Advice Please?
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Hi,

My  name is David and I used to collect coins many years ago.  Unfortunately, I dont have any of the coins since I had a falling out with my father.  Recently, my eight year old daughter and I went through our local flea market and stopped by a coin dealer.  She immediately got interested in coins.  Since she wants to collect them I thought we could do it as a father/daughter thing.  That being said,  we decided to start the State Quarter Collection as our first major project.  In addition, for her doing well in school this year I purchased her a 2008 W Silver Eagle Proof NGC Ultra Cameo (her birth year) and a Ronald Reagan gold inauguration coin.  

I am looking for a little guidance as I would like to have a top five want list for us to find.  We want these to be not the cheapest but not the most expensive coins either.  We are looking at this like a scavenger hunt.  These would be the first additions to our collection other than what we already purchased.  So I am wanting to see what you all would suggest for a handful of coins for us to begin looking for?  Also do you recommend graded coins only or does it matter?  

 

THANKS!

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Welcome to the forum.

Rather than solicit opinions from strangers here, why not sit down with your daughter, consider the many possibilities and come up with a list on your own, based on what she's interested in? And if she doesn't know yet, that's fine, too. She can figure it out and hopefully enjoy the process.

 

 

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I would go slow, make sure that the collecting is enjoyable and affordable for you and your daughter.  Boys seem to like coins a lot more, girls tend to like jewelry.

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Go to a Barnes & Noble and get the Red Book, the official US coin collecting guide. Thousands of illustrations and perhaps you two can come to a consensus on what to go after. 

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Rather than press the issue with your daughter, I'd see what develops naturally. The State Quarters are a great start. They provide a diverse collection of designs and invoke historic interest and symbolism for each of the 50 states. The set is easy to finish with the circulation strikes from the Philadelphia and Denver. There are the San Francisco Mint Proof issues in clad and 90% silver which will cost you money because those must be purchased.

 

I would recommend buying the complete Proof sets if you decide to go extend the collection beyond that. Proof singles are pricey relative to what they are, and you can buy complete sets for not that much more money. Also Proof coins that are not properly stored are prone to “going bad.”

 

Slabbed coins are nice for intermediate to advanced collectors, but I think that albums work better for beginners. Beginners like to see sets laid out in order side by side. There are many albums available for the State Quarter series.

 

Beyond that purchasing the Red Book for ideas is good. Taking you daughter to coin shops to see older pieces is an idea. If there is a local club in your area, that might be the best thing, especially if they have a Young Numismatist (YN) program.

 

I have run on a bit here, but this might get you started. You could also look at my complete U.S. type sets of coins (half cents to dollars and gold coin) which will is on the NGC registry. That will show you examples of every design of regular issue U.S. coins.

 

Here are the links to my sets:

 

https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/registry/coins/SetListing.aspx?PeopleSetID=3081&Ranking=all

 

Gold Link:

 

https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/registry/coins/SetListing.aspx?PeopleSetID=5345

Edited by BillJones
Purchse the Red Book, don't curse it. My bad with the typo.

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1 hour ago, BillJones said:

 

Beyond that cursing the Red Book for ideas is good.

The Redbook has its shortcomings, but I don't think I would go that far. :)

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15 hours ago, WoodenJefferson said:

Go to a Barnes & Noble and get the Red Book, the official US coin collecting guide. Thousands of illustrations and perhaps you two can come to a consensus on what to go after. 

I would also buy or look in a library for the 20th century world coin Krause guide as well.  Most 20th century non-US coins are cheap.

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58 minutes ago, Conder101 said:

The Redbook has its shortcomings, but I don't think I would go that far. :)

Fair point xD

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The Red Book thing was a typo. My bad. :devil:  I actually like the Red Book more than most collectors seem to view it.

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What you decide to collect depends not only on what appeals to you but also on how much money you are willing to put into this.  A very inexpensive way to collect which is rewarding to many youngsters (I was one of them) is to get rolls of coins from the bank and search them.

There are still some interesting things in circulation that you can make it a goal to find.  Examples: wheat back cents, war nickels, maybe a silver dime or quarter.

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If she is interested in coins, she is probably a smart cookie.  Perhaps an interesting error coin where she will have to think about/look at small details, such as an 1853/4 Seated Liberty quarter, or perhaps the 1909 VDB (regular Philadelphia issue) where she will be looking at the unique attributes on the reverse.   

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If you have any nearby, then going to a coin show might be fun.  There are frequently people who are kind and encouraging to budding collectors, and you can watch to see what catches her eye.  She might enjoy digging around the 'junk' boxes and work on a 'one from every country' type collection.  That's a fun one, though it's hard to limit oneself to ONE.  But it can be very inexpensive and very entertaining, not to mention educational when looking up a country's history.  

I think the state quarter album is a fantastic way to start and I would avoid spending on slabbed coins other than a special one here or there.  Let her enjoy the coins she can touch and still find in circulation.  

Edited by Star City Homer

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Purchase some rolls of quarters and search through them.  Good quality time together.  Probably the easiest thing you could do right now.

State quarters are fun.

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Welcome to the forum!

