Collection Studio 4.72
[ release date: March 31, 2016 ]
Coins have been considered collectable objects, for various reasons, for at least the past several thousand years.
Coin collectors often maintain fairly specialised interests. Examples include coins of a certain nation or historic period, world coins, and error coins, as well as exonumia.
It is common for collectors of national coins to specialise in the coins of their own country. Popular ways to collect national coins include collecting one of every date and mint mark for a particular series (date/mint mark sets), and collecting a representative coin of each different series (type sets). For example, a date set in Britain may include one Queen Victoria large penny for each year, 1837–1901. In another example, a U.S. type set might include an example of each variety of each denomination produced. Many collectors of national coins create unique combinations of date, mint mark, and type sets.
Collectors of ancient and medieval coins are usually more interested in historical significance than other collectors. Coins of Roman, Byzantine, Greek, Celtic, Parthian, Merovingian, Ostrogothic and ancient Israelite origin are amongst the more popular coins of this type. Specialties tend to vary greatly, but one prevalent approach is the collection of coins minted during a particular emperor's reign.
Collectors of world coins are often interested in geography. They can "travel the world" vicariously through their collecting. A popular way to collect world coins is to acquire representative examples from every country or coin issuing authority.
The collecting of error coins is a modern development, made possible through the automation of coin manufacturing processes during the 19th century. Collectors of ancient and medieval coins accept coin "errors" because manual coin manufacturing proceses lend unique features to each coin struck. Collectors of modern coins find errors desirable because modern processes make the likelihood of their production extremely limited. Types of coin errors include double strikes, off metal coins, displaced or off center coins, clipped coins, and mules (different denominations on two sides of one coin).
In coin collecting the condition of a coin is paramount; a high-quality example is often worth many times as much as a poor example—although there are always exceptions to this general rule. Collectors have created systems to describe the overall condition of coins. One older system describes a coin as falling within a range from "poor" to "uncirculated". A newer system, such as the grading standards of the American Numismatic Association, adds a 0–70 numbering scale, where 70 represents a perfect specimen.
Several coin grading services will grade and "encapsulate" coins in a labeled, air-tight plastic holder. Two highly respected grading services are the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). However, professional grading services are the subject of controversy because grading is subjective—a coin may receive a different grade by a different service, or even upon resubmission to the same service. Due to potentially large differences in value over slight differences in a coin's condition, some commercial coin dealers will repeatedly resubmit a coin to a grading service in the hopes of a higher grade.
The first international convention for coin collectors was held in August 15–18, 1962, in Detroit, Michigan, sponsored by the American Numismatic Association and the Canadian Numismatic Association. Attendance is estimated at 40,000.
The scientific study of coins is known as "numismatics".