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BellaOnline's Coin Collecting Editor

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What Should You Look For In A Coin


Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby to start. The thrill of hunting for old coins is often enough for many people to take up the hobby alone. Of course, other people think of coin collecting as an investment, something they can profit from. If you are one of these people, then you can find several types of coins for investment purposes.

Many coin collectors look for only a specific type of coin. Other collectors will make their coin collection more valuable and interesting for prospective buyers. Other collectors collect coins for sentimental values and look more at a given coinís uniqueness. There is no one ďrightĒ way to collect coins.

Series collectors are collectors looking to get one of each date for every time a coin was minted. These collectors are looking to acquire a coin that marks every year and every design changes made in that coin. Type collectors are those coin collectors who are looking to get one of each coin where there are changes made.

Ancient coin collectors are collectors looking for coins spanning 650 BC-450 AD. This is the time when coins were invented and there were silver, gold, and bronze versions circulating. It also marks the time when the Roman Emperors were the rulers and most of the Roman coins feature famous Roman Emperors, Roman towns, and gods.

Token collectors are collectors who are looking for different kinds of tokens that were used in exchange of real money where there was a lack of coins. These tokens were often used as a local currency even if the government had not given permission for them to be used.

Coins are also graded. A coinís grading depends heavily on its condition and the coinís value will be reflected in the grade that it receives. It is very important for the beginning coin collector to learn how to grade a coin to make sure to make sure he is not being swindled by scam artists out to make a quick and easy buck.

Uncirculated coins are coins that are not showing any wear and tear or to use a more famous term, in mint condition. A Mint State (MS) grading depends on a coinís luster, contact marks, hair lines, and overall appeal. A coin can have a grade ranging from MS-60 (dull luster) to a flawless MS-70. Although MS-70 is generally considered unobtainable, a grade of MS-65 and higher makes a coinís price shoot up in value.

Circulated coins are more forgiving, it does not take into consideration the amount of scratches and dirt a coin has gathered over the years. Grades for circulated coins will vary greatly. AU (about uncirculated), EF (extremely fine), VF (very fine), F (fine), VG (very good) G (good), AG about good), f-2 (fair) and P (poor) are used as an indication of how much a coin is worth.

These grades are dependent on a circulated coinís luster, visible wear, design elements and visibility of letters and numerals. Unlike uncirculated coinís grades, the circulated grades do not dramatically lower a coinís value to the extent it does for Mint State coins. This is great news for people who are just looking to complete a collection but do not care about a coinís mint condition.

The pricing of a coin will normally rely on a coinís supply and demand. Very low supply and a very high demand will make a coinís price shoot up higher. However, High supplies of the coins will usually depreciate a coinís value.

The demand is usually established by coin dealers where they take into consideration people wanting to buy coins and the number of people selling them. Once a coin becomes difficult to find, coin dealers will usually make its price higher in such a way that it will make more people inclined to sell extra copies of their coins.

Grading and pricing a coin normally takes a lot of experience to master. Although there are several tips and guidelines to look out for in grading a coin, only professional coin dealers have the final say on how much a given coin is worth. It certainly doesnít hurt to know how coin grading is done and why your coin was graded differently from what you saw.

Coin collecting is not really about a coinís investment potential. It should be a fun and thrilling hobby. While the overall goal of a coin collector is to complete a set of coins, learning what to look for in a coin is just as important to make sure that no one can take advantage of your need to complete a particular set.


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Content copyright © 2013 by Gary Eggleston. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gary Eggleston. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Gary Eggleston for details.

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