Coin Collecting for Kids

Coin Collecting for Kids

So how many kids do you know that like to play with money?

… do you think coin collecting is a good hobby for kids?

No Brainer right? Ahhh YES

Coin collecting can keep kids occupied for hours on end and for weeks, months or even years. Not only does it keep them occupied but it also helps them learn about money, history and art.

How to Get Kids Started in Coin Collecting

This is sooooo easy…..just dump a can of change on the floor. Most kids will run over and start sorting through the coins. Most kids, boys and girls, have a natural attraction to money. Some like to spend it while others are savers. Most will enjoy collecting it and putting it into albums.

Start saving all of your change in a can for them to later sort through. Buy some coin folders or albums for the different denominations like pennies, nickles and dimes. Show your kids what coins go where in the albums if they do not already know.

Penny and nickle coin folders or albums are good ones to start with for the simple reason there are more of those coins in your change. If you get quarter folders then there will be less coins to go through and place in the folder. Kids may get discouraged with quarters if they don’t find any news ones for the album. Pennies are the best because you can buy rolls of pennies very cheaply to supplement your change. You can keep kids busy easily.

Penny coin folder

Coin Banks

To assist with keeping the interest of kids in coin collecting there are coin banks that not only store 1000 coins but also count the value as you insert the coins. It’s really cool and kids love them.

Digital coin bank

This glass jar bank allows kids to see the coins inside and tells them how much money they have saved. Another way that kids can learn math and money skills.

There are lots of ways to keep kids interested. Here is one more…

Cleaning Coins

Pennies can get really dirty but it’s pretty simple to clean them and bring back the luster they used to have. Here are some simple ways to clean coins.

  1. Run each coin under warm water for a few minutes. The warm tap water will remove loose debris. You can rub the surface of the coin gently with your fingers. Now dry on a paper towel
  2. Put about a cup of warm water in a small container or bowl. Now add a few drops of Dawn liquid soap. Mix until soapy. Place any coins you want to clean in the mixture and let them soak for 10 minutes or more. Use a soft bristle tooth brush to gently brush dirt and debris from the coins. Now rinse with distilled water or tap water. Dry with a paper towel.
  3. (Not for Kids) Pour 1 cup of Isopropyl alcohol in a container or bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Mix for a few minutes until the salt is dissolved. Now place the coins you want to clean in the mixture and let them soak for 2 hours or up to a week. Isopropyl alcohol is a general solvent and will remove stuff that water cannot. After the coins are done soaking, rinse them thoroughly in distilled water and then dry them with a paper towel.

Silver Eagle Half Dollar dirty

Here is the before cleaning in the Isopropyl Alcohol bath. This is a 1942 Walking Liberty silver half dollar.

Silver Eagle Half Dollar clean

Here is the same Walking Liberty half dollar after the coin bath in isopropyl alcohol. It removed all of the dirt very easily.

Kids love when they take a really dirty coin and make it shiny like new. They will get a lot of pleasure from this. It is fun.

Coin Collecting Supplies

Coin Collecting Supplies

So what kinds of things do you need to start coin collecting?

Coin collecting is actually a pretty inexpensive hobby and you don’t need much to start. You can easily start with a coin folder or album, a simple magnifying glass and some coins. It’s pretty simple.

Let’s take a look at some coin collecting supplies.

Coin Folders or Albums

Coin folders or albums are not really necessary but sure do organize things and assist with tracking what you have and what you do not have. Since they are pretty inexpensive, you should really have them.

Coin folders or albums are designed to hold a specific coin in each slot. There are slots marked for each year and sometimes a specific Mint like “D” for Denver or “S” for San Francisco. The goal is to fill each slot with the correct coin. It’s really fun to search for a specific coin in order to fill another slot. The hunt is on!

There are coin folders for each denomination like pennies, nickles, dimes, half dollars and silver dollars. There are also special types of folders like for State Quarters or Lincoln Cents. These are specialty albums or folders.

