5 Important Ways How to Start A Coin Collection

Starting a collection is something one must have passion , dedication or something of sentimental value . One of the most common items collected are coins , paper bills, stamps and postcards. They are easily transported via land, baggage and air.

There is a popular television show Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho last June 4 episode, who featured a coin collector ( Barya Milyones segment ) from Nueva Ecija province, The featured collector collect  loose change from her brother who was a seaman .

They were able to collect a lot of coins with the special feature about the Sacagawea dollar.  There was a high expectation on the part of the coin collector that it was worth millions of pesos,  until the president of Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society (PNAS) was invited to appraise the coins ( face value Php 49. 36 as of June 5 exchange rate) . Must to the dismay of the coin collector.

Japanese coins from different era- personal collection of the author 

Here are the 5 Important Ways to Start a Coin Collection

1.) Motivation – The motivations for collecting are varied. Possibly the most common type of collector is the hobbyist, who amasses a collection purely for fun with no real expectation of profit. This is especially true of casual collectors and children who collect items on the basis of chance and personal interest.

2. ) Passion -Have a passion and try to collect them from KKK – Kaibigan , Kakilala at Kamag-anaks – These connections are necessary to start a collection. Starting a collection may not be an expensive hobby at first, as relatives and friends would always give handy and loose change . Eventually sorting them and making a theme , out of your collection – American regime, Commonwealth, Kings, Queens, Popes etc…

proof set coins minted by Franklin Mint , USA circa late 1970’s  sold before the Central Bank of the Philippines ( with certificate of authenticity)

3.) Research–  Try to do some research on the coins or items, There are some second hand coin catalogs for sale at several flea market and second hand bookstore . They are categorized by country or by time period. Joining a reputable collecting club is another option . There are a lot of people that have the same passion and hobby .

Some are helpful and will lend a helping hand , BUT some will just tell stories ala Indiana Jones and will sell over priced items.  Joining FB groups , forum sites and peer group will also help.

There are also good places in the Philippines to visit , Money Museum within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas compound at Harrison Plaza in Manila had an interesting collection of coins , banknotes and pre-hispanic items. Appointment is a MUST for those who wanted to visit the museum.

Remember that in the field of numismatic also includes medals, tokens and private issuance of companies. There are also counterfeits of coins, tokens and paper money since time immemorial . Sometimes, they are more expensive than the real counterparts.

There are a lot of coins made in China , India and other parts of the world intended for unsuspecting tourist. My uncle bought some silver coins allegedly from a dealer in Bangkok in one of his foreign trips. The silver coins are supposedly was minted in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Unsuspectingly bought them without properly inspecting the items. It was kept in a bank vault for several decades until his death.

Initially, it was intended to be sold to cover his funeral expenses but upon close inspection, all of the silver coins are fake and with very little silver content. Apparently, they are made using the old techniques of molds.

Even a seasoned coin collector would have a hard time with these items, there were thousands or even millions made to lure unsuspecting tourists.

 Personally , I do not recommend searching some buying sites, since they are  sometimes overpriced and does not reflect the real market value.

Bagong Lipunan bills – mint condition

4.) 4 C’s of Coin Collecting – After amassing the desired quantity, One can start sorting the coin collecting.

Common Themes- It can be based on per country, year collection,mint, period , era and theme.

Condition – Seasoned collectors will always look for the best condition of coins, so avoid holding coin with bare hands and try to buy coin holder , They are available in ordinary cheap paper holder to more expensive ones. They can be bought at a specialty stores in US, UK or HK .

One must also know if the coin are minted as to commemorative or special issuance, One must note that some issues are highly collectible since they commemorate an event and limited in quantity . Government issues like Central Banks are highly sought after by collectors, as to compared to private institutions.

Modern commemorative proof set coin issuance are normally sealed in nice containers with certificate of authenticity issued by the issuing government entity. Do not attempt to remove the coins or items on the containers as they are sealed and will quickly loose its value.

Coins with metallic or intrinsic values like gold, silver, platinum and bronze are collectible and desired by collectors.

Capacity – Remember that at one time , one will buy collectible items. One must always think of the person’s capacity and market value.  Do not try to over buy or hoard items.

Cleaning Coins – Generally , It is not acceptable to clean old coins especially more than 50 years-old and above. Just keep it as is and do not attempt to use abrasive coin cleaners. ( Done that with a couple of silver coins before with my ROTC metal polish before !) ordinary baking soda with mild detergent power will do wonders.

It is also not always the case that an old coin is worth more than the modern coin. There are billions or millions of coins minted and thus sometimes they are not that expensive.  ( author was able to bought a couple of Roman era coins worth about a hundred pesos )

5.) Collect for the Fun and Knowledge – Met a lot of collectors which started with full of zest with their collection.  Buying a lot of  items at flea market , club auction and online sites. Buying them by bulk as if there was no tomorrow.

One collector would even post a weekly update on his facebook page , buying package full at several sites and falsely telling stories that they were heirloom family collection .

I was told that the collector somehow lost his interest in collecting is now selling the items he hoarded.

I used to be a member of the Bank Note Society of the Philippines (BNSP ) for a couple of years during the incumbency of President Cecilio Hodreal . His son is now active in collecting banknotes, coins and stamps.

Note : The author does not buy and sell and had a limited number of coin and paper bill collection. 

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One thought on “5 Important Ways How to Start A Coin Collection”

  1. Hello sir. I have a set of 1981 Philippine coins issued by the Central Bank which was inherited. It includes the coin for Pope John Paul II visit, the World Food Day, etc. The coins are in a plastic sleeve. How do I get a Certificate of Authentication for the set?

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