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Beginner Collector looking for more knowledge

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mac266 View Drop Down
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Joined: 29 Aug 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mac266 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Beginner Collector looking for more knowledge
    Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 7:38am
Oops, that wasn't the last piece of advice.  I wanted to expand more on the "Grading Coins by Photographs" book.  You MUST learn to grade coins, and focus your skill development on the coin series you're going to collect first (ok, to be honest, I don't do just one series, but I do one at a time).  Be wary of a dealer's grade on a coin.  You do not have to agree with the dealer's grade; grade it yourself and decide what you're willing to pay.  If you think it's overgraded and the dealer will work with you on price, then great!  If he won't budge and you still disagree, don't buy that coin.  Chances are, you're not buying anything that is truly unique.  There is another 1929-S mercury dime out there, for example.  
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mac266 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mac266 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 7:36am
Originally posted by Bullseye Bullion Bullseye Bullion wrote:

Pick up "Grading Coins by Photographs" - Q. David Bowers. Great Learning tool, especially for beginners. Has a picture of every US Coin type in every grade level (Circulated) Does not have MS pics, but describes Mint State for each type. I have been a collector for 18 years and a dealer for 5 and I still use it.

^^^ This is a very good resource. ^^^

I also recommend joining the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org) and taking their correspondence courses.  FYI, if you don't want the diplomas for each course, you don't pay the $100 registration and $200 testing fee for a comprehensive test at the end.  You just buy the courses and do them as you have time, just don't send the tests in for grading.  You'll get lots of good information without the added fees for a diploma!

You also get a great magazine with membership, and a few other benefits like being able to submit coins to NGC for certification.  You pay more for a paper magazine over a digital one, take your pick.

Secondly, the rule of thumb in coin collecting is "buy the book before the coin."  In other words, do NOT buy a little of every type of coin that interests you.  Instead, find a coin series you like (i.e. Indian Head Cents, Buffalo Nickels, etc.), and buy at least one book about that series.  Learn everything you can about the series, and THEN start buying coins.  If you join the ANA like I suggested above, you get the privilege of checking out books from their library.  If you don't live near Colorado Springs where they are headquartered, they mail the books to you for the cost of shipping!  You can't go wrong here.  Take some time and LEARN before you start buying.

Thirdly, a common mistake new collectors make is to buy as many coins as they can afford.  You'll regret it later.  A better approach is to buy ONE coin that is the BEST one you can afford.  In other words, if you have $20 to spend on coins, then buy one $20 coin instead of four $5 coins.  Yes, it will take a lot longer to develop a collection, but you'll be much happier with yourself in the long run!  Trust me, I started collecting coins at age 8 and now that I'm approaching 40, I wish I had learned this one earlier.  

Last piece of advice I'll throw your way:  Stay away from eBay until you know what you're doing, and even then be leary of it.  There are a LOT of unscrupulous sellers on there, and there are lots of ways to disguise problems with coins in digital formats.  
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MatthewPompa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MatthewPompa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2013 at 1:34am
Congratulations for making a beginning. I am of the opinion that coin collecting is an interest of the elite. More knowledge can be derived from internet, books on antiques and collectibles else find a coin collector who will be a great help to you.
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Bullseye Bullion View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bullseye Bullion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2013 at 12:20am
Pick up "Grading Coins by Photographs" - Q. David Bowers. Great Learning tool, especially for beginners. Has a picture of every US Coin type in every grade level (Circulated) Does not have MS pics, but describes Mint State for each type. I have been a collector for 18 years and a dealer for 5 and I still use it.
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leclair67 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote leclair67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2012 at 8:15am
Hello I am a beginner at collecting. I just wanted to know if there are any sites or good books that would help me with grading my coins on my own. I have seen a couple of sites that are very basic with a good to fine rating but I would like to learn the sheldon rating.
Thanks
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