A Brief History of Coin Collecting

According to archaeological evidence, coin collecting has existed since the ancient Roman empire. Caesar Augustus has even been believed to be the very first collector of coins. Coin collecting did not gain in popularity, however, until the Renaissance period.

Petrarch: The Most Famous Coin Collector of the 14th Century

Petrarch, an Italian poet and scholar, is perhaps the most famous coin collector of this period. Collecting ancient coins became prevalent amongst kings, queens, princes and other nobility. Because most of the people who could afford this hobby were of a wealthy class, coin collecting became known as the “Hobby of Kings”. The Enlightenment introduced the concept of numismatics, the study or collection of currency, medals and related objects. During this time, coin collecting saw a rise in popularity with the middle class, who wanted to prove their wealth as well. No longer did the collections exist of ancient coins, but now of foreign and exotic currency as well.

In 1962, the first convention for numismatists was held in Detroit, Michigan. This event was hosted by the  American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. Nowadays, the coin collecting community has grown immensely due to the accessibility to buy and trade coins online. No longer known as the “Hobby of Kings”, coin collecting is now known as the “King of Hobbies”. 

What to Collect?

With so many options to choose from, most people wonder where to begin with their collection. The easiest way to start is to pick a certain theme. 

Below are a few of the common collection themes:

Once you have picked a certain theme, you will be able to narrow your search and figure out exactly what you are looking for.

Coin Grading

As you are looking at buying coins, you will see that they usually have a formula of letters and numbers telling the quality they are in. This formula is called a grade. Print this guide listing coin grades and a description of what the coin looks like in that grade. This grading scale is important to keep in mind while purchasing coins for your collection.

Where to Begin?

Still not sure where exactly to start on your coin collecting journey? Check out some of our products we think would be perfect for beginners. Happy Collecting!