There are also generic folders where you decide what coins you wish to collect. If you like collecting silver dollars but want to include all silver dollars like Eisenhower, Morgan, Peace and the Silver Eagle. You could keep all of these in one album and label them any way you want. The options are endless which makes it fun.

Magnifying Glass

OK, these come in handy and are almost a must have unless your eyesight is like an Eagle. The print on some coins is very small and can be worn significantly. This makes it pretty hard to read. A nice magnifying glass makes this very easy.

lighted magnifying glass

There are many types from a simple hand held plastic magnifying glass to a lighted 100 power microscope that can connect to a smart phone. You could spend $5 or $50. I like the desk mounted type instead of a hand held. The desktop models are more stable and don’t move around like a hand held. It’s easier to see the fine details when grading a coin. The lighted ones are even better.

A nice magnifying glass or microscope makes coin collecting much more exciting. You can really see the details of the coin like die marks and/or wear.

digital coin collecting magnifying glass

This is a digital magnifying glass or microscope that can be used for coin collecting. It is fantastic! It doesn’t get any better than this.

Coin Cleaning Supplies

All you need to clean coins is a container or bowl, soft bristle tooth brush and Dawn dish soap or sometimes, Isopropyl Alcohol and salt for really nasty coins. Distilled water is also good to have around. It’s always best to clean coins with distilled water to prevent damage from chlorine or other contaminates/chemicals found in tap water.

White Cotton Gloves

You might consider a few pairs of white cotton gloves if you collect proof, uncirculated and very high grade coins. Cotton gloves prevent damage to the surface of the coin due to the chemicals emitted from your skin.

Coin Collecting Books

The more you know, the better you become at coin collecting especially if you want to collect rare and very valuable coins. One great book to get is the Guide Book of United States Coins, if that is what you are collecting. There is a ton of interesting and helpful information in this huge guide.

There are books on grading coins, how to collect coins, how to value coins, how to collect specific coins like pennies, how to make money collecting coins, how to find valuable coins in pocket change and many more.

Now you can get started. Here is a beginners guide to coin collecting for more info.

Coin Collecting for Beginners

Coin Collecting for Beginners

Coin collecting is very easy to start even if you have no knowledge or experience. You can learn quickly by reading books or by just diving in. You can collect foreign coins or domestic like USA coins. You can collect time period coins like the 1800’s or specifically designed coins like ones with trees or boats or cars on them.

The coin collecting hobby will bring endless fun and excitement to novices and pro’s alike. Get started now.

Which Coins to Collect

It’s easiest to start off with common denominations like pennies, nickles and dimes or even quarters, like state quarters. Buy a few coin books and then start saving your change. Every time you get some change, put it in a can or bucket. Before long, the can or bucket will be pretty full. Now the fun part… dump it out on the floor or on a table and start digging.

If you want to move faster than your pocket change allows, go to your local bank and buy a few rolls of coins. You never know what you might find.

After you accumulate a good amount of change, start sorting it by denomination. You can use smaller containers to keep the sorted coins in until you’re ready to put them in coin books.

When you’re ready, buy a few coin books for the coins you want to collect. There are penny, nickle, dime, quarter, half dollar and silver dollar books. There are more than these but these are a good start for beginners.

As you gain experience, you can start looking for rare coins that are very valuable. First do your research on the coin you want to buy.  Find out the value changes over the past 10 years or so. See if it’s gaining value/demand. If its value stays the same then only collect it because you want it and not as an investment.

Research it’s current value and compare that to how much you can buy it for from local pawn shops, coin shops or online precious metal stores. Try to get the best deal on it as you can. Make an offer and see if it gets accepted. You just never know until you ask. I have had good luck at pawn shops. They are willing to negotiate on price.

Learn as much as you can about coin collecting and coins in general. It will help you make good decisions on coin purchasing and help you identify rare coins like error coins. These can be worth a lot of money…sometimes thousands of dollars.

