Collecting Coins For Love and Profit

In the first half of the 20th-century coin collecting was a hobby that many youngsters enjoyed. All that was necessary was a good magnifying glass and the ubiquitous coin books all in royal blue. The books were composed of three pages with slots available for each coin in a particular year and with a unique mint mark. Here the magnifying glass became very important. These coin books were fine examples of a functioning America where at that time all the best things in life were produced, and these coin books were an example of the value and quality of American production from that period. Numismatists and collectors still have the books that started the spirit of collecting 60-70 years ago. Back then if you were armed with your coin books, you needed three for pennies, two for nickels, and two for dimes, and your magnifying glass, you were all set to go. Parents of future collectors and numismatists would go to the bank and buy rolls of coins and leave the discovery of the different years and mints to the child. The child would become a curator of his collection changing out coins in poor condition for those in fine and very fine condition. It was one of the fun alternative investment ideas.

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Changes of Styles of Coins Minted by the U.S. Mints Affect Collecting

The middle of the last century was the heyday of coin collectors. Lincoln Pennies were available in two versions, one with an oak leaf cluster and the other with the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse side. Just before the Lincoln Head Penny came the Indian Head Penny, which was not in broad circulation but could be found in change and was collectible. Nickels had two versions, the Indian Head Nickel and then the Jefferson Head Nickel. Dimes also had two; the Franklin D. Roosevelt Dime replaced the more beautiful and valuable Liberty Head Dime. Dimes minted by the U.S. Mint before 1964 were more valuable than the printed value because they contained 90 percent silver and each dime had a value of not 10 cents but about $1. For collectors wise enough to realize this, collecting dimes dated 1964 and before would have given them a 10-1 or a 1000% profit for their investment. In this case collecting coins was not just challenging and fun but profitable as well.

Collecting Coins Offered the Thrill of Discovery

With every roll of pennies opened from the bank came the possible thrill of finding 1 1909 S VDB Lincoln Head Penny, which was the most valuable coin in the entire issue of Lincoln Head pennies. The thrill was there even if the coin never appeared. But there were valuable pennies to be added to collections and more serious coin collectors purchased red books on coin valuation. Now it was possible to know the value of anyone’s collection. Everyone had a favorite coin in their collections, and some wanted to purchase rare coins to add to their existing collections. Those who added to their collections by purchasing coins from other collectors were the smart ones. They realized that their collections had a personal and a monetary value and like all things collectible; those collections would only increase in value. There were windfalls as well. My father went to the bank on Fridays to deposit checks and cash from his business and usually bought a roll of dimes or nickels home for me to explore, but on one occasion an officer of the bank handed him a roll of Indian Head Pennies just because he knew that he was a coin collector. On a much later date, I remember after getting gas at a station I heard the attendant saying to himself, “I wondered who would get this?” In my change, I was handed a dollar bill that was a Silver Certificate Series, which has a higher value to those who know numismatics.

The Golden Age of Collecting American Coins was in the Past

Collecting American coins was a great hobby, and young collectors could ply their passion for hours until their necks and eyes strained at the effort. If one found nothing of value, it was of little importance what was fun was the search and the chance for discovering a rare and valuable coin.

Profitabilty for Coins Today is Trading on the Internet

Today the hobby many of us loved as children has gone and only those who deal in rare coins, commemoratives and mis-strikes can profit.

Lisa Patterson enjoys sharing her investment tactics online. She has been hustling, investigating & strategizing on various investment opportunities. Her articles mainly appear on investment websites.