Coin Collecting: Investment or Hobby?

Coin Collecting: Investment or Hobby?Do you remember the first coin in your collection? Most of us recall the thrill of that first acquisition, holding it in our hands and imagining the stories it could tell. I’ll bet you didn’t even consider the coin’s possible monetary value.

My first collectible coin was a U.S. Lincoln “wheatie” cent. Over the years I’ve saved every “wheatie” that has crossed my path. Delighted each time I find one, I’ve never been concerned about their resale value. But not all coin collecting is just for fun. Many of us do hope to profit eventually from the items we purchase and so carefully assemble into collections.

The More You Know, the Better Your Outcome:

Fortunately, coin collecting is a wonderfully flexible hobby. You can be as casual or as serious as you like in terms of time and money spent. You can learn just a bit about a single coin or become an expert in a variety of areas. The same is true of investing. And with both endeavors, the more you know the better your financial outcome.

And there’s a lot to know about coins! So much so that there is a special word for coin experts, they’re called numismatists. Even numismatists can’t guarantee a positive financial outcome from their collections. (I work with one and if coins were a fail-safe investment she wouldn’t need her day job!) The value of any coin is dependent on many varying factors (see our blog What is My Coin Worth for more information). As with any collectibles market, trends can change in numismatics and no one can ever guarantee returns.

Therefore, for most all of us, coin collecting makes a better hobby than an investment scheme!

A Hobby That Pays:

Often hobbies only provide diminishing returns. They are usually a pleasurable pastime but cost money and have no return value (think knitting, RC car racing or fishing). Coin collecting, on the other hand, does provide a tangible item that will always carry at least its denominational and metal content value. That combination of numismatic interest and metal content is what we call the “double-dynamic” of coin collecting. And there’s always the possibility of finding a valuable treasure that has been overlooked. This sure can add to the thrill of the coin hunt!

Whether you are a collector, an investor, or both, coin collecting can be a rewarding hobby that not only benefits you, but helps preserve history for future generations!

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