Coin Collecting – Which Tribe Do You Belong To?
The type of collector one will usually come across is the casual collector. Both children and adults can be found in this group. They collect coins because they love the fun of it. Casual collectors do not spend as much money on buying and preserving coins as more advanced collectors. Collectors in this category usually have interest in coins that have a unique meaning to themselves. For example, a coin minted in their birth year. Casual collectors often acquire more memorable pieces as presents from acquaints or relatives. Many casual collectors have been transformed into curious collectors after receiving such a gift.
Once a collector goes beyond circulation finds and receiving gifts, his interest in coins increases and he becomes more of a curious collector. The curious collector will buy a few inexpensive coins, browse shops or search for items on eBay or other auction sites. As the curious collector networks with more skilled collectors, he increases his knowledge of buying or selling coins. Some collectors hone their skills by studying related literature before making serious decisions about buying expensive coins. It is usually at this point that most curious collectors are knowledgeable enough to become advanced collectors.
Every advanced collector is a unique collector. Some are dedicated generalists who search for all kinds of coins. If they have enough resources, this can result in an amazing collection. Many collectors are completists who want an example of everything within a certain set. Some focus on coins of a specific nation or historical period. Others collect error coins or exonumia such as tokens and medals. Coin collecting can be a highly competitive sport. It can lead to exorbitant prices as serious collectors strive for the very best samples of each date and mint mark combination.
Collectors of ancient and medieval coins are more concerned with historical significance than other collectors. The coins of Byzantine, Roman, Indian, Greek, Celtic, Merovingian, Parthian, Ostrogothic and ancient Israelite origin are among the most popular ancient pieces collected. Specialties tend to vary quite a bit, but the usual approach is collecting items minted during a specific emperor's time in power. For example, a completist would focus on acquiring a representative coin from each emperor.
Normally, collectors of national coins specialize in those of their own country. A common way to collect national coins includes collecting one of every date and mint mark for a particular series. This is termed collecting by type. For example, a date set in Britain may include one Queen Victoria large penny for each year, 1837-1901. In another example, a US type set may include an example of each variety of each conviction produced. Most collectors of national coins create unique combinations of date, mint mark and type sets.
Error Coin Collecting
Collecting error coins is a modern development which was made possible through the automation of the manufacturing processes. Collectors of ancient and medieval coins accept those with errors because manual manufacturing processes result in unique features to each coin stub. Some examples of errors include repented mint marks, double dies, double strikes, overdates, off-metal, clipped, displaced or off-center coins and different denominations on each side of one coin.
World Coin Collecting
World coins are collections of relatively recent modern pieces from nations around the world. A collector can travel around the world through his collection. Many collect by subject. For example, collecting items from around the world which feature animals.
This category of collecting is an inexpensive and easy way for children to develop an interest in coin collecting. Most children discover foreign coins by looking under cash machines where customers discard various coins found in their change jars. It is possible to find pieces from all over the world, ranging from Canada, to South Africa, to Korea.