I'm not an Aussie, just a Yank in Oz but I've collected silver commems (old not new version), buffalo nickels, wheat pennies, indian head, etc. Got many sets and have upgraded and continue to upgrade some. With US coins, it's really best to focus on one area and there are so many to choose from as said before.
That said, I'm going the other way and starting my Aussie collection soon. Someone find me a decent priced goose dollar please.
Jamie: in some ways, we seem to be opposites. I built a pre decimal type set of Austrlain coins a very long time ago in all three metals, Adelaide Pound included. 17 sovereigns and halves with the silver and bronze types represented by the rarest date for type. (except the '30 penny, which was represented by a '25). Sold that collection, along with about 50 nice ancients including two gold, to raise deposit for a house.
Now, my U.S. collection is bigger than my current Australian collection! It includes a couple of nice early commemorative half dollars, a St-Gaudens Double Eagle and a gold dollar of 1853. I picked up a complete set of circulation States Quarters out of a bikkie barrel of change, when I visited the 'States recently. Cost? Face value, $12.50! That was fun!
The Canadian part of my collection, which includes a 1913 $10 gold, is about the same size as my Australian collection. It includes a type set of silver dollars to 1967, and a type set of nickels, including a tombac beaver, in Unc.
My current collection of ancients (which is my first love), is bigger than these. It numbers around 200, and includes a Macedonian gold Stater of Philip 11, aureii of Augustus and Vespasian, solidii of Leo and Phocas (Byzantine), and a tetradrachm of Athens, about 430 BC. Quite a few other nice tetradrachms as well. Ancient coins of Southern Asia, China and India are represented.
Such a collection needs decent library backup, and includes a copy R.I.C., all volumes, Krause for the last 400 years, books on forgery (a must), and a complete set of David Sear's books.
Oh! I probably have the biggest collection of square coins by type in the World. Easy to do, because I have NEVER heard of anybody else collecting square coins by type! 84 machine struck types, and counting!
The square coin collection was put together for fun, mostly out of dealers' junk boxes for not much money, and with most of them, for less than a dollar. Even now, most of the coins have little value. Probably explains why nobody else has put such a collection together. I am a rather obtuse collector.
Suggestion: Why not put together a fun collection of low value modern circulating coins which have : 1.) various metals 2.) various shapes 3.) various languages or scripts.
With a World collection, instead of collecting one from every country, how about one from every century, from the invention of coinage?
Such a collection would give you an overall history of the development of coinage, expressed in actual metal. Folks who have no knowledge of numismatics would find such a collection interesting. Would make a good show and tell item.
With such a collection, you can pick up a Byzantine coin, a Chinese coin, or an ancient Indian coin for not much money, at a time when coinage during the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire, when European coinage was almost non existant.
You would certainly learn a whole lot about the development of coinage in general, against a background of World history across the centuries. A good quality collection in total would not cost you a huge amount of money. Most of the coins could be had in the $10 to $50 price range.
At the moment I just collect Australian...I figure there's so many different avenues you can go down as far as colonial, pre-decimal, decimal, notes & the list goes on. I have some canadian, US & british coins, but it's not something I actively collect. My only other notes are Samoan as we lived there for two years because dad was working for the Australian tax office over there. the biggested problem with expanding the other non-Australian collection is capital. I am in Australia so there's more demand for Australian. Although the internet allows us to buy from almost anywhere (if we do the right research).