Valuable coins can be found anywhere. They are tucked into piggy banks, discovered inside the walls and floors of old homes and are often mixed in with the change from grocery stores. Like many other collectibles and antiques, coins do not become instantly valuable as they age. There are several factors appraisers consider when values are assessed.
Origin of the Coin
Domestic and international coins will vary in their value according to where they were minted. Internationally, the history of the country of origin and whether or not it is still in existence play vital roles in how much collectors may be willing to pay for them. These "dead nation" coins, as they are called, are often worth much more than their face value. Domestic coins that were produced at mints that were in operation for shorter durations are also often considered more desirable than the same coin manufactured at another mint in the same year.
Age and Condition
Many novice collectors mistakenly believe that the older the coin, the greater the value. This is almost always untrue. Condition is the most important factor, no matter what age the coin may be. A damaged or heavily worn coin may still have value, but in better condition it will always be worth more. This is why collectors should learn to store coins correctly.
Rare and Unique
True treasures are those items that cannot be found anywhere else. It is their uniqueness that makes them so heavily sought after. Limited mints and minting errors are two factors that can make a careful collector very wealthy. Becoming familiar with known errors can make spotting the differences possible. Average coins minted over the last decade or two are valuable when mint errors are present.
Trends in Collecting
Just like any other hobby, coin collecting has trends. A good non-coin example was the frenzy for Beanie Babies in the 1990s. People entered raffles, waited in long lines and wrestled with other shoppers for specific stuffed toys. At the time, some of these little creatures were worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Today the same animals can be found in thrift shops for a few cents. Coins can be the same. When one specific coin becomes popular, its value can rise dramatically in a few years but then plummet again when the interest wears off.
Coin collectors save coins for many different reasons. Some want a coin from every country, some like to save coins from years that are special to them, and others are looking for anything rare and unique. It is this variety of collecting styles that has helped to make certain coins valuable and make the hobby of collecting them exciting. Making money with coin collecting is possible, but like any investment plan it takes knowledge, effort and working with others you know you can trust. For more information, contact a professional like Fullerton Coins & Stamps.