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What Have People Found In Their First Year Of Coin Collecting? For Beginner

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Pillar of the Community
United States
9773 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2021  10:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add panzaldi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
i cant remember that long ago but one thing I learned as I look back on my 50 some years of collecting is to educate yourself on grading. particularly the coin types you're interested in collecting. second, educate yourself on how to determine coins that would grade straight vs detail coins. coins that have been cleaned, polished, scratched or damaged in some way post minting. by acquiring this knowledge it wont make a lot of difference with common coins but will certainly save you $$ as your collection grows into more rarer or costly pieces. following CCF comments on posts will help in this process
Valued Member
Virgin Islands (U.S.)
63 Posts
 Posted 01/24/2021  08:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add STTScott to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@justcarl said >> My only suggestion is to stay away from ebay. <<

I might disagree to some degree. 1. Not everyone has access to coin shows. (For instance, I live on a Caribbean island that doesn't even have a coin shop, let alone coin shows. So online auctions are my friend.) And for instance if you do live somewhere that does have coin shows, they're generally crowded and it might be a challenge to research something on the spot. They're an awesome place to browse and pick up a few things within your budget to just take a flyer on because you liked what you saw, and then you let the chips fall where they may. 2. I've encountered virtually in every case very honest people on Ebay. Out of around 75 purchases since the beginning of the year, I've run across *one* person I'd never do a transaction with ever again because what I got didn't measure up anywhere near what was described. OTOH, most of my purchases are retail in nature, but then, I'm not looking for wholesale prices -- however, online auctions give you the chance to research at your leisure what might be a decent retail price so you don't get messed up too badly anyway. 3. There are a jillion other people more sharper than you who can spot a deal in their sleep and before you know it, the bid price hits the stratosphere and trying to compete with deep pockets is pretty useless.

But even there, there are many online auctions that aren't Ebay where you can find some reasonably-priced things that you'llbe happy with and the seller ends up getting a reasonable price. And face it -- people sell stuff to make some money. It's the American Way, after all. It's up to us to search out those sites, do our research, and find a favorite or two to do business with. Ebay is one of those; you just have to he a bit wary simpky because everyone and his brother is just slapping stuff up at whatever random price to maybe reel in a sucker or two. (And if you end up being one of those suckers and find out about it later -- and we all have -- it's called "live and learn." Mistakes is how we become better students. The thing is to not make a habit of being stupid.)

Pretty much all of us have overpaid for at least one or two things in our collections. The trick is not overpaying too much &
Edited by STTScott
01/24/2021 08:23 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
2942 Posts
 Posted 01/24/2021  11:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've had decent outcomes on ebay. The trick is understanding what's being offered and know where your limits are $$-wise. If a seller posts excellent photos and has solid feedback, I'll pay attention if I'm interested in the coin--especially if it's in my price range. I rarely spend piles of cash on a single coin or set--I limit those purchases to coin shows or reputable coin shops where I can see the coin(s) in-hand.
Pillar of the Community
Russian Federation
3387 Posts
 Posted 01/24/2021  5:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What I learned in my first year of collecting?

1) Coins are really neat to play with, especially if there's a lot of them!
2) There's a lot of different types of coins! There's the 1993 series and the 1992 series and the 1991 series and then there's the old coins from the 1980s that don't look much like any of them.
3) Coins can have different dates! It's so neat! (Not actually sure if I got to that in the first year.)
4) Apparently they have completely different coins in Israel! And there are dates in Hebrew letters, which is extra neat! (Definitely not sure if it was first year, but it was fairly early.)

...OK, I admit, I'm not sure when exactly my "first year of coin collecting" was, because my coin collecting slowly ramped up since kindergarten age.
The "coins can have different dates, neat!" revelation was in 1998, I believe (I would have been 6 years old then), though I might have already noticed different dates on Israeli coins before that.
Valued Member
United States
184 Posts
 Posted 01/24/2021  7:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mrwhatisit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, about 19-20 years ago I started getting into coins when I "found" my dads collection. Soon after that, I inherited them, and started really getting into it as a hobby. Granted, I was not very good at it, since I collected almost anything I got my hands on, and thought it was cool and valuable. Continual practice to today has made me a better collector by constantly reading on aspects of the hobby.

One of my earliest and better buys was a nice VF 1909-s Lincoln, which I traded for another 1909-s Lincoln about three years ago, that one is VF-35, and has a bounus s/horizontal-s variety coupled with a small lamination peel.

PS, if you know what you are doing, buying coins online like Ebay, Etsy,, you should be fine, mostly.
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