Login

iccoins's Blog

04 Oct 2018

Start Collecting For 25 Dollars

Coins | iccoins

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.  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 box.* 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.   

  1. 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.   

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.  

  1. 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).    

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.

Comments

Kepi

Level 6

All great ideas! Good luck searching ; )

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :)

JimmyD

Level 4

Nice post iccoins. It should be very helpful for new numismatists, and I learned something about how banks work in this area. Thanks. Jim

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :) Unfortunately, banks are not always the easiest to deal with in regards to coins.

World_Coin_Nut

Level 5

Great advice for a beginner.

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :)

Very easy, and pennies should be the starter coin, wheat cents can still be found in circulation, along with some chances of an indian head penny, and all t takes is time.

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :) That is one of the main reasons I chose cents. If you start by looking for silver, you will quickly give up because there is a very good chance you won't find any in even several boxes. Wheat cents, on the other hand, are simple to find and it isn't rare in any sense to find many in a single box :)

CoinLady

Level 6

Great advice. Nothing like roll searching. I also recommend the Cherrypicker's Guide.

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :) The Cherrypicker's Guide is a great resource. I miss CRH :(

"SUN"

Level 5

A Redbook should be the first book beside coin folders to get started.

iccoins

Level 4

It definitely should :)

Longstrider

Level 6

I will add that you should get a good grading type light, a loupe and a Cherrypickers guide. These will really get you going. Good luck.

iccoins

Level 4

I was setting this up for a super beginner, but I just added the things you mentioned :)

Mike

Level 7

You can start to twenty five dollars or ten dollars . They will give you what you ask for. Wells Fargo has different denominations. Higher coinage. It's simply called coin rolling. Or check your change everyday. Most banks if you have an account have a machine just pour it all back if you find nothing. Watch out the box they give you might be all new cents. It's happened. They will take it back if you open it in the bank. That has happened to many times. Some are mixed. Thanks for the blog and tips. They will help. Mike

iccoins

Level 4

You can start with anything, but I would just pick an entire box. My bank doesn't have a coin counter, but I do know a lot do.

We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.