What did you start with?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by OzRadio, May 28, 2005.

  1. OzRadio

    OzRadio New Member

    I'm new to coin collecting and this forum. Wondering how folks moved into collecting once you decided to do more than dig through pocket change. I visited the local coin shop and the dealer was patient in answering questions. He suggested starting with Jefferson nickels. There's quite a few coins but none that are especially expensive. Inexpensive is good now because the family budget is tight and I won't feel comfortable plunking down even 5 or 10$ for a coin until I'm more comfortable with grading and knowing what's really worth what. I tend to be a completist collector, in that I like putting together sets or runs of a collectible, so buying random, unrelated coins would drive me crazy. So are Jeffersons as good a set as any to start with? I was going to start with Lincoln Memorials but my son and I are having fun searching through bank rolls so I'll hold off buying any of those for now. Thanks for any input.
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  3. miker

    miker New Member

    My uncle started me with my first coin set in Lincoln cents. I could go to the bank, spend 2 or 3 dollars for rolls of cents, and have a good (and rewarding)time searching the rolls. I would think that even today you and your son could experience the same with Lincolns or with Jeffersons. Since your budget is limited, you might go with an 'I owe you' in the spot for key (read expensive) dates. But even if you purchased a 'fine' or 'good' key date, they wouldn't be too expensive. The 1938S (approx $3.00 for EF) and 1939D (approx $10.00 for EF) will be your most expensive non-error coins for the nickel. Good hunting to you and your son
  4. jd3681

    jd3681 Senior Member

    welcome to the forum ozradio! I would recomend the state quarters for your boy, as well as nickels or pennies. I have started collecting nickels and have found that if I go to the bank and get 2.00 rolls I can find some nice coins for my book, the best part is you can take the rolls back. You get the coins for face. And as miker said, their aren't many expensive coins in the nickels in the better shape you would get at the shops.

    good luck and good hunting

  5. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter

    I would go for a few sets...here are a few good sets that are "cheaper"

    Franklin Half Dollars 1948-1963--you can buy most dates for $3 each..only about 3-4 might be more...these are silver

    Jefferson Nickels 1938-2003...If you want to count the new ones you can--1950-D would be around $10 maybe...

    Dimes from 1946-date...they are cheap and easy to find...1949-D and S are a little bit more...also from 1946-1964 the coins are silver so you might have to buy them at a dealers because you might not find them in rolls

    As for the cents...if you start a set from 1909-date you will have a few coins that would be over $100...the 1909-S--1909-S VDB--1914-D...

    I would suggest buying a few books before you buy many coins...

    The Red Book...any dealer should have these books I listing
    Photograde...It will help with grading circulated coins
    ANA Grading guide...this will help will all grades.

    I would also get a copy of the CoinWorld Mag...its great!!

    As the old saying goes...Buy the book before you buy the coin.

  6. jody526

    jody526 New Member

    Welcome, Ryan.

    I didn't start by collecting pocket change, because in those days I didn't have any.
    Some generous people were kind enough to give a child a few interesting coins, and that was all it took for a spark to become a flame. Collecting from pocket change came many years later, and for me, remains a very interesting aspect of my hobby.

    I would certainly recommend collecting circulated nickels to the beginning hobbiest. Most dates/mintmarks can be found in circulation, and those that aren't can be purchased fairly inexpensively.

    Good luck!
  7. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome to the forum, OzRadio!

    Jefferson Nickels are as good a place to begin as any. You will want to read about them before you spend much more money.

    I assume that you already know that you have to count the steps. From that point forward, there are even more details, including Red Book Varieties, errors, etc. You will want to find out more about The Full Step Nickel Club (EMail: fsnc5555@aol.com, Work Phone: (818) 759-4745.) The FSNC publishes a newsletter, The Portico. They are an ANA member club and if you and your son really like this hobby, you will want to join the American Numismatic Association. Apparently, there is no standard references for Jefferson Nickels. At least, I found none in either the American Numismatic Society or American Numismatic Association library catalogs.

    I "started" with Barber Dimes, actually, and never got past the first six or eight before going over to Mercury Dimes. That was fine, but I realized that what I really liked about those coins was the classical imagery. At a local coin show, I saw ancient Greek coins for sale in about the same price range as the nicer Mercury and Barber dimes, and so that is what I focused on for the next several years. I collected small silvers worth about a day's wages from the towns and lifetimes of famous philosophers.
  8. rick

    rick Coin Collector

    you can puchase a lot of bulk foreign coins pretty cheap. Granted, you won't find anything stunning, as far as value goes, but I promise you will see a lot of coins you don't find in your every-day pocket change... For the economic numismatist, sometimes world coins can provide a lot of entertainment and education.

