Why do People Collect Coins?

That is a question that non-collectors often ask me. If you go to a large coin show or convention you will see hundreds of people looking at coins, haggling over prices and writing checks. So why do people collect coins?

In my experience, most people collect because they have the desire to own these small pieces of history. There is a love or fascination in owning these easily portable items. Coins can be miniature works of art, exhibiting a style and beauty all their own. The collectors love looking at these shiny objects, owning them, filling holes in their albums and, of course, acquiring more of them. They recognize not only are coins mediums of exchange –you could actually spend them at face value – but they are much more than that. If you are looking at a 1794 United States Large Cent, you are looking at a true piece of history, one that President George Washington may have held and admired in his own hands, having just been newly minted by the two-year-old United States Mint in Philadelphia.

Coins are a passport back to an earlier age. Whether the collector grew up with these coins in their pockets as a child or has just recently begun to appreciate the designs, looking at someone’s coin collection gives them great pride. In fact, the harder the collection has been to assemble, the more pride the owner has in this prized possession.

There are many other reasons why someone puts the time, effort and money together to collect coins. An enjoyable hobby, a worthwhile pursuit, having items of historical significance or having a simple desire to accumulate are all fairly common reasons. One undeniable reason to collect is also the profit motive! While most collectors hesitate to mention they bought something in hopes of making a profit, that truly is an underlying motive for most people.  

The average collector acquires an interest in a particular series of coins, starts collecting them and is proud of building that collection. But at the end of the day, whether the collection is sold in the market, placed in an auction or passed on to heirs, every collector hopes that all their efforts pay off handsomely when their collection in liquidated.

There are many reasons why people collect coins. Each reason is as individual as each collector but they all share a belief: An enjoyment or a love of the coins they collect.

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AURIC