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Types of Coin Collectors

Posted by Chris Moran on

Coin Collecting 101: Coin Collecting Themes & Coin Collector Types

Coin collecting is long term hobby that sometimes starts out as fun project and then slowly turns into a serious yet rewarding investment. It is considered one of the oldest hobbies and was practiced by kings; thus is often referred to as ‘King of Hobbies.’ There are many different types of numismatists out there with different preferences, goals and budgets. Some prefer collecting coins from a particular country while others prefer coins from a certain mint.

coin collector types & themes



Here are at The Happy Coin, we talk to a variety of folks who collect coins for different purposes; here is a brief summary about various coin collector themes and types of numismatists.

Types of Coin Collectors

  1. “Just for Fun” Novice - Someone who collects coins as he comes across them. He doesn’t have a specific theme and relies on friends or family to give him the coins. A good example would be collecting coins from other countries or someone who is collecting quarters from all 50 US states.
  2. Hobbyist - Someone who collects coins for hobby. He is in the beginning stages and wants to own a small specific collection without spending a lot of money. He prefers trading coins with members of his coin club or sometimes the local coin shop. Hobbyist will usually have coins in their collection which are easily available for purchase.
  3. Generalist - Someone who has coins from all around the world including rare and valuable coins. He has the money to spend on building his collection. Most of the coins will have a story to tell but the collection overall will not have a focus.
  4. Specialist - Someone who is the opposite of the generalist, he specializes in one particular collection and pools his finances in building a particular collection. It could focus on collecting commemoratives coins or mint sets. Most serious collectors fall under this category.
  5. Completists - Someone who wants to build a complete collection of coins from a particular category. This is a difficult task and is a rare occurrence.

Themes in Coin Collecting

We have listed some of the popular themes in coin collecting below:

  1. Series/Year Collection - Collecting coins from a particular series that dates to every year such as Barber Quarters or Lincoln Cents
  2. Mint Mark Collection - Collecting coins from a particular mint such as Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark) or San Francisco mint (mint mark S)
  3. Date Collection - Collecting coins from a particular year. For example, 1909-S Lincoln VDB penny, 1909 Indian Head Cent, 1909-S St.Gaudens Double Eagle $20 gold coin, 1909 Barber quarter etc.
  4. Theme Collection - Collecting coins with a theme such as coins with Presidents on them.
  5. Error Collection - Collecting coins that have an error on them such Three legged Buffalo Nickel or 1955 Double Die Lincoln Cent.

We are curious to know what type of coin collector you are, and what kind of collection you have. Let us know in the comments below!

At The Happy Coin, your satisfaction really is our number one goal. From tracking down hard-to-find coins for you, offering free shipping with free insurance on every purchase and having an easy return policy, we want you to be a satisfied coin collector.

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