So, what tools and supplies do you need to start collecting?
For starters, you’ll want a magnifying tool. This will be just about every collector’s best friend.
I learned this the hard way back when I first started collecting coins. I was going through big pile of old wheat cents from the teens. All were extremely circulated and had a lot of wear to them. I found myself squinting my eyes at every one of them, trying to read the dates and mint marks while holding them up at different angles in the light to see if that would help.
Needless to say, I had a magnifying tool by the end of the week.
View all types of coin magnifiers.
Next you need a price guide.
I prefer the Red Book which has colored detailed pictures and good info. However, theBlackbook has some good info also and is half the price.
The Red Book will cost you around $15.00 and the Black Book will cost you around $8.00. Both can be picked up at your local coin shop or at an online store.
You’ll also want to protect your coins from further wear or scratches. Depending on what you’re collecting, they make all sorts of protective sleeves and holders.
If you’re just wanting to start a lower grade collection of cents or nickels, I would suggest a coin folder. Folders have individual dated slots to place the corresponding coin in. Whitman makes folders for just about every type of coin that was ever minted — from buffalo nickels to gold dollars.
If you have just a few random coins that you’re not going to make a set out of, you’ll want to get some mylar flips. They are single plastic coin holders that have an opening for 1 coin and an opening for a label that you’ve written on. If you want to go a little bit cheaper and do a little more work, they sell individual cardboard holders that have see through plastic centers so you can see the coin.These are less expensive, but you have to staple the 4 sides to keep the coin secure.
Coin tubes are also good for storing coins. If you have several hundred wheat pennies, they make hard plastic coin tubes that hold 50 pennies each. They make these for all denominations of coins, as well.TIP: If you can’t find an item you’re looking for at the Whitman site, try Valley Coin. It’s a small company with a large inventory. I’ve dealt with these people a few times and they’re very nice people and ship the items very fast.Well, those are really the only “basic” items you’ll need to start collecting coins.
Other Items You Might Want To Consider
If you get into more serious or high-grade coins you’ll want to have special gloves since human skin has oils and dirt that can be harmful to coins. A thin pair of cotton gloves are best.
You’d also want some kind of felt or other non-abrasive cloth to lay your coins on while examining them. If you have a higher grade coin, you don’t just want to throw it on the table.
A Word Of Advice About Cleaning Coins
The last thing I want to mention…
If you are new to coin collecting, then you might be thinking about “cleaning” your coins.
NEVER CLEAN YOUR COINS!
Yes, some of your coins are going to look dull and dingy, but cleaning coins reduces the value to a collector. And yes, they will be able to tell.
All that being said, you’ll just need to do one more thing to be a good collector… have fun!