Coin Albums

Coin Collecting as a Hobby

Coins have long fascinated people and the practice of collecting coins may actually date back thousands of years. This page covers various aspects of the hobby. Below you will find information on how people organize their collections and, on connecting pages, you will find basic information about coin grading and coin collecting resources.

Kinds of Coin Collections

There are many different ways to go about collecting coins. Below is a list of some of the most popular methods. One does not have to choose one system over another - many coin enthusiasts maintain several collections, each organized differently (e.g., a collection of interesting Foreign coins, a collection of National coins all belonging to a single Series, and a collection of Proof Sets). It is also possible to combine the methods described below (e.g., a Type Set collection of Ancient coins pertaining to a particular Historic period - such as examples of Denarii minted during the Roman Republic).

National- Modern coins minted by one's own country.

Foreign - Modern coins minted by one or more foreign countries.

Historic - Modern or Ancient coins pertaining to a particular time period or historic event (e.g., coins of Germany's Third Reich).

Ancient - Coins produced in antiquity. Greek and Roman coins would be the most popular in this category.

Series - Consists of all coins with a particular design minted over a period of time. (e.g., Lincoln Pennies minted from 1909 through 1958 - "Wheat Cents"). Series collectors would also be interested in examples of the series produced by different mints.

Type Set - Consists of coins representing a particular denomination (e.g., all six types of US dime - Draped Bust, Capped Bust, Seated Liberty, Barber, Mercury, and Roosevelt).

Proof Set - Proof coins were originally produced in order to check the dies before striking numerous copies and to provide archival examples for future reference. Today, proof coins are produced primarily for collectors. Modern proof coins have a mirror-like surface and frosted images. They are produced from polished planchets and dies, and may be struck more than once to enhance their details. Proof coins are not found in circulation and must be purchased from the mint or from a coin dealer.

Mint Errors - Consists of coins with one or more defects due to minting errors. These may include such things as the doubling of letters, rotation of an image, or off-center strikes. Collectors recognize three basic categories of minting errors - die errors, planchet errors, and striking errors. See section of this web site on minting.

Themes - Themed collections put together coins that represent a particular subject. Hence, one may collect all coins depicting animals, plants, or a particular person.