Coin collecting is a popular pastime. Some people choose to collect coins as a hobby, and some as an investment.
As we move into the digital banking age, cryptocurrency and card readers, coins and notes may well become obsolete in the near future. What was once lose change, could be a valuable collectible some day.
Coin collecting, part of the wider subject of Numismatics, which is the study and collection of items that are used as money – coins, tokens, and paper bills.
Mint Dates and special features
We all use coins and mostly overlook the detail on them. Under a magnifying glass, you can really get up close and appreciate the design and detail.
Once you start your collection, you will be looking out for mint dates, artist and learn about history and metals.
You can start off by looking out for commemorative coins that are currently in circulation. Rare 50p and £2 coins are sold on ebay. The famous Kew Gardens 50p sells for over £100 in good condition. Or you can keep an eye out for the Shakespere £2, which is part of a set of three coins to commemorate Shakespeare, which people like to collect.
Other coins include, Paddington bear, Olympic Games 50ps, and commemorative £2 cons.
Even the humble 20p coin has some value, if you find one without without a date.
Types of British Coins
- Circulation coins
- British predecimal coins
- British Hammered coins
British Pre decimal Coins
British pre-decimal coins were demonetised in 1971. Pre-decimal coins are the farthing, halfpenny, penny, threepence, sixpence, shilling, florin, half-crown, crown.
British Hammered Coins
British Pre-Decimal Coins are coins produced by striking a blank ‘planchet’ between two ‘dies’. The imprint created when struck with a hammer. These are very collectible and some fetch large prices.
Which Coins to collect?
Once you start understanding more about coin collecting you will find yourself choosing to collect wthin a particular type or denomination.
Typically collectors choose to specialise in one specific area.
Error Coins, Proof Coins and BU Coins
In addition to the dates and types of coins, there are other things to look out for too. Even modern coin error coin can be worth a lot of money.
Error coins are a coin with a flaw it it made during the minting process. These have names including double strike, a cud and xxx
These are often extremely rare, difficult to acquire and carry a high price tag.
Proof coins are specially minted for collectors. They have immaculate design and finish made to the highest quality. The pinnacle of coin collecting.
Commemorative coins are issued in the UK to mark special events or tribute to an important person. Commemorative Coins are popular to collect.
Brilliant Uncirculated coins are coins in perfect condition. They have never been in circulated, so no scratches or imperfections.
Gold and Bullion Coins
Bullion coins are coins made from precious metals including gold, platinum and silver. These coins have a numismatic value (depending on their age, condition and rarity) as well as a bullion value.
Where to Buy Coins
You can buy coins online, from specialist dealers and you may even find some at boot fairs and markets.
The Royal Mint Museum
Opened in 2016, this purpose-built visitor attraction, based on the Royal Mint site in Llantrisant South Wales, comprises a guided tour of the circulating coin factory where you can see thousands of freshly minted coins tumble from coining presses and have the opportunity to ‘strike your own coin’.
The Royal Mint Museum has one of the finest collections of coins, medals, artwork and minting equipment in the world. A living and working collection, it reflects the changing practical needs of the Royal Mint and is widely respected for the knowledge of its staff and the quality of its research.
British Commemorative Medals and Their Values
British Commemorative Medals and their Values is a fabulous gift for anyone interested in coins, tokens and medals. The book was awarded the IAPN Book Prize by the International Association of Professional Numimstists.
Click here to visit Christopher Eimers website to buy a copy.