How Coin Collecting Can Be a Lucrative Hobby

By Brittany Cotton

There are at least two ways to turn coin collecting into a lucrative hobby. The great news is that you do not have to spend much money to start. Knowing which coins are worth collecting is essential to make money.


How to Start Collecting Old Coins


The first way to make money with coins is to collect old ones in excellent condition. Rarity, historical significance, and the overall condition of the coins contribute to their market value. Coins are graded on the Sheldon Coin Grading Scale, with experts grading coins from 1 to 70 based on the amount of wear, wear, luster and any imperfections the coin may have acquired over time. Coins in excellent condition receive a higher number and are worth more. To make money, trade them or sell them to other collectors.


How to Start Collecting Challenge Coins


You can also make money by collecting or designing challenge coins. The most prevalent challenge coins are often older military ones issued to a unit. People can also get challenge coins that were issued at a championship game, the anniversary of the founding of a business or any other group experience. Other times, groups issue challenge coins for essential accomplishments. Some government officials and other influential leaders offer challenge coins. You can often find great ones that are old and in perfect condition at estate sales and other places. Then, you can sell these at a profit. Other times, you can design challenge coins and sell them to the public.


How to Get Started in Coin Collecting With Old Coins


The first step to getting started in coin collecting is to decide what type of coins you want. Then, determine if you will specialize in one type of coin. For instance, you might specialize in:

  • Series/Year Collection – Collecting coins from a particular series that dates to every year such as Barber quarters that were issued from 1892 to 1915 or Lincoln cents that were issued from 1909.
  • Mint Mark Collection – Collecting coins from a particular mint such as Philadelphia minted coins with no mint mark; Philadelphia minted coins with a P; Carson City, Nevada minted coins with a CC; Charlotte, North Carolina, coins minted with a C; Dahlonega, Georgia, coins minted with D from 1838 to 1861; Denver Colorado coins minted with D after 1906, New Orleans, Louisiana coins minted with O, San Francisco, minted with CA or West Point, New York coins minted with W.
  • Date Collection – Collecting coins from a particular year. Some popular options include the 1909-S Lincoln VDB penny, 1909 Indian head cent, 1909-S St. Gaudens double eagle $20 gold coin, and 1909 Barber quarters.
  • Theme Collection – Collecting coins with a theme such as coins with Presidents on them.
  • Error Collection – Collecting coins with errors on them, such as those struck with a blank die, coins struck twice or coins with missing elements.


How to Get Started in Coin Collecting With Challenge Coins


The first challenge coins were made in Ancient Rome. Therefore, there are many choices in the types of challenge coins you decide to collect and sell for a profit. Some of the most popular options include:

  • B-52 Bulldog Challenge Coin – These coins were given to gunners during World War II.
  • 17th Infantry of Korea Commander “Buffalo Bill” – These coins were minted in 1812 to members of the 17th regiment by William “Buffalo Bill” Quinn.
  • Delta Force Special Forces: These coins were given to the elite 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment.
  • Naval Special Warfare Development – These coins were given to particular members of the Seal Team.


Is Coin Collecting for You?


Challenge and old coin collecting is perfect for many people, but many other options exist. People wanting to make money through collecting things may consider stamps, jewelry, rare books, wine, toys or artwork. Other ways to collect money include banknotes, medals and tokens. Remember that the key to making money with your collection is to look for items others want and sell them for more than you paid.

Brittany Cotton is a writer who focuses on health, wellness, and a variety of other topics. In her free time, you can find her reading, trying new recipes, or playing with her dog.

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