It's heartwarming to hear about an up-and-coming new collector.   All of the advice here is good.  A good many of today's collectors were drawn to the hobby with the State Quarter program.  It's fun enough to do from circulation and if you want pristine pieces, it's easy to find them too from dealers, etc.

I might take her to a coin shop and look through the different types of coins.  Many people get interested in early copper, silver dollars, or buffalo nickels.  There are dozens of designs, sizes, and types to choose from.  You can spend ten bucks a month or millions on a single coin.  It's a great hobby that way and the history behind the coins makes it an educational exercise too.

One other route to consider are classic (or even modern) commemorative coins.  Some of the designs are great and they've all got a story behind their creation.

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I want to thank everyone for your comments.  I have purchased a red book and spent time looking at it.  We have slowly started getting the State quarters which appealed to her a lot.  I did choose to buy her a 2008 W Silver Eagle PF 70 Ultra Cameo for her hard work this year at school.  In addition, I am considering the searching through roles of coins.  We could look for the State quarters.  However, is there any chance of ever finding the older silver quarters from the 40s-60s?  I know that there has been a ton of searching done but still hear of an occasional cool find like that.  My main goal is to have fun with my daughter but make sure that anything we buy has some decent chance to be valuable later in life if she would ever need to sell  it.  Thanks all!

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There is very little chance that you will find an old silver quarter, which were dated up to 1964. The reason is that these coins have had a melt value that exceeds their face value since the late 1960s. At times this number has gotten as high 50 times the coin's face value. Today it's something like 10 or 12, although I admit that I don't keep up with this end of the market.

Virtually all of those coins have been taken out of circulation and put into investor bags of "junk silver." They are called "junk silver" because almost all of the coins show signs of circulation and have no or very little numismatic or collector value. All of their value is in their silver content.

Another factor is the the useful life of a coin is limtied. Coins wear out and even if a 1964 quarter had stayed in circulation, by now it would have worn down with very little detail left. It would have been withdrawn from circulation by the banks and the governemnt.

You will have to buy silver coins if you wish to collect them. Most of the dates are not rare or expensive unless you need to get them in very high Mint State grades (for example MS-66 or better). My advice would be to buy uncertified coins because the grading fees are too high given the numismatic value of the piece.

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Since you mentioned roll searching, in my opinion there's nothing better than the Cherry Pickers Guide to Varieties. After I purchased the book (there's 2)

, I'd found my first variety in under a month on Ebay.   

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On 6/16/2017 at 3:43 PM, BillJones said:

There is very little chance that you will find an old silver quarter, which were dated up to 1964. The reason is that these coins have had a melt value that exceeds their face value since the late 1960s. At times this number has gotten as high 50 times the coin's face value. Today it's something like 10 or 12, although I admit that I don't keep up with this end of the market.

Virtually all of those coins have been taken out of circulation and put into investor bags of "junk silver." They are called "junk silver" because almost all of the coins show signs of circulation and have no or very little numismatic or collector value. All of their value is in their silver content.

Another factor is the the useful life of a coin is limtied. Coins wear out and even if a 1964 quarter had stayed in circulation, by now it would have worn down with very little detail left. It would have been withdrawn from circulation by the banks and the governemnt.

You will have to buy silver coins if you wish to collect them. Most of the dates are not rare or expensive unless you need to get them in very high Mint State grades (for example MS-66 or better). My advice would be to buy uncertified coins because the grading fees are too high given the numismatic value of the piece.

This is not always the case for roll hunting, (assuming that is the topic) I follow a couple of accounts on instagram that do live openings of coin rolls. I have seen them pull silver out of them left and right, the most unique being a barber quarter that looked to be in better condition than any I've found so far! Theres always the possibility.

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7 hours ago, rlol43 said:

This is not always the case for roll hunting, (assuming that is the topic) I follow a couple of accounts on instagram that do live openings of coin rolls. I have seen them pull silver out of them left and right, the most unique being a barber quarter that looked to be in better condition than any I've found so far! Theres always the possibility.

Or the "live openings" are on a par with "Unsearched" rolls.  Pretty much, but maybe not completely, a fiction.    Either the live openings were staged with salted rolls, or they videoed the opening of thousands and thousands of rolls in order to have one worth posting.  Personally I lean more toward the possibility of salted rolls.

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While there is always a chance that a silver coin could pop up in a roll, the odds are very long indeed. About the only time it can happen is when someone brings in a family hoard to the bank and sells it for face value.

That happened to me one time. I was at the bank, and the teller had a bunch of half dollars rolls in front of here. I leaned over and looked at the end of one roll and saw Ben Franklin staring back at me. I asked what they were going to do with them. The teller told me, "Oh just take them back to the vault." I asked if I could buy the rolls; she said yes; and I did. It turned out to be $190 face value in silver. That was on once in a lifetime occurrence that will not happen again for me in my lifetime.

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I second the OFEC (One From Every Country).


It's easy to start - you can buy low value foreign coins by the pound to get started. And a good book. And a world map. And if she loses interest, it's not a huge expense - and a great educational tool.

There is a great resource in Yahoo! Everycountry group - https://ca.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/everycountry/info - they have a downloadable list (which you should filter to say, 1950 and newer) as your guide. That plus some 2x2s, a flat clinch stapler, a few album pages, an old binder, the Krause book and map is all you need to get started.

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