Numismatics used to be considered the "hobby of kings," but, to get started collecting, you need very little money. Almost anyone can start collecting coins. Modern US coinage starts at one cent, so that is what we are going to be taking a look at today. This is perfect for beginning collectors or getting kids into collecting. How to get started?
1.) Take 25 dollars to your bank. Ask the teller if he or she has any boxes of cents. Hopefully, the teller will say that they do and be happy to give you a Boxes cost 25 dollars and contain 2,500 coins. *Please note that some banks, whether they be individual branches or the chain as a whole, may not be allowed to sell coin boxes to non-businesses. To make the process easier, be sure to have an account with that bank.
2.) Take the box home, open it up on a large flat surface, like a dining room table, and begin searching through the coins. Most banks require you to roll the coins back up before returning them. If this is the case with your bank, be sure to keep the rolls intact. I recommend carefully unrolling one end and push the coins out from the other end.
3.) Start searching through the coins. Sort the coins by date and mint-mark. If the coin does not have a mint-mark, it does not mean it is an error coin (unless it is 2017). No mint-mark means the coin was minted in Philadelphia, "D" means Denver, and "S" means San Francisco. Chances are, you will find very few if any, "S" coins.
4.) Once you have finished going through the box, which will take a long time, choose what coins you are going to keep and what you will be taking back to the bank. Because you are starting a collection, you should keep the best coin of each year and mint-mark. I would also recommend keeping any pre-1959 cents. While these will look the same on the obverse, these coins have a different reverse. If you have found any coins that look different, keep those as well. While rare, it is possible to find Indian Head Cents in a cent box. These were minted until 1909. You should definitely keep these coins as well. Some people like to keep any copper coins, any coin before 1983. The metal value is worth about 2 cents, even though it is illegal to melt the coins. I would also recommend keeping any 2009 coins. Being a bicentennial year, they had differing reverse designs. If you want, you can also keep any Canadian coins or other foreign coins, which are often found in boxes, since they were the same shape as the American Cents are.
5.) Unless your bank has a free coin counter, place the coins back in the rolls. Be sure there are 50 coins in each roll. Take the rolls back to the bank and give them to the teller. They should be able to either give you the money for them directly or deposit the money into your account.
6.) You will now want to go to Hobby Lobby or another store that sells coin folders, like a local coin shop. Pick up a few Lincoln Cent coin folders, likely one for Wheat Cents and one for Memorial/Shield Cents. The money you got back from the returned coins should cover the cost of the folders, especially if you use the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby. (This is not an advertisement for Hobby Lobby. I just like to buy my coin supplies there).
7.) Once you arrive home, place each coin in its respective spots. After going through an entire box, you should have a decent collection of Memorial and Shield Cents, and hopefully, at least a few Wheat Cents.
8.) Enjoy your collection! Don't stop there! You can always keep purchasing boxes to continue filling your books and growing your collection. To continue growing your collecting knowledge, consider the current Red Book, Cheerypicker's Guide, and also invest in a good loupe (magnifier) to make your collecting easier and so you can see every part of your coin in incredibly clear detail. Don't forget a good quality light to be sure to see the coins properly.