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1.  Learn to grade your coins accurately.

2.  Build a reference library for the coins you plan to collect.

3.  DO NOT clean your coins, and don't buy cleaned coins for investment.

4.  Don't buy coins directly from the Mint.  95% of the time, you can get them cheaper after the market has settled down.

5.  Check out dealers (try the BBB) and get on a first-name basis with a good one or two.

6.  Don't buy coins by mail unless the dealer has a reasonable return policy.  If there is no return policy, chances are the coin is overgraded.

7.  Never buy coins from a TV shopping channel, a telemarketer, a newspaper or magazine advertisement, or any TV commercial.

8.  Focus on quality, not quantity.  Quality will make you money.  Quantity takes up space.

9.  Be active in a coin club.  The more active you are, the more you will learn and the more you will enjoy the hobby.

10.  Collect what you like, and learn the history of what you collect.


1.  Learning to grade coins accurately is the MOST important skill you can have in this hobby.

2.  Get a copy of the Official ANA Grading Standards and/or Photograde.

3.  A coin's value is determined by: Rarity, Popularity, and Grade.

4.  Examine a lot of graded (slabbed) coins to hone your grading skills.

5.  MS60 is usually a problem coin.  An AU58 coin might look nicer and should cost less.

6.  Avoid micro-grading.  Don't use a loupe stronger than 7x for grading.

7.  Tip and turn the coin under concentrated light to look for hairlines, luster, and wear.

8.  Subtle color change on the surface of a coin indicates wear.

9.  Incandescent light is best for grading.  The worst are sunlight and fluorescent.

10.  Know the areas prone to wear as well as the strike characteristics of the coins you collect.

11.  Research has shown that one's ownership of a coin adds 1 to 2 points to their opinion of the grade.  Try to be as objective as possible.


If you are new to coin collecting or just need a nice refresher, check out the very informative "Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Coin Collecting by Mark Orwig of by clicking on the picture below:


Here's a link from the Collectors Society website with many important "What You Need to Know" articles.  Click on the Shield nickel below:


For a link for you beginning collectors, click on the below:


Want to know the actual value of the silver in your silver coins?  Just click on the Seated quarter:


There's also a link for you gold bugs.  Click the Double Eagle to find out the melt (metal) value of your gold coins:


Do you have Canadian coins?  Click the silver five cent piece below to find out the melt value of your Canadian coins:


Want to know Canadian coin mintages?  Click the large cent below:


From CONECA, click the error cent for a glossary of coin error terms:


Collect Morgan or Peace dollars?  Click the Morgan dollar to learn all about the known varieties (VAMs):


Here's a great chat site called Coin Talk, where you can discuss coins with lots of other collectors and read enlightening discussion threads.  Just click on the Mercury dime:


Collect world coins?  Click on the British Pound below to learn the history of this fascinating coin:


Click the Zambia 250 Kwacha gold coin for a great link for African coins:



 PCGS Price Guide


 Guide  to  Coin  Collecting


img1.gif Learn all about Numismatics


  If you have a link or article you would like to share, please contact us.

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