Getting the best value in your coin collection is one of the first things a neophyte numismatist must learn.
So, if you are a new coin collector, there are several time tested techniques that you must remember before you invest a substantial amount of money in acquiring pieces for your collection.
How Coin Value is Determined
All things being equal, a coin’s value is highly dependent on its condition. The international community of coin collectors has evolved precise standards for rating this. The most commonly used coin measurement scales today are the Sheldon system and the European Grading System.
The Sheldon grading system assesses coins using descriptions and numeric values ranging from 1 to 70. It rates coins as Mint State, Uncirculated, Almost Uncirculated, Extremely Fine, Very Fine, Fine, Very Good, Good, About Good, Fair and Poor. Poor is assigned a rating of 1 while Mint State is given numerical values from 60 to 70.
Basically the same narrative descriptions are used in other scales but other factors are taken into consideration as well. These factors include the presence of scratches on its surface , the number of dents on its rim and the aesthetic appeal of the item.
Three decades ago, professional coin grading services came into the market due to a growing need for official judgments on quality and authenticity of coins in the market. Two of the leading providers of coin grading services are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and the Professional Coin Grading Service. If you cannot afford to bring your finds to experts, you can at least study the criteria they use in their assessment.
Apart from what experts have to say, however, there are some things that you, as a collector, will need to decide on as you try to get the best coin collecting value. One of these factors is of course the amount of money that you are willing to spend. Another factor is what the purpose of your coin collection is. Is it something you will set aside as a family heirloom? Will you be wanting to cash it in for college expenses in may be ten years time? The answers to these questions will impact on the coins that you will be purchasing and their quality as well.
Best Coin Collecting Value for the Least Cash
As you begin collecting, continue to study the criteria and guidelines for assessing coin value. Then go about acquiring coins carefully. Safe buys for small budgets are the Uncirculated Coins set from the U.S. Mint and Silver proof Sets. Old coins and silver coins are generally good buys as long as they are in relatively good shape and care is taken to make sure they are not damaged. Over time, there is a very good probability that the value of these coins will increase.
If you want to make sure you get the best value in your coin collection, exercise caution when you make purchases because forgeries do exist. You can practice due diligence by reviewing commentaries and blogs in the internet and looking for ratings of sites and stores that sell coins. When you are buying an expensive coin, find out if it has been authenticated by a reliable coin grading service provider.
Pay no heed to tips from magazines or television shopping programs. Instead, find journals or serious numismatic bulletins that will help you look at trends in the market and monitor coins as an investment.
Whether you are collecting coins for the sheer fun of it or doing it as an investment, remember that getting the best value starts with getting the best quality. This will help ensure that no matter what the price of the coin is when you buy it, it will be worth more if and when you sell it.