There are many excellent reasons why you might want to collect coins. For starters, they tell unique stories. A coin's design, mint mark, condition and composition can offer a glimpse into history and a better understanding of the past.
Some people collect coins in the hope that they will appreciate in value. Some coins have intrinsic bullion value (such as silver, gold and platinum coins). Others become valuable because they are rare.
Coin collecting, one of the oldest hobbies, was once practiced only by kings and the wealthy. That's why coin collecting often is called the "king of hobbies" and the "hobby of kings."
Coin collecting became increasingly popular in America during the 1930s when United States commemorative coins became widely available. Today, there are millions of coin collectors in the United States alone. The thriving coin-collecting community, which includes clubs throughout the United States provides numerous opportunities for collectors to meet and trade.
A Brief History of Coins
From ancient Egyptian coins to today's circulating cents, coins have a rich and fascinating history. The first coins date back to 650 B.C. - more than 2,600 years ago - in Lydia, an area that today is part of Turkey.
The first United States coins were copper cents, which were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1793. At that time, production was manually intensive and the coins were struck one at a time. Today, about seven hundred coins can be produced in one minute.
Check out the United States Mint's Virtual Tour — a behind the scenes look at how we produce both circulating coins and numismatic products! Visit our "How Coins Are Made" pages and our "Birth of a Coin" section for an animated introduction to the minting process. Although designed for children, this special addition to our H.I.P. Pocket Change site provides straightforward information suitable for adults as well as kids.