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emilym
Joined: 11-Mar-2018
Posts: 3
Hello!

I am very new to coin collecting, I ended up stumbling across some George V shillings and found them really interesting. I'd like to start a collection but after browsing a bit I feel as though I'm jumping into the deep end, has anyone got any advice for a beginner, or what type/era of coin to focus on to begin with? Being quite young I haven't got much of a budget, so any advice for doing this on a small budget too would be great. I'm UK based if that makes much difference.

Thank you!
ZacUK Numista team, Moderator
Joined: 3-Jan-2011
Posts: 5722
Welcome to the site. :)
What sort of coins do you like? As you are in UK too I can send you some for free.
My collections >
http://mycoinssite.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=13560800
also 13750057 also 15924495 also 15995337
http://mycoinssite.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16060326
emilym
Joined: 11-Mar-2018
Posts: 3
That's very kind of you, but I'd feel bad, but thank you :) I quite like the pre decimalisation UK coins, but I also find Japanese coins really interesting, but there's so many more that I like the look of, too many to collect!
Numismatist uk
Joined: 2-Jan-2018
Posts: 710
Good luck, pre-decimal is a very interesting topic.
I recommend pre-47 silver and pre 1920 coins.
Also try pre-decimal colony coins, eg. NZ, AUS OR SA
Coin collector and Silver stacker
'We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.'
Sir Winston Churchill
Myeackle
Joined: 25-Jun-2014
Posts: 957
You could always try to buy a kg or two. Bulk lots usually have quite a bit of U.K. Mexico and Canada Coins. Its a easy way to get a lot of coins for cheap especially when your just beginning.

Matt
Numista referee for Burundi, Ghana, Malaya, Malaya and British Borneo, Mali, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Saar, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 5420
Cheap UK pre-decimal coins was also how I started collecting a couple years ago. What I did was go around looking for one of each type, so I could get the green tick mark on as many British coins on Numista that I could.
I'm still doing it as of 2018, there are literally hundreds of UK types.
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
emilym
Joined: 11-Mar-2018
Posts: 3
UK pre decimal seems the way to go then! A couple of quick (probably stupid) questions, are there many fakes of these about? From what I've read there seems to be many fakes but I couldn't find much info about pre decimal UK. Also, what kind of condition should I be looking for coins in? I'll consider buying a kilo of coins if I can find something that looks good, or would it be better just to focus on coins I want? Thank you all for your advice!
oggy Numista team, Moderator
Joined: 8-Mar-2016
Posts: 1396
Quote: "emilym"​UK pre decimal seems the way to go then! A couple of quick (probably stupid) questions, are there many fakes of these about? From what I've read there seems to be many fakes but I couldn't find much info about pre decimal UK. Also, what kind of condition should I be looking for coins in? I'll consider buying a kilo of coins if I can find something that looks good, or would it be better just to focus on coins I want? Thank you all for your advice!

I'd just collect a bit of everything to start with as your budget is quite low and you don't seem to know exactly what you want yet. Fakes aren't really something to worry about until you move into slightly more valuable coins. :)
auscoin
Joined: 17-Nov-2016
Posts: 139
"UK pre decimal seems the way to go then ... "

Hi emilym, yes my advice would be to start with coins from your own country as they are more readily available, both pre-decimal and decimal.

Pre-decimal are great because they have loads of character and are steeped in history but so you don't get overwhelmed set yourself small goals to achieve e.g. maybe start with collecting one of the cheaper bronze coins such as the penny ... say all Elizabeth II first, then when you achieve this move on to all George VI, and so on.

Collecting your own country's decimal coins can be also be very rewarding as you can get great satisfaction in completing sets quite quickly and basically at face value for most coins.

"What kind of condition should I be looking for coins in?"

In the early stages, especially when on a budget, I wouldn't worry too much about condition but instead focus on completing a goal that you have set. When you have achieved this goal you can then decide whether to move on to something new or to improve on what you have just achieved.

All the best and enjoy!
COINMAN1
Joined: 8-Jun-2013
Posts: 1396
I am also in the UK, and I agree with you that the pre-decimal coinage is a great area to start, although they are not so readily available as they were when I was a youngster. The half crown is my favourite.
Keep your eyes out for the many variation of modern UK coinage, as there are plenty of those that come in your change.
Check on the web to see if there are any local coin dealers, as they will probably have loads of pre-decimal coins.
Another great way to collect the more expensive side of numismatics is to ask for them for Birthdays and Christmas.
Welcome to the wonderful world of coin collecting and remember, Numista and its members are here to help you.
I'm just a collector of coins, not a slave to it, unless I am in a coin shop.
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 505
Quote: "emilym"​That's very kind of you, but I'd feel bad, but thank you :) I quite like the pre decimalisation UK coins, but I also find Japanese coins really interesting, but there's so many more that I like the look of, too many to collect!
​Never "feel bad" when another collector offers to give you some numismatic items. Accept them graciously, thank the giver, and take care of the items given to you.

