Collecting coins is something I’ve always had an interest in; however, I never had the excess money to invest in it. That didn’t mean that I stopped collecting them; it just meant that I collected them incorrectly.
My first few coins were given to me by a cousin (my grandmother’s cousin). These coins were European coins (France, Germany, England, Spain, and Portugal), and were dated somewhere in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These coins were definitely well-circulated; but, were very interesting nonetheless. I’ve kept them for years, and have added many to my collection since.
Now, I know that many of the coins I have collected over the years are in poor shape, and are not kept properly. These coins were in circulation, and I just happened to come across them. Others were given to me, and still others were traded for some of mine. In the end, collecting coins isn’t an ‘investment’ for me … it’s a fun think I do that I enjoy. Period.
If you want to handle coins properly (some are precious after all), then there are procedures that you should follow:
- handle coins by the outside edge only
- if you need to take a coin out of its holder, put it on a soft cloth
- do not drag coins across a surface
- you might consider using gloves (perhaps surgical gloves)
- don’t clean/wash your coins … if the coin is just dirty, you can try soaking it in olive oil, or even soapy water, for a few days. The coin should then be rinsed and left to air dry.
- store coins in a dry place
- to store or display coins, you might want to consider keeping them like uncirculated coins: usually displayed in plastic blisters within illustrated sleeves
I am not a professional when it comes to coin collecting, so if you’re serious about it you might want to do some research. Again, for me, coin collecting is a fun thing I do … not quite a hobby or an interest, but I certainly get a kick out of coming across an old coin!