Coin collecting is one of those hobbies that has stood the test of time. Yet in this modern age of online entertainment, games consoles and tablets, you might think it is something belonging to a bygone age. This couldn’t be further from the truth – kids are kids, and just like the old games, stories and songs from past generations continue to engage and entertain today, so can this long-standing pastime.
Coin collecting is also educational, helping children with their numeracy skills, as well as teaching them about different places in the world. And on top of all that, a carefully accumulated collection can be a fantastic investment that will go up in value.
Every collection has to begin somewhere, so the ideal starting point is with the coins we use every day. For example, help them collect quarters from every state by going through your pocket change each day. This is also a perfect “proving ground” – the world would be a boring place if we all enjoyed the same things, so if coin collecting turns out to be something they are not interested in, you have not wasted any money, and those quarters can simply be spent.
Adding more special coins
If your child shows a genuine interest in collecting coins, you can start to help him or her expand the collection with coins that are more unusual and valuable. Companies like Golden Eagle Coins have a huge range of gold and silver dollars, commemorative coins, foreign coins and even ancient coins dating back thousands of years to the days of the Roman Empire!
Reputable dealers like these are fine but avoid the temptation of buying coins from other online sources such as auction sites or private individuals, as there is no way to know what you are getting. If you want to buy from private individuals, the golden rule is never to buy a coin unless you have seen it.
Join a club
Coins have been around for thousands of years, so there is a lot to learn. Online guides and books are OK to start with, but the best way to really learn about coin collecting is to get together with like-minded individuals. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) lists more than 400 coin clubs throughout the USA. The organization also provides a host of hints and tips on coin collecting, with some online quizzes that are great for testing your youngster’s knowledge.
Most coin clubs also host regular meetings and member-only auctions. These are by far the safest option when you are looking to increase your collection privately, as when members are dealing with other members, the likelihood of scammers and fraudsters is significantly reduced.
Of course, reduced does not mean eliminated, and it is still important to remember the golden rule mentioned above and to have some trustworthy expert advice to hand before you part with significant amounts of money.
A lifelong passion
Coin collecting is one of those hobbies that can turn into a lifelong passion. Fire your youngsters’ imaginations and get them started on the road to a pastime they can enjoy for years to come.