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Budget Coin Collecting For Beginners

Everyone is watching their budgets closely in the poor economy, but that does not mean you cannot take up a fun hobby such as coin collecting.

Coin collecting is not just a hobby for the idle rich. There are many ways that you can start an inexpensive coin collection for $20 or $30.

A typical way to start an affordable coin collection is to collect all the dates you can find of Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels, Roosevelt dimes and Washington quarters. We have other suggestions below on coins you can start with.

To get started, follow the tips below for starting an affordable coin collection.

1. Purchase a Coin Folder

coin folder

For under $5, you can purchase a coin folder at a bookstore or at your nearby coin dealer. Coin folders are the perfect, inexpensive place to keep your common coins nicely organized. It is much better than just dumping them in a coffee can or a cigar box.

2. Examine Coin Rolls to Find The Dates You Want

rolls of coins

If you do not have the budget to shop at your local coin dealer, that is okay. You can fill your new coin folder by searching through rolls of coins that you can pick up at your bank. You don’t know if you will be able to locate the coins you want. But, checking through coin rolls is more efficient than sorting through your pocket change every day.

Here’s what you need to spend to pick up a roll of coins:

  • Pennies: 50 cents
  • Nickels: $2
  • Dimes: $5
  • Quarters: $10

3. Purchase a Good Book For Collecting Coins

guidebook to coins

You can find tons of free information on the Internet, but you really need to have a good coin collecting book. It is very helpful to be able to have it in your hands and read when you need it. We think that one of the best guides on coin prices is A Guide Book of United States Coins, by RS Yeoman and Kenneth Bressett.

4. Find Discount Coins

coin shop


Many coin dealers will try to get rid of overstock of items that are not popular and will sell them cheap. Some of the discounted coins you can find include:

  • Large quantities of 20th century coins
  • Mint sets that are broken up
  • Coins that are single proof
  • Foreign coins
  • Sets of coins
  • Coins that were cleaned and/or damaged

Call around to any local coin dealers and ask if they have any half price boxes, junk boxes or discount boxes

5. Decide Which Coins to Collect


Some of the coins you can choose to collect include:

  • Denomination – you can have a collection of all of the denominations issued in the US. You can start with all the coins in circulation and then move on to the 1/2 cent, a 20 cent piece, a 3 cent piece and so on.
  • Type – you will find different types in each denomination, such as half dollars with Flowing Hair, Capped Bust, Seated Liberty and so on.
  • Date – you can try to collect a half dollar from 1900, the first year they were produced.
  • Date and mintmark – this can get more expensive, but it is a very fun way to collect coins.
  • Year – many people try to collect every coin that was produced in the year they were born.

To learn more about coin collecting for beginners, please watch this short video:

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