Just getting started collecting coins? You don’t need a bunch of coin collecting supplies.
The most important items you’ll need:
- Coin Reference Book
- Magnifying Glass
- Good Light Source
The next most important items you’ll want are ways to store your coins safely.
- Coin Albums
- Coin Tubes
- Coin Flips
Coin reference books are available on literally every coin minted. What you’re really looking for are reference books that cover the specific coin or series of coins you want to collect.
Coin Magnifiers and Coin Loupes
There are thousands of magnifying glasses on the market. Just starting out you might want to get a dual purpose Coin Loupes magnifier that will fold up and is carried easily in your pocket. This is a great selection that’s available from Amazon but they can also be found at coins shops and other retail outlets that carry magnifying glasses.
Keeping the coin loupe folded up in your pocket makes it handy to have ready when you’re visiting a coin show or coin dealer and need to take a closer look at that special coin you’ve been looking for.
For most use a magnifier needs to be no stronger than 10x to 20x to be useful. More than that is overkill and less doesn’t give enough magnification to see all the little details.
Coins really are miniature works of art and seeing the steps and other appointments like on the reverse of the Lincoln Memorial Cent are nicely facilitated with a decent magnifying glass.
To go along with your new magnifier be sure to provide yourself with good lighting. Something of a desk lamp type that can be easily moved around your viewing area. Doesn’t need to be terribly bright, something on the order of 75 watts or so.
Those 2 items, a magnifier and a light source, are the basic coin collecting supplies you’ll need to get you started.
Once you’ve grown your collection other coin collecting supplies you might want could include albums and folders, coin holders, cotton gloves, a soft velvet pad and your own coin reference books.
At some point you’ll probably want to start cataloging the coins you own and you’ll need some method to do that on your computer. Beyond using an Excel Spreadsheet there are several developers who have created Coin software.
Coin Albums and Folders
You’re probably already familiar with these. Most are relatively inexpensive. Whitman coin folders, available at Amazon, coin shops and book stores, are among the most recognized coin albums and folders on the planet. Basically they provide a hole that the coin is inserted into and the cover then folds closed. These are a great way to organize a series of coins and provide them with mdoerately good protection. They’ll be protected from accidental drops and scratches but still exposed to the air so you should expect toning to occur over the years.
Single Coin Holders
Single coins holders can range from cardboard flips with a plastic opening, to mylar pockets, to air tight enclosing capsules.
All of these are relatively inexpensive. The only caution is you want to make sure the carboard flips, if you use them, use archival paper and mylar for the clear opening so they don’t damage your coins.
My preference are the Air-Tite Coin Holders that I generally get from Amazon because the cost is so low. They can also be purchased from coin shops and some book stores may keep a supply.
Air-Tite Coin Holders are made of a hard acrylic plastic and are what are called direct fit holders. What that means is that each holder is customed sized to fit a specific coin such as silver dollars, half dollars, quarters or cents. Air-Tite holders keep out pollutants and dust, allowing you to see your coin without getting fingerprints on it or accidentally scratching.
There are companies who make very nice storage furniture specifically for Ait-Tite holders but I use an inexpensive Cigar Box that I got from Amazon several years ago.
Coin Storage Tubes
If you’re not as concerned about protecting each individual coin then using either square or round Coin Tubes like these from Amazon are a good way to go. As with other coin collecting supplies you’ll also find these at coin shops, some book stores and places like eBay.
None of these coin collecting supplies are required to be a coin collector. They are designed to help you organize and provide protection for your valuable coins. None of the coin collecting supplies talked about above are expensive but they will help you enjoy the hobby more while protecting the investment you’ve made in your coins.
Find out where your coin was minted at What is a Mint Mark?.
Now you can get on with the search for your favorite coins!