When it comes to collectibles, there are all kinds of things people fall in love with. Perhaps one of the oldest types of collecting is coin collecting, which goes all the way back to ancient times. It was considered to be the “hobby of kings.” In fact, some people say Augustus Caesar collected coins. But most people in ancient times needed their coins for survival, so it wasn’t until the 19th century that it gained popularity as a hobby. It was during the 1800s that the American Numismatic Society, a club for coin collectors, began their mission of preserving coins and medals. One of the most popular goals for coin collectors of that time period was to try to find early Colonial coins and currency connected in some way to America’s Founding Fathers!
Coins are such a great way to own a small but valuable piece of history, and history is what owner Sal is all about! Sal absolutely loves when someone comes in with a bag of old coins their grandfather left them, or perhaps a single silver dollar they got as a fifth birthday gift and kept all this time. Whether it’s buying old coins or selling them, Sal really knows his stuff, as he does with most antiques and historical valuables.
There is so much information on coin collecting out there on the Internet that it was kind of hard to narrow down what to write about here, but I thought I’d write for those people who are new to coin collecting and give some basic facts. Believe it or not, there are different types of coin collecting.
A Year Set Collection
One of the more popular methods of coin collecting is having a set of all the coins minted in a specific year. A really fun birthday gift is to give someone all the coins minted in the year of their birth! These could be all the coins minted in the U.S. or if you are really ambitious, it could be coins from their family’s country of origin.
Collecting by Type
Coins come in many different designs, and some people like to have one coin of each design type. This could be each different design of a specific denomination of coin, or each design of a specific time period. So for example, someone might be looking for every Buffalo nickel design ever made (they were made between 1913 and 1938). Or a collector might want an example of each type of nickel ever minted from the 1866 Shield nickel to current nickel design types.
A Collection by Date
Some people like to have a collection of coins that are all one type of coin, but include each date that coin was made. For example, some people have an entire set of Lincoln pennies from every year they were minted. By the way. . . they started to be minted in 1909, so that’s a lot of pennies to collect.
Another collection by date might feature all coins minted in a particular decade. The coins from 1920s are particularly popular because President Theodore Roosevelt had the finest artists in the nation redesign all of America’s coins. Each denomination from the penny to the $20 gold coin featured a design by an eminent sculptor of that time. For example, the iconic Old West images on the Buffalo nickels during that time period were created by James Earle Fraser, a prominent sculptor who grew up in the American frontier.
Nation of Origin Collections
Perhaps you are so patriotic that you collect all the coins that were the first ones minted by the fledgling United States government in the early years of our nation. Or maybe you are obsessed with coins from Germany, where your grandparents came from. Maybe you love really ancient coins from Greece or from Roman times. When it comes to coin collecting there are so many paths to take.
A topical set of coins is a collection that entails a particular design theme. So regardless of the denomination of the coin, the nation of origin, or the date it was minted, all of the assembly has a specific design. Perhaps your father was a Navy man, so you love coins that have boats on them. Or maybe you’ve always been a fan of America’s natural beauty, so you have collected the 2010 to 2019 minted quarters from all 50 states that are dedicated to our National Park system.
Whether you are just starting out collecting coins and are looking for something interesting or you’ve just found your late Uncle’s coin collection in a box in the basement, come in to Judy’s Antiques. Sal can show you some really cool coins he’s got in the shop, and he’s always interested in buying a piece of history.