New to Collecting???
At Numisor, we aim to provide as much support and information to help all aspiring new collectors, no matter what age or gender, by providing you with knowledge gained by our experts over the last 40 years in the business.
Firstly, you have to decide what you want to do with your hobby, how did you get involved in coin collecting, was it by chance, or did you have a passion for coins that drove you to collect?? All these questions are the foundations of the reasoning behind wanting to collect.
For me, I was born into coins, my father was a full time coin dealer from the year 1967, when I was 1 year old, and so I followed in his footsteps and started collecting coins from around the age of 10 years, this developed into a full blown obsession by the time I was 18 years and after I began to earn my own money working, I started to deal part time, the rest is as they say, history.
Back to you, I think my first advice to any collector would be to focus, this will save energy, time and money in the long term, so decide what it is you want to collect and why, also decide what is your budget for funding your hobby.
Be very careful to stay within your allocated budget, it is so easy to over stretch your finances when you get into collecting, after all, it is a form of obsession?
Sourcing your coins is not always easy, so Numisor will service any client wants lists for you, we have access to some of the biggest markets for coins in the world, through our close relations with other international dealers in USA, UK, EUROPE, SOUTH AMERICA and RUSSIA, and from our very own extensive and diverse stock of world coins.
Once you have a budget decided and you know what you would like to collect, select a theme, maybe you will collect a certain size of coin, or certain denomination, some collect images such as Elephants, Horses and other animals portrayed on coins, whilst many just stick to the country & metal type, so gold, Silver, Copper etc. Obviously, the metal content can greatly affect the prices, especially with gold coins, but most numismatic coins are prized for their rarity, condition and demand, so always try to buy the very best quality possible within your budget, this will allow you to gather a nice collection, which will in turn , gather more value in time, nothing can compensate for quality, so rather than trying to buy say 20 coins for your collection, go for one, but one very nice coin, this will always be saleable in the future.
If you need any advice on budgeting, collecting themes, or just general support for your collecting, please email our experts who will be glad to respond to your questions.
G- Good- Usually very worn surfaces, little of original design remaining, faint hints of actual coin design
VG- Very Good- Better than Good, the design details are more prominent, but surfaces very worn and flat in appearance
F-Fine- Details on higher points of coin are more prominent, all design features are visible, but show significant ware.
GF- Good Fine- Better than Fine grade, but still showing signs of ware all over
AVF- Almost Very Fine- Very much improved on GF, but still lacking all the sharper areas on the coins design
VF- Very Fine- This is a middle grade, all design features are visible, all surfaces are showing signs of normal wear & tear, but generally, the appearance of this coin is pleasing.
GVF- Good Very Fine- A much nicer coin showing some brightness in the fields, stronger details and sharper design features
EF- Extremely Fine- The benchmark for a nice coin, all high points are nice, but show some minor wear under magnification, surfaces are brighter, fresher, edges are sharp, and altogether more defined coin
UNC- Uncirculated- This coin is as sharp as the day it was struck, never seen general coin circulation, therefore, all areas on the surfaces and in the design are bold, possible friction, or in field contact marks from storage issues.
Choice BU- Choice Bright Uncirculated- As UNC, but as struck and then instantly stored for collectors market, very very sharp details and high points even under close scrutiny
PROOF- This coin has to be struck by the mint on polished dies, which leaves a very high glossy finish to the overall appearance, the coin should never be touched with the skin, gloves should be used, unless by an expert
FDC- Fleur de Coin- The top grade for a non proof issue coin, the coin is as perfect now as the day it was struck.
*These grades are used for raw coins, those not sent to a professional grading company and slabbed, they are open to interpretation and therefore, a buyer will often under grade, whilst a seller will want to over grade.
*For the explanation of the professional grading services terminology for their grading systems, please visit the respective companies websites, in particular NGC (National Guarantee Corporation) and PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Services)