A Beginner’s Guide to Coin Collecting by Michael Rotolo www.rarecoinbargains.comCoin collecting is a hobby that is extremely popular among a lot of people. It isone of the oldest and most popular hobbies. Whatever a person’s age, collectingcoins has its appeal. For children, pretty or unusual coins are the most fun tocollect and the joy of discovering shiny new coins in circulation is encouraging.I started my son out collecting coins by giving him all my pocket change wheneverI returned from a trip abroad. Consequently he has coins (and bills) from France,England, Iceland, Costa Rica, Barbados, and Italy. For adults however, its thevalue of the coins rather than merely the looks that grips them.People have different ways to acquire their collection. Some will just collect anycoin that they stumble upon, while there are people who buy in bulk and eagerlyanticipate limited mint edition of coins. Whatever your methods are, there may besome questions that you may want to ask about this particular hobby.The first would be about handling the coin collection. As a beginner, you mustunderstand that you should handle the coins as little as possible. The fact isthat fingerprints on an uncirculated coin will dramatically degrade the value ofthe coin. Therefore, you must avoid handling your coins at all. However, if youmust handle the coin, do so from the edge and never on the face of the coin.If you need to lay the coin down, it is important to use a velvet pad if it isavailable. But, if none is available, a soft and clean cloth will do. If you aregoing to handle coins that are extremely high in value, you must do so withsurgical gloves and protective face mask to avoid the damage a cough or sneezecould do.You will also need to know how to care for a coin collection. Many have made themistake of cleaning a coin they thought to be “dirty”, or not shiny enough.Basically, the short answer is that you should never even even think aboutcleaning a coin. Experienced collectors look for the authenticity of the coinrather than its shiny newness. Even if you wipe the coin clean with clean, soft,and lint-free rag, it will leave hair line scratches on the coin which willgreatly reduce its value. So, cleaning a coin collection is never really anoption.Storage is also another question that you may have about coin collecting. The goalin storing your coin collection is to protect it from temperature extremes andhumidity. Also, you must protect your coin collection from dust, dirt, chemicals,and of course, fingerprints. So a dry storage location is essential. If need be,you may have to run a dehumidifier in the room where you store your collection ifyou live in an extremely humid climate.In most cases, low value coins are kept in almost any container and can be handledany way you like. However, when you are dealing with high value coins, you willneed to give it extra attention. The goal here is to utilize a container that willpreserve the coin’s condition. Make sure the container is as airtight as possible,and the container should also be able to display the coin in order for you tonever need to take out the coin from the container. Holders made especially forthis purpose are easily found through any coin dealer.Uncirculated coins are very much valued by collectors. However, if you really wanta valuable coin collection, go for rarest ones you can afford to purchase. Buycoins that are graded and encapsulated by a major grading service like PCGS,ANACS, or NGC. Learning about grading coins can also help you to determine thetrue value of a particular coin.