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Collecting Well

Avoiding mistakes and maintaining the joy of collecting

When I first started collecting, as well as buying and selling coins in 1970 I wish I had somebody to give me a few pointers, as it would have  been a great help from a financial perspective and would have gone a long way toward maintaining my enjoyment of numismatics beyond the value they held as a commodity to trade. So here are a few pointers. 

1. Learn how to grade. Don't put all your trust in third party grading . Learning to grade well is a big part of enjoying the hobby. Similarly learn to recognize if a coin has been cleaned or altered. Get to know experts and do as they do, confer together, as nobody knows it all and everybody has made mistakes with regard to grading and the originality of a coins surfaces. In fact this conferencing, which often leads to camaraderie, may well be the most enjoyable aspect of the numismatic hobby.


2. Learn to distinguish between what is truly rare and what is often promoted as rare. Do not place all your rarity decisions on population reports. In general they are at best a guide to begin your own research. This is especially true with Colonial coins and Early U.S. Copper coins, and particularly so when it comes to die varieties and die states. Learning what is truly rare is one of the great joys of the numismatic pursuit. Again talk with the long timers as they have seen a lot. Pick their brains. You will find that most are more than willing to help.

3. Become familiar with the entire run of U.S. Coins from Colonials to modern. Look at a lot of coins. Learn the histories significance and become familiar with the designers. Likewise study the history of numismatics and numismatists. Some of the personalities are quite colorful. Learn  the dates of issue for each series and get a grasp of the key pieces, as well as the unique characteristics and peculiarities of each series. When I first started out I devoured the Redbook cover to cover. Go to coins shows, visit dealers and look at coins on line. After spending months, maybe even a year, becoming  familiar with as many series as possible, go back and ask yourself what is most intriguing? What caught your eye and your heart? And then specialize. Become an expert in a the particular area that interests you the most. Learn all you can about it. Now is the time to begin to put together a library of specialized books, auction catalogs, and articles that pertain to your specialty. While doing this become involved in a community of like-minded collectors and dealers. Join organizations and clubs that specialize in the area you have chosen. For me this meant joining the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), Early American Coppers (EAC) and The Civil War Token Collectors Society. You will certainly find this to be the greatest source of joy when it comes to your numismatic pursuits.

4.  Be a buyer but, at the beginning, take it slow. As you learn you will get more for your money and will be buying coins that you are likely to   want to hold, long term. Or, if buying and selling you will be more likely to be purchasing coins that will be more pleasing to your customers. It is a good rule of thumb to be a numismatist first and a trader second.

Some Abbreviations That You Should be Familiar With On Our Site

Grading Abbreviations: F, fine (12-15); VF, very fine (20-35); XF, extra fine (40-45); AU, almost uncirculated (50-58); MS, mint state (60-70)

Variety Reference designations: For Colonials, M= Maris for N.J Coppers; M= Miller for Connecticut coppers; R=Ryder for Massachusetts coppers; V=Vlack for Mahins Mill coppers; RR=Ryder/Richardson for Vermont Coppers; For Half Cents C= Cohen; for Large Cents S=Sheldon and N= Newcomb 

Terms of Sale

1. All items are available when listed on the website. However, each are subject to first to order or being placed on hold.


2. To ask about an item, or to make a purchase please send email to, or you can order directly from the listed item, or you may call or text 321-759-5760 to arrange another payment method.


3. We accept phone or email requests to hold an item pending payment within 10 days.

4. Layaway is available with 1/3rd down and 1/3rd a month for the next two months.


5. We offer a 15 day, no questions asked, return privilege on all items.

6. All our coins come with a photo certificate with more details on Condition Census and pedigrees, when applicable. (Click button to see a sample photo certificate) 


7. Postage and insurance is added to all orders under $350. All other orders are delivered postpaid.

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