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Not only is coin collecting fun, but it actually can be a way for your child to start investing in their future.
Building a collection is a fun hobby that your child can carry with them into adulthood. When kept safe and in good condition, many coins end up being worth far more than their face value over time. Your child will likely need some help building their coin collection, so here’s how you can help them get started.
Make sure your child has a safe place for their coins.
Before starting a coin collection, you’ll need to make sure that your child knows how to keep their coins safe. In order for the coins to build value over time, they’ll need to be kept in good condition. A coin album is essential, as it allows you to view and access your coins easily while still protecting them.
When your child starts collecting coins, they’ll likely be focusing on coins that are interesting and have unique sentimental or historical value, rather than coins that are worth a lot of money on the market. In this case, you may not need a safety deposit box for your child’s coins. In fact, having the coin album readily accessible can help encourage their interest in coin collecting. However, as your child’s coin collection starts to gain financial value, you’ll want to make sure they have access to a safe deposit box in a temperature controlled area. Ideally, this should be a cool, dry place away from the kitchen and bathroom, as humidity can affect your coins over time. The box should also be kept locked away where potential intruders cannot find it. While safety deposit boxes can be expensive to purchase for your home, they are still typically more affordable than getting a safety deposit box at the bank.
Additionally, you’ll need to make sure your child knows how to handle their coin collection properly to minimize damage. Oils from your hands can wear coins down over time. You’ll want to make sure to teach children to handle coins by their edges and avoid touching the coin’s face. You’ll also want to hold the coin over a soft surface, so if your child does drop it, you can minimize the chances of scratches, dents, or other types of damage. Another important thing to teach your child is that you shouldn’t clean your coins. While this may seem like a good idea, cleaning your coins can actually damage them in the long run because of the acidity found in many cleaners.
Focus on coins with interesting designs or sentimental value first.
As your child is beginning their coin collection, the first thing to focus on is getting them interested and excited about coins. Instead of focusing on the financial value or rarity of a coin, focus on the story behind it or the unique physical features that make it interesting. This is going to be one of the easiest ways to get children excited about coin collecting.
One of the best places to start is with the state quarters. While these may not be worth a lot of money, they have beautiful designs that represent each state’s defining features or important pieces of history. Many kids will enjoy the challenge of trying to find all 50 states. For kids that are old enough to travel, there’s also the sentimental value aspect of trying to find the states that you have already visited.
Another good way to get your child started is to buy mixed circulated versions of well-known but older US coins. Because these coins have already been circulated, you don’t have to worry as much about your child touching or damaging them. They can play with the coins and look at their unique features, which differ from the coins that are in circulation today. It may help to learn some of the history behind these unique coins to share with your child and help get them interested. Some good options are old Buffalo nickels, wheat pennies, and Indian Head pennies. Silver dollars also work well for this, but they can be quite expensive.
If your child starts to develop an interest in these types of coins, you can also encourage friends and family to share coins with them that have sentimental value. For example, if you know someone traveling abroad, you can ask them to bring back coins from a different country. This is a great way to help your child grow their collection without spending too much money.
Look for unique mint sets that might interest your child.
Once your child has established an interest in coin collecting, a good next step is to look for mint sets that might interest them. Mints in countries around the world print collector’s sets every year with unique designs and themes. These designs often commemorate important moments in history or culture, and they make great investment pieces. Many mints sets come with cases and certificates of authenticity as well.
One of the most obvious mint sets to appeal to children is the Royal Canadian Mint’s superhero series, which depict Superman and a number of other comic book heroes on special edition coins. The Royal Canadian Mint has done a number of other exclusive silver dollar designs that might appeal to kids, including ones that depict famous planes, trains, and boats, as well as Lunar New Year coins that depict different animals.
The US Mint also has several sets that could appeal to children. In 2019, they actually produced the first coin set designed to cater to kids. The coins feature characters called the Mighty Minters and teach children about the history of coins in the US. The set also comes with a $2 bill. Other US coins that might appeal to children are the American Innovation set.
The US and Canada aren’t the only mints that produce fascinating and beautiful mint sets. Other great examples of mints that make commemorative sets include the Royal Dutch Mint and the Japan Mint. If your child is interested in these sets, they can be a great way to teach them about other cultures.
These mint sets are not necessarily the cheapest coins on the market, so they’re best given as a gift for a birthday or other special occasion. These are best for children who have already developed an interest in coin collecting. When well preserved, these special edition sets can make great investments in the long run.
Look for local coin clubs.
As your child gets older and more interested in coin collecting, they might want to meet other people who share this interest. One of the best places to do this is by finding a local coin club that caters to kids and teenagers. Many coin clubs are very welcoming and will have resources to help newcomers learn more. If you don’t have a local coin club, consider getting involved with the American Nuismatic Association’s Young Nuismatists club. This club gives your child access to a huge amount of online content about coin collecting, as well as access to free collectible coins. They also host a week-long Coin Camp in Colorado Springs each year for kids over the age of 13 who are passionate about coin collecting and want to learn more.
Coin collecting can be an excellent hobby for kids and teens. Through coin collecting, kids can learn about the world around them and connect to the history of different cultures. Many kids also enjoy the challenge of searching for different types of coins and adding them to their collection. It also gives them the chance to start investing in potentially valuable coins before they become an adult.
A great place for kids and teens to get started is with our US Collector Crate - Tier 1.
Now go get to collecting!