You always knew that there was a word for coin collecting; you probably always put off looking it up. Numismatics is that word. People way back in history were rather poor. It's rather difficult to think of money as a hobby when every piece you can get your hands on spells a piece of bread for the next meal. People started to think of coins as worth collecting for their history and their appeal much later when money began to be less hard to come by. The ancient Roman emperors collected coins too - perhaps that's why they call coin collecting the Hobby of Kings.

Everyone remembers being a kid and fondly hanging on to some obscure-looking coin and looking up an old magazine advertisement calling out for valuable old coins. If only that one coin could fetch a magical price, we've all wondered. What exactly is it that determines what a coin is worth? Of course what a coin is worth on its face has something to do with it, but its genuineness, the condition it is in, all have something to say about its value. The kind of value that people dream of comes from a coin being a really rare find. You could pick up a guidebook that shows you everything about how the year a coin was minted, the value, the origin all go together to determine how valuable it is. Let's say that you are interested in getting into coin collecting yourself. How should you go about it?

Most people start their coin collecting adventures with the coins in their pocket. It's a great place to start if you keep an eye open for new finds. You can find them at coin shops, flea markets, friends back from overseas trips and so on. To begin with, you're supposed to start collecting coins not to make a killing later one day, but just for the love of the hobby. For children especially, there is so much that coins can teach. It helps them understand the value of money to begin with. It also helps them learn organizing skills, learn to care for something, it helps them learn to be proud of something they've achieved. You'll probably get all the tools of the trade you need anda few coins to get you started at a hobby shop. Once you have a decent number of coins new collection, there are almost any number of ways in which you can organize and categorize them. You can often buy sets of coins preassembled - or Mercury dimes, Lincoln pennies, coins from the Far East and so on.

Coin collection is a hobby that's as old as the hills. It's a hobby that is passed from one generation to the next too, and it's quintessentially American.