Coin Collecting Merit Badge Requirements
This page gives simple explanations and hints on how a scout, usually ages 11-17 could complete the requirements to earn his Coin Collecting Merit Badge.
Further information is available in the Coin Collecting Merit Badge Booklet. The booklet is available at scout service centers (council offices) and in troop libraries.
1: Understand how coins are made, and where the active U.S. mint facilities are located.
2: Explain these terms: obverse, reverse, reeding, clad, type set, date set.
3: Explain the grading terms: Poor, Good, Very Good, Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine and Uncirculated. Show five different grade examples of the same type coin. Explain the term ‘Proof’ and explain why it is not a grade. Tell what ‘encapsulated’ coins are.
- Poor: PO-1
- Fair: FR-2
- About Good: AG-3
- Good: G-4, G-6
- Very Good: VG-8, VG-10
- Fine: F-12, F-15
- Very Fine: VF-20, VF-25, VF-30, VF-35
- Extremely Fine: EF-40 (XF-40), EF-45 (XF-45)
- About Uncirculated: AU-50, AU-53, AU-55, AU-58
- Uncirculated or Mint State: MS-60 to MS-70
4: Know three different ways to store a collection, and describe the benefits, drawbacks and expense of each of these methods. Pick one to use when completing requirements.
5: Do the following:
- Identify the persons depicted on the following denominations of current U.S. paper money: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
- Explain ‘Legal Tender.’
- Describe the role the Federal Reserve System plays in the distribution of currency.
6: Do the following:
- Demonstrate to your counselor that you know how to use two U.S. or world coin reference catalogs.
- Read a numismatic magazine or newspaper and tell your counselor about what you learned.
7: Describe the 1999-2008 50 state quarter program. Collect and show your counselor five different state quarters you have acquired from circulation.
8: Collect from circulation a set of currently circulating U.S. coins (cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar). For each coin, locate the mint marks and designers’ initials, if any.
9: Do one of the following:
- Collect and identify 50 foreign coins from at least 10 different countries.
- Collect and identify 20 bank notes from at least 5 different countries.
- Collect and identify 15 different tokens or medals.
- Collect a date set of a single type since the year of your birth.
- World coins and bank notes are fun, inexpensive, educational, exciting.
- They help you learn about history, geography, economics, etc.
- Buy or borrow a copy of the Standard Catalog of World Coins (Krause Publications)
- You can purchase world coins by the pound from some dealers.
- Keep an inventory of your collection. You might want to include: Country, location, denomination, date, material, purchase price, date of purchase, interesting facts, etc.
- There are lots of ways to collect including: by denomination, country, design (animals, plants or flowers, women on coins, etc.), or try to collect one coin or note from every country.
- A token is a coin-like object that is usually made of metal and represents a particular value or coin. Token are sometimes referred to as “Good Fors” because they may be “Good For” or exchangeable for a particular item (like one glass of soda) or service (like one hair cut). Some can be traded for actual money, most cannot. Tokens can advertise a particular merchant or product and can be very interesting and fun to collect.
- A medal is a coin-like object that is struck for award, celebration or commemoration. Unlike a token or coin, they have no stated value. Medals can be beautiful, elaborate pieces of art and are highly collectible.
Many books on tokens are found in the ANA Library and available for loan to ANA members.
There is a National club for people interested in collecting Tokens and Medals – “TAMS” (Token and Medal Society). They have an excellent journal.
10: Do one of the following:
- Tour a U.S. Mint facility, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or a Federal Reserve Bank and describe what you learned to your counselor.
- With your parent’s permission, attend a coin show or a coin club meeting, or view the Web site of the U.S. Mint or a coin dealer, and report on what you learned.
- Give a talk about coin collecting to your troop or class at school.
- Do drawings of five colonial-era U.S. coins.
For information about Colonial coins, click here