do research and read about the coin's history and potential value. As the saying goes, "buy the book before the coin."
By understanding grading and utilizing reference materials, new collectors can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of their coins. This author hopes that this introduction will help to foster a more welcoming and inclusive community within the world of numismatics.