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Coin Collecting

Collecting coins

Numism, as coin collecting is known, is an ever popular collectors hobby.  Small, easy to find (unless of course you are hunting out great rarities) and easy to store, coins offer a great starting hobby for the beginner collector.
Many people start off coin collections because they hold one particular coin of interest or sentimental value perhaps that they have been given or come across in a pocketful of change.  This often then leads to the collection of a certain series of coins.  Error coins, coins from a certain country or period or even material, or coins which are part of a particular date series such as significant dates.  For the beginner, keeping a fairly narrow zone of collection is useful to keep focused on the search, and make sure the collection is not simply a random group of coins but a useful collection to show a period of history or similar.
Once you have begun to amass you favourite coins, invest in an album to keep them in and of course, begin to research the coins you are buying.  Books are available to help you identify the value of your coins, give ideas for sources and help you to identify good potential purchases.  Coin and medal dealers will also me a valuable source of information and many are so enthusiastic about their field that they will give advice easily.

Investing in coins
While coin and medal collectors often collect simply for love of the genre, there is also value to the concept pf coin collecting for investment purposes.  The market is not oversaturated with collectors in the way that for example the stamp market is, so there is room for careful investment, and although there are pitfalls to avoid, investing in coins can be a great way to make a collectors investment.

Obviously value is key.  Many historical and limited edition coins are relatively scarce, making them a likely candidate for collectors as their value is very likely to increase.  Despite the idea of the treasure chest full of coins, actual collections of coins are likely to be on the market rarely, so the value of your chosen coin should at the least always hold.  Of course, like any other investment, the coin market depends on economic prosperity in order to thrive, but unlike the stock market is less influenced by uncontrollable events and world disasters, making this kind investment a relatively safe one. 
Using a trusted, well established dealer is an excellent way to ensure you are placing you money in the correct places.  Many people are tempted by buying commemorative minted coins as investment, but beware as they often don’t increase in value the way you might anticipate – as they are made precisely for their value and collectability, they actually seem to hold less value than a coin with genuine scarcity or historical value.

The material which they are made from tends to have its own intrinsic value, unlike for example paper, although it must be remembered that unless you are investing in gold coins, this value is not comparable to the worth as a collectible item.
Investing rather than collecting means there are certain things to look for.  As with any investment, buy the best quality examples of your chosen coins you can afford, and research all your purchases well.  If you will be attending auctions as well as using dealers to collect from, then make sure you check out the lots in advance to know and understand what you are looking at.  Until you are confident, keep your coin collecting books close to hand and ensure you are constantly self educating to achieve the most value from your purchases.

To see a full list of UK companies associated with coins see the links below

coin dealers
coins and Medal dealers
 
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Coin & Medal Dealers