Now you have started your collection you are more than likely going to want to research your coins, or look for older ones. So in this section we will look at a couple of website and phone apps that we would recommend using.
A website that would rank very high for me would be https://www.changerange.net
This is a site that has every decimal coin ( After 1971) pictures, and generally all the information you would require when searching for a coin.
This site is run in partnership with a series of books called Collectors Coins again in my opinion the number 1 book for UK coin collectors. As well as a wonderful app called check your change.
The app is free to download, you can pay a small fee of £2.99 a year for the full version. The good thing about this app is it lets you keep a record of all coins you have. It is very easy to use, has its own dedicated Facebook support page and is a must have.
There are many other sources to help you, such as this site, We hope to have a forum in the future.
The Royal Mint is also a good site for research as is Change Checker.
A lot of coin collecting is personal taste, be careful not to get suckered into a collection because it is limited or is the talk of the week. Stick with what you like and build your knowledge and collection that way.
The first thing you are going to need to do before you start collecting is pick a Country and a denomination coin.
For the purpose of this we will pick the most popular and start with UK 50p coins.
Next, are you going to aim for circulated only. ( Coins that go into the public domain) or will you try for all 50ps.
The Royal Mint produce a lot of 50ps in a year but few actually make it into circulation. Several factors come into play when considering if a coin goes into circulation, such as the demand for that particular denomination. As we stand at present with Covid most people and indeed shops are taking card only payments meaning the need for these coins is very low.
These coins can be purchased from the Royal Mint or Change Checker for £10 for the plain version or in some cases a colour version is produced for £20.
Then you move on to the silver proofs and bullion that we will cover in another post.
So, now you know what you want but where do you start. A good starting point is social media, let all your friends and family know that you intend to start collecting and ask them to keep any of the denominations you have chosen.
Shops, ask your local shopkeeper to keep any "special" coins they come across. Most will happily do this for you.
Banks, some banks will allow you to withdraw upto £250 in 50ps that you can then search for yourself. Beware not all banks will allow you to do this, and some will say you need a business account to withdraw large sums of coins. Also a lot of banks limit how much you can pay back into them in change, usually 5-10 bags.
A good tip is, if you have a Metro bank near you you can use there change counting machine for free. It will print you a receipt that you take to the counter and get your money. Note during Covid this is not possible.
Ebay, there can be some good deals found on Ebay, but be careful not to get caught up in a bidding war and pay over the odds.
Where can you find the current value for coins?
This is always a tricky one as many factors alter the price of a coin. For example the Kew Gardens 50p during lockdown 1 was fetching £250 on Ebay whereas one sold today for £140.
Ebay is good for checking prices, search the coin you are interested in, then down the left side click sold items. This will list all the coins sold and how much they sold for.
There are also some very good books out there with detailed knowledge of coins and average prices, one I firmly suggest every collector has is Collectors Coins, decimal issues of the UK.
It is updated every year, with the new addition due out in Spring. The book can be purchased from coinpublications.com
Also linked to the coin collectors book is a wonderful app called Check Your Change. This will allow users to scan a coin and add it to there collection. The App is free to download and use, however for £2.99 a year you can access the latest prices for the coins.
Coin collecting can get very confusing very fast, so here at The Coin Community we have put together a few tips to help you build your collection, as well as explaining some of the terms that are used by collectors.
Abbreviations and terms.
ALLOY- The combination of 2 or more metals
ASSAY- A test of metal to determine its purity. Used for gold and Silver
BAG MARK-A surface mark or nick on a coin usually from coming into contact with other coins while in a mint bag.
BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED- Also written as BU. a coin that does not going into general circulation. Struck to a higher standard than circulating but not as high as proof.
BULLION- Precious metals, usually in the form of bars, ingots or coins.
CAST COINS- Coins that are made by pouring metal into a mould. Rarely used nowadays except for counterfakes
CIRCULATED- A coin that goes into the public domain, usually shows signs of wear.
COA- Certificate Of Authenticity..Usually Comes As Standard With Limited edition Coins And Guarantees Your Coin Is Legitimate.
DIE- A stamping tool designed to withstand high pressure. A die will bear an image that is stamped onto a coin.
EDGE- The rim of a coin, often contains a pattern or wording.
ENCAPSULATED- A coin that has been verified and enclosed in a capsule.
ERROR- Sometimes an error occurs, a mispelling or missing dates.
LETTERED EDGE- The edge of a coin containing lettering.
MILLED EDGE- Grooved lines on the edge of a coin.
MINT MARK- Usually a small letter stamped on a coin to show where it was minted
MINTAGE- The amount of coins produced.
NIFC- A Coin minted Exclusively for Year sets And Bu Packs. Not Intended/Issued for Circulation
NUMISMATIC- the study or collection of coins and currency.
NUMISMATIST- The collector of coins and currency.
OBVERSE- The front or head side of a coin
PIEDFORT- Pronounced Pee-Fort, a coin struck on a planchet thicker than normal. Usually twice as thick.
PLANCHET- A metal blank of which a coin image is stamped
PNC- Philatelic Numismatic Coin Cover. A coin Or Coins Packed With Corresponding Stamps Usually in limited edition
PROOF- Coins specially struck to a higher grade for collectors. Usually have a mirrored finish and can appear frosted.
RE-STRIKE- A coin struck from genuine dies but at a date later than the original.
Reverse- The back or tails of a coin.
SOTD- Strike on the day. A coin that is struck on a certain day. The royal mint offer a strike your own.
TONING- The discolouration of a coin, usually green or brown. Also known as Patina. Occurs on older coins.
UNCIRCULATED- A coin that has never been used therefore keeping all or most of its original lustre