Coin collecting or Numismatics rewards the hobbyist in many ways. Coin values can be strictly described as the monetary value of given coins; but the knowledge of history, economics and geography available to coin collectors makes coin collecting an invaluable experience well worth sharing with friends, children and grandchildren.
A coin collection need not start with particularly old, rare, or valuable coins. Young collectors are captivated by the unfamiliar designs of such standard American coins as the Indian Head Penny and the Buffalo Nickel. Representative examples of such quintessential coins can be obtained at minimal cost to novice collectors willing to accept coins with high mintages or some wear. Such coins will help teach basic lessons in grading coins and help to fill up the empty slots in the novice's coin albums. The newly released State Quarters series and Sacagawea Dollars can also be interesting points of entry for young hobbyists discovering the world of coin collecting.
One technique for capturing the attention of the young collector is by "salting" your loose change. Pick up several rolls of change from your local bank, fill a bowl with them and surreptitiously include a few coins from your own collection. As your protege sorts through the coins they are sure to be excited by their "lucky finds." You'll discover that your novice collector will soon be making real, if less dramatic finds of their own -- an old steel or wheat penny, a coin with that strangely exhilarating "S" mint mark or perhaps even a silver nickel, dime or quarter.
Coin collecting can grow into a hobby to last a lifetime, and bring not only the real, intrinsic value of silver and gold into your life, but also a greater appreciation for the people, places and events associated with specific coin designs. Perhaps best of all, collecting coins can create the kind of fun that is best shared with others.
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