United States coins have come to the forefront of the collecting world. Obsolete versions of many designs are becoming very difficult to obtain and collectors are finding it tough to fill holes in their sets.
A lot of the popularity increase has to be directly related to Internet commerce and the way we shop today. Information on available examples has never been this easy to obtain. eBay's search box will return hundreds of results for all United States issues, in every grade and price range.
More and more people are entering the area known as numismatic collecting. United States issues are the top collected coins in the world. As new collectors arrive on the scene, more examples of good quality material disappears into sets.
Coins are purchased for several reasons. First as a hobby, second as an investment (both can apply simultaneously) and some people will make a purchase for a gift to someone they know who collects coins. Showing them that we care enough to get something they want can make a great gift.
If you are just beginning in this realm of collecting, a few things should be known before you start. First of all focus is very important. Obtaining any United States coins you can get your hands on just because is not the right way to go about building value in our investment.
US coin collecting should always be looked at from an investment standpoint. Smart purchases will not only help you complete your task of filling the desired set, but it can also create an incredible asset for our future, or the future of our children as the collection is passed on.
Find a niche within the United States coin production that fits within your budget. Make sure you'll be able to acquire all the varieties you need to fill the desired set. Many issues of US coins will be out of reach to most of us because of one or two key dates.
Always try to fill the hardest dates first. Do this in the highest grade possible within your budget. As the collection progresses, it will become easier to obtain examples if their rarity is decreasing as we build.
Try to match grade throughout the set and keep the coloring and toning matching on all examples, or as close as possible to achieve an aesthetically good looking set. Watch out for cleaned coins as this will diminish their value substantially.
High priced examples and any rarities should be authenticated by a third party grading service. Recommended companies are PCGS, NGC and ANA. Respectively standing for Professional Coin Graders, Numismatic Guarantee Company and the American Numismatic Association.
These three companies are each available online. All will grade your piece, authenticate it and encapsulate it within an acrylic container preserving the coin for future generations to enjoy.
This process also helps with selling our acquisitions when the time comes. Having a grade designated by one of these companies allows us to buy and sell these coins sight unseen and still know what we'll be getting. The grading is standardized and most collectors know the score.
A good collectors book or single holders are advised and the better the seal on any metal object, the longer it will survive unspoiled, by tarnish or any other damage, that could occur from handling. The value of any example is directly affected by its condition and the difference in one grade can be thousands of dollars for some issues.
United States coins are a great collectible. Their values hold up even in bad economic times. The investment world has picked up on this now and all prices are on a rapid rise. There is no evidence that this will slow down as coins are disappearing faster then ever. More and more types of US coins are becoming non-collectable. There simply are none left.
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