Your estimate of coin collector population?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Silver soul, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Silver soul

    Silver soul Member

    The TV coin shows tout 150 million collectors especially since the onset of the State Quarter program. There are 315 million ppeople in the US. That seems unrealistic to me.
    I would estimate a few million. Anyone have any approximate idea??
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  3. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    1 in 2 a coin collector? I agree with you, Sliver. The estimate is probably high. I might believe 1 in 4 or 5, and there are all sorts of collectors--that would include minor change pickers to ultra-serious lifelong collectors.
  4. GreatWalrus


    I think it depends on the definition of coin collector and what total population we are speaking about. Let's say we are talking about the U.S. only.

    If a coin collector is defined as anyone who has set aside at least one coin to keep indefinitely, then the number is probably closer to 150 million (indeed aided by the state quarter program).

    If a coin collector is defined as anyone who "accumulates coins in a methodical manner" (Numismedia), then the number is probably closer to 5-10 million (really rough guess - just to emphasize that it is much lower).
  5. BadThad

    BadThad Calibrated for Lincolns

    I agree with that....but I'm not sure about the "methodical" collectors. Pretty much everyone in the US collects coins whether they realize it or not. Most people you know either have change stashes or a coin to two put away somewhere.
  6. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Sorry to ask if the answer is obvious, but how are we sure they're speaking of USA only ?
    Could it be an evaluation of the number of coin collectors all around the world ?

  7. Blaubart

    Blaubart Melt Value = 4.50

    If you define "coin collector" as any person that has either a piggy bank or a change jar, then yes, 150 million sounds about right.
  8. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Now if you limit it to persons who have at least 1 album, 2x2's or a few slabbed coins, the number would drop drasticly say maybe 3-4million total collectors or 1% of the total population. This is a more realistic measure in my opinion.
  9. Juan Blanco

    Juan Blanco New Member

    Yes. I cranked numbers for this. USA Pop 311 million.

    A 2012 Epcot/Disney poll for the US Mint suggests there might be ~75.5 million self-described adult 'coin collectors' in the USA. Same poll: 27.5 million adult 'coin collectors' claim they do this "as an investment. But let's imagine that self-selecting crowd was attracted to a free coin for the poll and 3/4 to 7/8 the Disney crowd sailed right on by.

    So total 'true' US coin collecting adults ~25 mln?

    Then I went to the LCS and spoke very frankly with a gentleman 50 years in the biz. I didn't give him my numbers or 'heads up' in advance; he told me "1 in 15" Americans are collectors. Boston dealer's professional opinion: ~21 mln, or (if Age 15 and Up only) ~16 mln. 'adult' coin collectors in the USA.

    Former Coin World editor Beth Deisher extrapolates 1.3 - 1.8 million US residents spend "serious time & money on coins."

    President Greg Rohan of HA says 200,000 "serious collectors" and 1,000,000 "casual collectors."
    Another # : ~7-10 million is too high for 'serious collectors.'

    I suppose there are ~300,000 - 400,000 serious collectors and bullionists with anything of value.
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Wild guesstimates, but then so are all such numbers.

    Number of people who intentionally put "cool" coins in a tray or drawer - 150 million sounds about right

    Number of people who know of penny books and what a wheatback is, and maybe the redbook? - Maybe 10 million

    People who attend coin show, buy from HSN, or otherwise intentionally are TODAY wanting to build a collection? - Maybe 1.5 million

    People who read about coins, study them, are up on latest prices and issues in the hobby? I would agree with 200k max.

    Ancient coin collectors in the US? Far, far too few. :( Maybe 2000 if we are lucky.
  11. Silverhouse

    Silverhouse Well-Known Member

    There are more than you think. I meet people all the time at work who have ( what they say ) are hoards of old silver coinage, and most of them won't part with any of it. Now, most aren't active collectors like us, but like us they've gotten their silver in change or was passed down to them by a family member.
  12. coleguy

    coleguy Coin Collector

    I'd say I agree with Chris' guestimates the most. But then again, thats just an unofficial collection of my thoughts.
  13. NorthKorea

    NorthKorea Dealer Member is a made up title...

    I think 150mm sounds about right. Here's my thinking:

    It's a TV show. They're defining collectors in the same manner that they would define themselves as dealers. That means anyone who collected their state (or birthplace) quarter is a collector. Anyone who has a coin or set from their birth year, anniversary, spouse's death would also be a collector. The net is designed more like a huge parachute for their definition.
  14. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Here is some data for your consideration.

    I just called the ANA & they said that there are currently about 30,000 active members in the ANA.
  15. Silver soul

    Silver soul Member

    Maybe, 'ongoing methodical accumulator of coins' would better have described the segment of the population I was wondering about in the US. I would think that there are less people outside the US that have interest in our coinage so that wouldn't be as significant.

    On another note, may your Thanksgiving holiday be filled with family, friends, football, and great food!
  16. Serious collectors: Less than 100,000. I would define serious as those who think about coins daily or at least several times per week. If asked if they have a hobby, would include numismatics in their initial response. Casual collectors: Less then 1,000,000. I would define casual as those occasionally interested in coins but whose interests certainly are not focused on numismatics. TC
  17. longnine009

    longnine009 Most Exalted Excellency

    I don't think that number has varied much
    since 1980.
  18. Hiddendragon

    Hiddendragon World coin collector

    Out of all my family and acquaintances, I know one other person who collects coins, so obviously the 150 million is unrealistic. Anyone who saves a neat coin is not a collector. My definition would be someone who actively seeks to assemble a collection, and that is a small minority of the population. I can't say how many exactly, but a person working in an average office environment would be lucky to find one other employee who is also a collector in my experience.
  19. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    This looks about right but slightly conservative. There are another couple million who spend serious time and relatively little money. Then there are countless (40,000,000) newbies who collected at least part of the states quarter series and are at that "awkward stage" of life where they are starting familes and have no time or interest in coins or any type of collecting. These folks will be starting to drift back into the hobby at a rate of 100,000 per year or so and peaking in about 12 years. Our ability to retain all these collectors is nearly irrelevant since it mattered how they were treated ten years ago.

    Watch the young folks if you want to see where the hobby is headed.
  20. redwin117

    redwin117 Junior Member

    Serious Coin collectors is about less than 10 Million.
  21. buddy16cat

    buddy16cat Well-Known Member

    That number could include anyone like those that set a side a bicentennial half, IKE dollar, foreign coins from a visit somewhere, or even a presidential dollar.
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