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What NOT to do when starting a new coin collection.

Robbie Colborne |

There are many ways to get involved with coin collecting. There are almost endless options when starting a coin collection. Coinage dates back over 2,500 years, so the possibilities in terms of collecting are almost endless.


Some forms of coin collecting are quite technical and require expertise in order to make informed decisions when purchasing coins. I personally would find it very difficult to make heads or tails of the value of an Ancient Greek coin collection (luckily I have others to help me with that!).


I hope this article provides some advice on what new collectors can do to avoid some of the common mistakes when starting a coin collection!


If you’re interested in historic coins, I would advise inexperienced coins collectors to buy coins from reputable dealers that have been graded. Grading is the process by which a third party independently assigns a grade to a coin. My view is that the two companies you can trust with this are PCGS and NGC. By purchasing graded coins, you avoid any subjective elements in a coin’s ‘grade’ and have a coin that has been authenticated. Graded coins will also minimise the risk of purchasing coins that have been ‘cleaned’ or have other detractions that significantly alter the value of a coin, but might not be something an inexperienced collector can identify. This protects you from overpaying for coins. Experienced coin collectors have the skills and knowledge to purchase coins ‘raw’ or without the additional security of grading.


If a collector is interested in buying newly released coins, my advice would always be to purchase either Royal Australian Mint or Perth Mint releases. These mints both have pedigrees and are recognised throughout the industry. Therefore, when you wish to sell your collection, you will have a much easier time than if the coins come from a more obscure mint. It has also been my experience, that many of the coins released from private companies lose a great deal of their value and are therefore not particularly strong investments, although this is not always the case. My advice remains constant. If you like a coin, buy it, but don’t always have expectations that it will turn into a large financial gain.


When starting a new coin collection you should always ask if are you buying these coins for aesthetic reasons or as an investment. If you’re purchasing for aesthetic reasons, buy whatever you like and enjoy the coins! That will be the value paid for them.


If you wish to purchase coins for investment, make sure to understand what you’re purchasing. I would refrain from buying the latest release from the mint that has sold out. These items are often massively overvalued and eventually come down in price. I would also purchase coins that come from reputable dealers and are graded until you learn more about this great hobby. Lastly, I would avoid purchasing coins within Australia that are not produced by the Royal Australian Mint or Perth Mint, especially when starting out.



I hope this advice is of some help! If you have any questions, you can contact me at the following…







Great advice! The only further advice I would add is something which the author suggested elsewhere: be patient. Take the time to decide what you want, what you’re willing to pay, and then wait until that coin at that price becomes available. This is especially true for new-release coins where a “fear of missing out” can drive prices very high, before prices inevitably come down again. Be patient, and simply get the coin later.

Alister J,

I’m grateful that you mentioned the recommendation to buy coins from reputable mints like the Royal Australian Mint or the Perth Mint. I had no idea about this before, and it’s good to know that these coins have a recognized pedigree in the industry. Speaking of coins, I’m actually in need of a quote for a coin collection that I want to sell this week. Would you happen to know any reliable coin dealers who can provide a fair appraisal? https://www.tistamps.net/

Taylor Abrams,

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