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Collecting Approaches

There are several popular approaches to collecting coins. For example, you can collect by series , type, theme and date. You can collect the coins you use everyday such as pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters - or buy specially minted coins made by the United States Mint including proof coins, uncirculated coins, mint sets, commemoratives and American Eagle bullion coins. You can also collect foreign and ancient coins.

Types of Collections

  1. Series collection.   "Jefferson nickels from 1938 to the present" is an example of a collectable series. To complete a set, you would need to acquire one coin from each year and each mint where the coin was minted. In this case, you would need nickels from the United States Mint's Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco facilities.
  2. Type set.  A type set of coins consists of one of each major design used for each denomination. For example, you would need one of each of the four types of nickels. Each type has varieties, which you could add to your collection to make it more complete.
  3. Date collection.  This set includes a variety of coins made in one particular year, such as the year you were born or a wedding anniversary.
  4. Theme.  Some people collect coins that showcase presidents or other political figures, the Olympics or birds and animals. You can choose a subject that is of special interest to you, and look for coins that relate to that subject.
  5. U.S. Coins.  Everyday coins or coins specially minted by the United States Mint such as proof coins, uncirculated coins and commemoratives.
  6. Foreign Coins.  There are several ways to collect foreign coins. Topical collecting (collecting coins with a specific topic depicted on at least one of the two sides) is one of the most popular methods. You can also collect by country or historical event, such as World War II or the sinking of the Titanic. Another method is called Crown collecting. Crowns are about the size of an American silver dollar and usually have some silver content. An example is the Hungarian 5 Pengo. Crowns also have been produced by Brazil, England and the Dominican Republic.
  7. Ancient Coins.  Before coins were machine-made, they were individually struck by hand. Unlike modern coins, ancient coins (from ancient Greece and Rome) were not uniform and round, and they were made with highly raised designs.
Glossary  |  Why Collect  |  Collecting Approaches  |  Getting Started  |  Anatomy of a Coin  |  Buy or Find
Collecting Coins  |  Caring for Coins  |  Storing and Displaying  |  What to Look_For  |  Grading  |  Mint Marks
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