Rare American Coins Have Two Types of Collectors, Which One Are You?
Generally speaking, there are two types of coin collectors. There is the rare US coin collector who has either been collecting coins since childhood, or there is the relative latecomer who got introduced to coins through bullion coins or modern coins.
The first collects with little regard to selling the acquisitions and the other acquires in order to sell. Is one necessarily better than the other? I’m a little of both and I can’t say one is inherently better than the other. Each however can learn from the other.
Financial considerations should enter into every rare American coin purchase that you make. A real coin collector might not worry about paying an unreasonable amount for a long sought after coin, but long term implications should be considered for every rare or bullion coin purchase.
Dealer’s advice is almost always self-serving when it comes to what to buy or how much to pay. Check market values of the rare American coin you’re considering and don’t over pay for that long hunted coin. I’ve been surprised at how much dealers will come down in price sometimes, so don’t be afraid to make an offer coinmarketcap.
I got interested in coins from a telephone sales person when I was buying bullion type coins. She showed me how little more some common date “rare” American coins could cost over bullion and how much more valuable they were. From there, I started learning about silver and gold coins and was hooked.
I entered into the world of American rare coins from the investor background, but quickly became a numismatic. I’m now a little of both, collector and investor. A hybrid so-to-speak.
Coin collecting shouldn’t be thought of or approached strictly as an investment. That takes the joy out of finding that special coin. For me, the more silver and gold coins I’m familiar with, the more of them I want. It’s addicting.
Because of its nature, every hobby is usually pursued with passion. In the case of numismatics, this means learning about coins, learning about the market, and becoming familiar with the buying and selling process. More than likely, you’ll be selling coins that aren’t up to your new standards as you develop, and that becomes part of the hobby.
There is a lot of personal satisfaction in owning the coins that appeal to you. This makes investing in them fun and rewarding.
Today, there is a tremendous amount of information available online. Go read everything you can about rare coins to become a more confident buyer. I still love the feel of printed material and often buy books as my source of information.
How can the investor think more like a collector? Study coins in general to learn what appeals to you. Find a reputable dealer that you can trust and build a relationship with them. Become a niche specialist. I like silver and gold coins from America and around the world.
Study enough coins to learn what appeals to you and develop rare American coin grading skills. What appeals to you will probably appeal to others also.
Learn what “problem” coins are and avoid them for greatest appreciation in value. Or buy “problem” coins cheaply, and throw them in your bullion pile.
How can the collector think more like an investor? Learn not to make buying decisions based entirely on emotions. The coin market like other markets has its tops and bottoms. Tops and bottoms are often difficult to tell in the coin market, unless you’ve been watching it for several years. I think now is a good time to be buying though.
Don’t buy coins that are being heavily advertised. Sell those coins, if you have any. If you see ads for certain coins that dealers are buying, those are good ones to also buy, if they fit within your collection goals. Use your dealer relationship to buy the best coins at the most reasonable prices.
Ultimately, the pure collector should become more of a collector-investor and the pure investor should become more of an investor-collector. I started as an investor-collector, now I’m more of a collector-investor. My silver and gold coin collections give immeasurable joy and they are the most cherished investments I own.