Coin collecting can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Currency has changed drastically over the centuries, and coins exist that are hundreds of years old. You don’t need a fortune to invest in old coins, nor do you need to dedicate large amounts of space to your collection. You can get started with just a few dollars, and if you make wise investments, you can even make a profit collecting coins.
Most collectors I know do not take the time to read entire books on their favorite rare American coins, though I would recommend doing so. There are many great books on the subject.
However, you should be very careful in online auction because there is the greater risk of deception and scams. In this sense, before buying you should first check the reliability of the dealer.
There are often replica coins that have been made for display in museums. These copies have usually been made for educational purposes and are often exact duplicates of the original coins. They should have the word copy on the edge of the coin. Disreputable dealers may have obtained these coins and obscured the word on the edge thus making it a fraud. They will try to pass these off as genuine coins. Be wary of coins with distorted edges or challenge coin creator that do not look quite right.
Unlike most coins today Roman Coins had intrinsic value being comprised of precious metals worth many times more then their weight in that metal. These precious metals include Gold, Silver and Bronze. This can make the coins more special and increase the value of the coin should you choose to collect the more expensive Roman coins.
You need to understand that the value of the coin is dependent on the current market “spot price” and the premium for each coin. The spot price of gold is widely available in major newspapers or business websites.
Having said all that, China now produces counterfeit certified coins that really look original. With NGC, you can go to their website and type in the numbers under the bar code and the coin they graded will appear. With PCGS, you have to resubmit and pay to have them tell you if the coin is really theirs or not.
There are many ways of displaying the coins from cases made of various materials such as acrylic, wood, metal and velvet covered stands. The most important thing about displaying the coins is the opportunity for others to share them and perhaps learn a few things about the dedicated men and women who earned the coins. They are most decidedly an important part of our history and some are so rare that collectors will pay a premium for the coins.