How to start a coin collection
The hobby of kings, the phrase coined some 700 years ago for the art of coin collecting, stuck because only the wealthy and privileged could partake in such a pastime.
This isn’t the case now as coin collecting is easily accessible to the many, and, in fact, the hobby has seen huge growth in the market recently.
Why is the coin collecting market growing?
Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) tracks the price of rare coins through its index, created in 1970, and has reported an incredible 6,515% rise since the index’s inception.
Could it be enthusiasts and investors have fallen in love with the thrill of owning unique numismatics through the introduction of themed coins such as pop culture and historical events?
Whatever the reason, it’s great to see a resurgence, especially with the truly diverse and special coins of all shapes, sizes and metals with incredible artistic designs available.
So how do you start a coin collection?
First things first, all you need to do is decide what type of coins you’d like to start collecting. Your decision could be based on foreign currency, commemorative coins, or even coins from a certain period in history. Essentially, have a goal for your collection, whether it be to sell your collection in the future, or because you love the history and want to learn and understand the story behind each coin. Coins commemorating cultural milestones and national features have always been a popular option and this is reflected in the growing number of themed coins that can be collected as a series.
“From my perspective, what makes a good collectable is threefold,” says General Manager Minted Products at The Perth Mint, Neil Vance.
“First, it is the story; second, the design; and third, the mintage. And I think they’re all linked.
“A strong story is something that resonates with people’s lives or interests. A great design helps create an even stronger emotional bond between the buyer and the coin. And when the product has a low mintage, which adds a feeling of exclusivity, it makes a very compelling purchase proposition.”
The next step is to educate yourself on how to determine the different coins you’re interested in. For instance, if you’re looking to collect historic Australian coins it’s worth investing time on researching grading (the term used to show how worn a coin is. The higher the grade, the higher the coin’s perceived value). It’s also wise to learn the best preserving methods for coins so they keep their value in the future.
Get to know the lingo – circulating, proof, grade, mule – these are just some of the words you may need to familiarise yourself with before making your first collection or purchase. Here at The Perth Mint, we’ve put together our glossary for coin collecting.
When starting numismatic collecting it’s useful to reach out to others who also enjoy the hobby. Not only will someone else’s knowledge help grow yours, but experience in things like grading takes time and you can learn plenty from the experience they’ve had along the way. There are many coin collecting groups on social channels so get involved, join a community of like-minded enthusiasts.
Purchasing from reputable dealers is a must. Plenty of coin collectors won’t spend a penny (excuse the pun) if they’re keen to curate currency collections, for instance, or other types of circulating coins. However, if you’ve set your heart on Australian animal or pop culture themed coins, for example, then you’ll be looking at companies who mint or distribute these coins. It can be difficult to view coins online so being able to view them in-person is important.
Where to buy
Now you’ve made the decision as to what you’re going to collect, you’ve read the lingo guide, and you’re probably itching to get started. The next step, if you’re looking to purchase, is to get up close and personal to the coins you’re considering.
At The Perth Mint, new collector coins are released every month, keeping up with all themes, such as Australian nature, animals, pop culture, Chinese, Lunar, historical and even local Indigenous artists.
If you’ve set your heart on movie classics as your collection theme, we’ve got a huge variety of James Bond inspired coins in a selection of sizes, metals and mintages. You can visit The Perth Mint and see the coins on offer in-person.
Collecting coins made by The Perth Mint is a rewarding pastime for many people. There’s certainly a diverse range of historic and modern commemoratives to choose from. Meticulously designed and manufactured, our collector coins come in a stunning range of colours, metals, finishes and themes. With coins released regularly, you will never be short of choice for your coin collection.
The Perth Mint is among an elite group of world mints producing pure gold, silver and platinum legal tender coins.
Browse our latest catalogue or visit us in Perth to view a selection of coins and get started in the exciting world of coin collecting.
Past performance does not guarantee future results. The information in this article and the links provided are for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice from The Perth Mint. The Perth Mint is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent financial advice to check how the information in this article relates to your unique circumstances. All data, including prices, quotes, valuations and statistics included have been obtained from sources The Perth Mint deems to be reliable, but we do not guarantee their accuracy or completeness. The Perth Mint is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this article.
Western Australia’s coin minting history and how to identify coins made in Perth
Western Australia has a rich history of coin minting. For more than a century, coins have been made in Perth, contributing to Australia’s fascinating currency heritage. Read more about Perth's coins here...