Helpful Coin Collecting Supplies

  • Coin Collecting Folders/Coin Albums – holds one denomination and spans years
  • Jewelers Magnifying Glass
  • Coin Collecting Text Books – learn about coin collecting, coins, values and coin grading
  • Plastic Coin Cases/Holders – keeps larger coins from wear and damage from fingerprints and the elements
  • Cardboard Coin Holders
  • White Cotton Gloves – protects coins from acid on your skin
  • Mild detergent – to clean coins
  • Soft Toothbrush – help clean really dirty coins

Cleaning Coins

Just an up front warning: Do Not clean highly collectible, proof, uncirculated and high-grade coins. It will reduce the value.

If you just want your coin collection to be clean and shiny then here are ways to clean them. You can bring back the luster they once had.

  1. First rinse your coins in warm tap water under a faucet with descent pressure. This will wash away some of the loose debris. Hold the coin under the water stream for about a minute or so and then place it on a paper towel to dry.
  2. If you want them cleaner then get a bowl and fill it with warm distilled water. Now add a small amount of Dawn dish soap. Mix the mixture gently. Place your coins in the soapy water and let soak for a few minutes. Then gently rub the coins surface with your fingers to remove dirt. Place them on a paper towel to dry.
  3. Use a soft toothbrush with the soapy water if you need to do more cleaning. Then rinse in distilled water and dry with paper towel. Brush very lightly.
  4. Coin Bath – for more intense cleaning, pour one cup of Isopropyl Alcohol in a small bowl. Then add 2 tablespoons of salt. Mix the solution gently. Now place your coins in the solution and let soak for 2 hours or up to 1 week. Isopropyl alcohol is a general solvent and will dissolve stuff than water cannot. Rinse the coins in distilled water when finishes and dry on paper towels.

Here is one of my silver half dollars before cleaning.

Silver Eagle Half Dollar dirty

You can see some black dirt or debris in the edges of the detail relief. I soaked it in isopropyl alcohol and salt for 4 hours and then rinsed it in distilled water. I did NO scrubbing of any kind.

Here is the result.

Silver half dollar clean

It’s pretty amazing how much better and detailed the coin looks now.

Is Coin Collecting a Good Hobby?

Is Coin Collecting a Good Hobby?

If you like coins, history, precious metals and/or art, then YES coin collecting can be a great hobby for people of all ages. Coin collecting is suitable for kids and adults. It can be very inexpensive and has no limits, so you won’t run out of coins to collect. It’s a lot of fun going through coffee cans filled with miscellaneous coins. I used to spend hours going through mom’s change from her purse, when I was kid.

Coin Collecting for Kids

Coin collecting is very popular with kids. They love playing with real money. You can start young kids, ages 8-12, with pennies, nickles or dimes. These denominations are less expensive and plentiful…you know, the change in your pocket.

Coin collecting can keep kids occupied for hours on end. Just dump out a coffee can full of change on the floor and let them go through it. They can pick out coins that go in coin books according to year and Mint. Kids will get a history, finance and reading lesson all in one. If they continue until they are ready for college, the coin collection can also be a savings account for college…should they want to part with it.

Coin Collecting for Adults

Many adults will and do enjoy coin collecting. The coin age/date or precious metals (silver, gold, platinum) or history makes coins fascinating. I really like the artwork on some coins like the Morgan Silver Dollar or the Silver Eagle Dollar. Some foreign coins have very detailed artwork also and are popular among collectors.

Coin collecting can also be an investment. Some coins gain value over time. Precious metal coins like silver, gold, palladium and platinum can gain value based on the market. If these metals trade higher then the coin will increase in value. If you buy these types of coins when the metal market is down or low, you can make money as the metal prices rise. I did this with silver dollars. I bought about 20 silver dollars when the silver market was at $13.00/oz. I sold them 5 years later when silver was trading at $35.00/oz.

It’s very easy to start a coin collection. Just start saving your change and dump it into a can or bucket. If you want more change, then go to your local bank and buy rolls of coins. You would be surprised how many old and/or rare coins can be found in rolled coins. I have several 1943 steel pennies that came from a roll.

It’s like a treasure hunt. You never know what you will find.