Coin Collecting Continues to be a Popular Hobby


Coin Collecting Continues to be a Popular Hobby

by Amy Lignor


As with most hobby’s, coin collecting has soared in popularity during certain eras and basically disappeared during others. However, when it comes to the 21st Century, coin collecting has continued to see growth.


Image: Wikimedia

Historically speaking, people have been collecting coins since they were first invented around 700 BC. Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece – all of our ancestors liked to collect them – even if they happened to be a coin that would have barely bought a loaf of bread back in the day.


The popularity of U.S. coin collecting soared in the 1930’s with the introduction of the very first “penny-boards.” These boards had a hole to be filled for each date and mint mark in a series. Oddly, even though this was the Depression era, many people found pleasure in seeking out that next coin for their collection. To fill those holes was actually compelling for kids, as well, seeing as that it was only pennies they strived to find.

At the end of the 90’s, coin collecting saw another resurgence because of the 1999 statehood quarter program that the US Mint began. With this, the coin hobbyists came out in droves to become a part of this 10-year program that featured quarters for all 50 states, minted and released in the order of when they achieved statehood. Produced for 10 weeks each, they would never be reproduced again. When the government saw how popular this new program was, they started a new one in 2010, where they produce 5 quarters a year featuring national parks and/or national monuments for all 50 states. A series that will not end until 2021.


Nowadays, people in the industry will tell you that coin collecting still has a variety of age groups participating in the hobby. The major attraction seems to be the fact that it is incredibly easy to get started. Besides the coins, all you need is a reference book, a good magnifying glass and a safe way to store your coins. Unlike a variety of other collectibles, coins have extremely good reference materials to learn from; weekly magazines, monthly magazines, there are even published books about every series of coins minted so that a person can educate themselves quickly.


In the 21st century, collectors have increased for many reasons. One, being the bad economy. Because of the increase in prices of silver and gold, coins took over stocks and bonds, as well as CD’s, as being the best place to invest your money. A situation that has not changed in 2018. It is a truth that “a penny saved is a penny earned” because coins rarely lose their initial value, and against all odds and all economic mishaps, continue to rise in resale value as opposed to stamps or comic books, which can slide depending on the market.


The second reason why coin collecting has not become a “lost hobby” in 2018, is the fact that major TV series’ that are experiencing high ratings include shows focusing on collectibles, such as “American Pickers” and “Antiques Roadshow.” Finding a silver or gold needle in a haystack increases the adrenaline, making coins even more exciting to collect.


Hobbyists will tell you that coins offer intrinsic value because of their metal content, but they also offer that intangible value found in the eye of the beholder. And when talking about those rare coins, that believe it or not have been found in old coin jars that Grandma and Grandpa kept in their house, here are some to be on the lookout for:


At the Heritage Auctions held in Dallas every April, rare coins have been sold that many hobbyists are just dying to unearth. An 1892-S Morgan Silver Dollar with an NGC grade of MS63 brought in $76,375; a 1795 half-dime graded MS66 by the PCGS brought in the same figure; and a 1908-S $20 Gold Double Eagle with an MS66 grade from the NGC, sold for $70,500.


Coin collecting is still a grand hobby, but it has also become a great way to save for that college tuition or put something away for retirement that will not depreciate as time goes by.


If you wish to begin your own coin collection, head to where the American Numismatic Association will let you in on just how to do it.






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