When you get the chance later down the road, give some coins to a beginning collector or a Boy Scout working on his Coin Collecting Merit Badge.

We call this "Paying it Forward".
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 505
Old-time collectors say "Buy the book before you buy the coin." I would modify this to "Read the book before you buy the coin."

1. You can do online research, and your local library probably has several books on British and world coins, such as Coincraft, the Krause "Standard Catalog of World Coins", and Seaby. Some of these may be in the Reference section of the library--meaning you cannot check them out of the building.

Read these to see what is available, and decide what is of interest to you.

Learn about varieties, scarce dates, etc. of the types you want. In your hunt, you may find a rare variety that the average dealer will not spend the time to research.

Some people collect everything they can afford; some collect British coins as one per monarch; etc. Make your own rules. (My son collects coins with elephants--including those of the Roman Empire.)

2. Attend a coin show, to see what is available, observe how the transactions are handled, and to get an idea of grading. Go to learn--perhaps not to buy anything on your first trip. Ask a few questions, but learn by observing.

3. Going through poundage is a great way to acquire many items at once (and I purchased and went through 30 pound lots for a few years). You will need a way to sell/trade/dispose of what you do not want. A better suggestion might be to visit coin shops/flea markets/coin shows, where dealers have mixed lots that you can pick through for what you want. (Negotiate a "pick" price first, if you can: xp each if I only buy 1 or 2; yp each if I buy 20 or more; etc.)

4. Talk to your relatives and older friends about what you want to collect. They may have a few stashed that they will give or trade to you. (My grandmother once gave me 14 Indian Head cents that had belonged to my grandfather--and I will give them to my children.) Other relatives that served in the military may have world coins for you (my uncle sent me some coins from South Viet Nam while he was serving there); they may also have some special Military Payment Certificates or tokens that may be of interest to you.

5. Sometimes, I have gone into coin shops and asked them what was slow moving or hard to sell. I have often acquired world coin accumulations from U. S. dealers that do not want to learn about "foreign" coins.

6. When you buy coins, buy coins that you would not mind owning for a long time. Buying the cheapest/lowest grade coins you find may become problematic when you quickly decide you want something nicer.

Here is a research challenge for you: Why were the British pennies of 1950 and 1951 struck in relatively small quantities, and why were they relatively easier to find in the USA than in England (at least in the 1960s)? (Take a shot at it, and let me know what you learn.)
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 5420
Just my personal tip, try doing a type set (e.g. trying to get at least one of each noticeably different type) to start off our collection. I'd advise doing this for the 1947-67 pre-decimal non silver coins if your budget is low, or if it's not that low then 1901-47 low denomination British silver (threepence, sixpences, shillings). Don't worry about the little varieties for now, just try to get one with each different design/ monarch's head.

From personal experience if you're in the UK British copper dating back to the late 17th century in poor to fair condition can be found at markets for good prices too. If you're feeling adventurous try starting British colonial coins, but learn the ropes before expanding anywhere I'd say.

Also @halfdisme Boy Scouts have a Coin collectors' badge?
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 505
American Boy Scouts have a Coin Collecting Merit Badge. (I am a Merit Badge Counselor.)
I do not know if they have it in the UK, but I would expect that they do.
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 505
The Boy Scouts of America merit badge system may be different from how it is organized for other countries. To earn the rank of Eagle, a Scout has to earn at least 21 merit badges--some are required, some are electives. A full list of the current merit badges is at http://www.boyscouttrail.com/boy-scouts/bsa-merit-badges.asp

The merit badge system is like a mini-apprenticeship--the Scout meets two on two (two adult leaders/two Scouts or one Scout and a parent) to demonstrate completion of the requirements. The MB Counselor has had a background check, Youth Protection training, and is knowledgeable in the specific field--either as their line of work or hobby or other interest.

One Merit Badge Counselor can counsel on a maximum of six different merit badges.

The Scout gets to investigate a variety of hobbies and fields of endeavor, with experienced professionals who can answer questions about potential jobs in a field, educational requirements, etc. Many topics chosen eventually become a Scout's profession or hobby.

Most larger coin shows in the USA have a clinic (class) for the Coin Collecting Merit Badge, where a number of Scouts can earn the merit badge.
Sjoelund
Joined: 28-Mar-2012
Posts: 1949
Hi,

here are some of the varieties to look for:




















That's all I have for the moment!
Ole
Globetrotter
Coin variants in English:
https://sites.google.com/site/coinvarietiescollection/home
In French on Cobra's site (not the same)
http://monnaiesetvarietes.esy.es/

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