Requesting guidance for beginning to collect coins

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Joined: 27-Aug-2014
Posts: 2
I have coins which I collected for many years, mainly by asking people who went abroad if they could give me coins that they returned with from where they were and later coins I brought with me from traveling around.

The collection is than more sentimental than with actual monetary value.

Now I have decided to try and get more serious about collecting (I was more "hoarding" than collecting I guess) and would appreciate some advices.

1. In which way should I keep the coins? I would think that an album would be best way but would like to hear other opinions.

2. What are basic supplies I should consider buying?

3. How to catalogue and what are the basic fields of cataloguing (I like to keep things simple)?

4. Are there any recommended online stores (or in eBay) from which to purchase the needed supplies?

Hope I did not repeat normally asked questions and that this is the right section of the Forum to ask them (I didn't find answers searching the website).

Thank you.
Joined: 21-Jan-2016
Posts: 930
Welcome to the world of coin collecting!

1. There are a few ways of keeping coins. I can't say for sure but I think most of us use 2x2 cardboard flips and pocket pages kept in binders. That's what I use for most of my coins and it's worked out pretty well. You can mark information on the flips and it's a fairly compact and cost-effective way of keeping coins. You can get ones that are self-adhesive or ones that you staple yourself. Beware though that sometimes these are made from PVC which is harmful to your coins. Make sure you get mylar.

Some of my coins are kept in quadrum cases, which are clear, hard plastic capsules with fitted foam. That's a more expensive case so the few coins that are in those were either gifts or came from the shop that way.

Others are kept in rolls or tubes. I don't really recommend that for coins that you want to look at very often, that's better for bulk storage.

There are also some helpful articles in the Numisdoc ( ) section of the website, and I'm sure other members will have more suggestions.

2. If you really want to get into this you should consider a good digital scale, and some calipers. I also have cotton gloves and latex gloves and a few magnifying glasses. I'm not a good person to make a recommendation but it also helps to have a reference book or two, either a general one or one that focuses on your preferred area.

3. Cataloging is really about personal preference. There are a few good threads about this already so I'll link them, but I'm pretty sure everyone is different. Personally I include the country, denomination, year, composition and the engraver. Sometimes even the monarch. One great hint I found on this site was for older coins, ones that wouldn't be as regular in size and weight, is to include the measurements and weight on the flip so that you don't have to open it later to re-measure.

4. At the top of the Free Discussion Forum there are a few stickied threads regarding coin shops both physical and online. You could check those out.

I think the best general advice that anyone can give is to do a lot of reading and get a lot of experience. It's all a learning experience for all of us so don't be afraid to dig in.

It's a little tricky but there is a function at the bottom of the main Forum hub that allows you to search the forums. Sometimes it takes a few tries with different keywords but I usually find something to help.

I hope this helps, and I'm sure there are other members who will have even better advice for you.
Peter M. Graham
Joined: 1-Jul-2015
Posts: 841
Hello and welcome,

Knowing that others will be helpful too......

1. I think the usual method would be each coin in a 2 X 2 Flip, 20 coins in a Pocket holder, which fits into your standard 3-ring binder. This way you can always look at your collection "book style". All the different options are easy to view on eBay "Coins and Paper Money Publications and Supplies".

2. I've been seriously collecting less than 2 years and these are my basic supplies: See #1 (2 X 2 flips, pockets, binders), stapler, scale, calipers, pocket knife, magnet, and gloves for a start. If your decide to specialize in an area, good catalogs are a must.

3. I catalog by country. Each Flip has Country, KM #, Year/Grade, Denomination.

4. I have never purchased supplies online. I use a local coin dealer for my 2 X 2 Flips and Pockets. All the other supplies I got at local retail stores; hardware, hobbies, etc.

Hoping this is helpful.

Kind Regards, Peter
We were so busy deciding whether we could, we never asked ourselves whether we should!
Joined: 31-Dec-2015
Posts: 389
1. It depends on your preferences, the value of your coins and the money you want to spend on supplies (you can store them in paper envelopes in toolboxes, just as you can store them in mahogany cabinets). Albums are a good way to store coins than are not too valuable. I use 2x2 flips which allow to move any coin anywhere, regardless of their diameter (it's not that expensive if you buy bulk). You're probably going to want hard caps and a nice case for your more valuable coins later on.
2. You'll at least need a caliper, a scale, and a magnifying glass, all of which you can get pretty cheaply. Then there are albums, pages, and flips (depending on how you decide to store). Also, some books in the fields that interest you (a second-hand Krause standard catalog is a good book idea).
4. I'd say just look for the stuff you need and get it from wherever it's cheapest (just as long as the seller has a decent feedback). I find it's sometimes cheaper on eBay than from the manufacturer or a brick & mortar shop.
Joined: 1-Nov-2010
Posts: 1352
In general, my collection is stored as loose coins sorted by year.

Exceptions are made for:

* coins stored in Whitman folders (USA, Canada)

* complete date sets stored in tubes (such as UK, Japan, and India)

* coins without a CE date, sorted by country (muslim, asian)

* coins in 2x2s (proofs, non-circulating commemoratives, and coins that came to me already in a 2x2... less than 1% of my collection.

* coins in original packaging

I have a jeweler's scale and a loupe.

I buy my all my supplies at local merchants and coin shows.

I have cataloged all my coins here on Numista, and am doing the same on Colnect. I also keep a private inventory ledger in Excel.
Joined: 28-Mar-2011
Posts: 7494
1) I would say these all depend on your finances and what you plan to collect.

If you're just going to collect modern world circulation coins then you're not going to want to spend hundreds of dollars on Airtite or Quadrum capsules and your best bet would be to but the two sided Mylar flips. They are quite good because you can put the coins in one side and put a piece of card in the other side with information about the coin.

If you're going to collect anything but specialise in a single country then your best bet would be to get albums or the cardboard flips and pages

If you're going to specialise in a specific area that has a lot of high value coins then you'd be best to invest in some decent storage cases like the Airtite and Quadrum capsules that I mentioned earlier.

2) A scale, calipers and magnifier are a must for checking for fakes

3) Use the Numista catalogue, that's what it's there for.

4) Wizard coin supplies are pretty good
Joined: 27-Aug-2014
Posts: 2
Thank you all very much for your replies and answers, they are most helpful.
Joined: 28-Mar-2012
Posts: 1850

you should also add a magnet to your equipment....

Coin variants in English:
In French on Cobra's site (not the same)

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