    QUAVIET New Member

    OZ, I got back into coin collecting 4 years ago after a 40 year sabatical. I started with a 1857-S, $20, PCGS, MS-63, Broken "A", SS Central America. It is the only old gold coin I own. I get my greatest pleasure out of family birthdate years of the highest mint state. Since my parents (still with us) were born in 24 and 25 it can be pretty expensive but there is a tie to history and your family.
  10. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Since you like bank rolls I wuld definitely do the Jefferson nickels. Of all the coins in circulation it is the only one where you can still get truly old coins in circulation. It takes some time and you have to search a lot of rolls, but you can find coins all the way back to 1938 still in circulation. With enough searching you can get almost the entire set except the proofs from pocket change. And even if you do have to buy some of them, you can get the missing pieces for under $10 each. Usually quite a bit under. Later if you want to upgrade to uncirculated coins even that isn't too expensive as long as you don't insist of full step coins
  11. SilverDollarMan

    SilverDollarMan Collecting Fool

    The 1st time I saw a Silver Proof....I was hooked!
  12. WarEagle

    WarEagle New Member

    I honestly got started pretty much whenthe 2nd washington state quarter came out, i went to the local coin store looking for one and ended up spending $200....
  13. JeffersonNickel

    JeffersonNickel New Member


    Well, I have been collecting since 1986 but just recently got back into the swing of things.

    I forgot how much I had back then Lots of Proof sets and Dime set from 1946-1965 in UNC with the 1949S also.

    But I concentrate on Nickels Mostly now. Trying to complete and 1938-On PCGS Set with proofs in MS65FS Or higher... :eek:

    Well Good luck on whatever you choose....
  14. Cloudsweeper99

    Cloudsweeper99 Treasure Hunter

    I actually began my slow return to collecting via the investment route. About a year ago I purchased some silver eagles and silver maple leafs, and this got me looking at numismatic coins again. I'm just not mentally suited to completing large date and mint mark collections, and I'm still undecided about the next step. So I've limited myself to organizing what I already own. The hobby seems much more complicated now than it was when I was a kid at the local coin shop buying circulated types for pocket change, or at least that's the way I remember it.
  15. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter


    Just a question...do you mean you are doing a set of MS and PF Nickels?
    As you can't get MS65FS from PF coins!!!

  16. JeffersonNickel

    JeffersonNickel New Member

    Hi Speedy

    What I am trying to accomplish is Jeffersons 1938 - Current MS65 Or higher In Full Steps All in PCGS holders and Proof-65 or better would rather 68-69 Proofs. I guess my biggest choice would be finding certified coins from other companies, since you can usually get them alittle bit less than PCGS coins of the same and re-cert. the coins through PCGS.. Just to get the set.

    I hope this answers your questions

    And I know this is going to be a long expensive labor of love. :D
  17. miker

    miker New Member

    Just a curious question Jefferson: What are you going to do about the 2005 Mint Set/business stike changes? Collect one of each or just go for the Proof Set coin and call it a day? I am just curious because if I collected nickels, I would be scratching my head about what to collect.
  18. jody526

    jody526 New Member

    I'd love to see a picture of your PCGS 1969-D MS65 FS nickel, when you get it. ;)
  19. YNcoinpro_U.S.

    YNcoinpro_U.S. New Member

    I find it great that your starting to collect coins. Pennies and nickels are great coins to start with because their more-or-less inexpensive and aren't totally rare. You can easily put together 90% of a Jefferson nickel set if you go to the bank and buy rolls of nickels. The "S" mint nickels will be tougher to get a hold of because the U.S. mint stopped circulating them 1971 and put them in Proof Sets. Good luck in your search and I hope you complete your set.
  20. cdb1950

    cdb1950 Senior Member

    I was 6 years old when my landlord gave me a handful of old Indian Head cents. I was pretty amazed that there could ever have been anything but Lincoln on a cent! (I led a very numismatically sheltered life up to that point) Soon, I discovered Mercury dimes, Walking Liberty quarters, Buffalo nickels, Walking Liberty halves, 2 kinds of silver dollars, and steel cents in circulation along with the current coinage of the mid 1950's. WOW! Was that ever neat! I was hooked. Bought some Whitman coin albums and started a Lincoln set. Each coin was polished to a brilliant shine with an eraser. It was a sparkling set! When the Lincoln Memorial came out in '59, I was just flabbergasted taht coinage designs could actually be changed at the whim of Congress. I realized that I really loved coin collecting. Been that way ever since.
  21. cdb1950

    cdb1950 Senior Member

    I have been collecting/hoarding exceptional Jefferson nickels from 1938 - 1942, all the pre-silver dates and mints, no varieties except by accident. Used to be able to get some real dandys for under $10 all day long. Now they are becoming real scarce and expensive.

    It seems it wasn't until the last 15 years or so that Full Steps have 'come out of the closet' and become a mainstream collectible. I hadn't been paying much attention to full steps until they started appearing at coin shows with big price tags. I'm pretty sure some of mine will make full steps. I have a few ANACS slabbed 1938's designated as FULL STEPS for comparison. I attended a seminar on Full Step nickels by Bill Fivaz and the future looks extremely bright for the Full Step Jefferson nickels. Better hurry up and get them at today's prices. I don't think you'll ever get them any cheaper.

    I understand PCGS will give early Jeff's, up to the late 1960's I think, an FS designation with only 5 full steps. Seems they don't have a designation for 6 step nickels from that period. ANACS will designate 5 or 6 steps on their slabs for any date. I don't think ANACS has given the 6 step designation to any 'Rev of 1938' nickels yet, but there are many 5 steps.

    Enjoy your nickels!

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