New to Coin Collecting

Start your coin collection with Baldwins

Navigate your pathway of coins with support from Baldwin’s specialists who take into consideration your interests, budget and time constraints.

Why collect coins?

Coins provide an opportunity to own a piece of history— miniature monuments to the times they originate from and provide a lasting representation of the rulers and the people who used them. While paintings from the Elizabethan Period or Ancient Classical Statues would cost a small fortune, coins from these periods can be far more affordable. They are an interactive form of education and a tangible way to preserve history.

ARE ALL COINS VALUABLE?

At auctions and in numismatic networks, dealers and collectors determine the value of items based on two major factors: scarcity and condition. A rare item in first-rate condition has a reasonable chance of increasing in value with time. Its value usually continues to evolve through demand from the widespread collector or investor base.

What makes a coin “scarce”?

Scarcity can be caused by low mintage numbers, circulation or distribution. Design flaws can also add a premium. Numismatists study how many examples may have been struck and determine what percentage of that group is available to the market. 

WHAT IS A “GOOD CONDITION” COIN?

A coin’s condition reveals its wear over time, from the moment it was minted to its present state. Our specialists use consistent and reliable grading terms: fair, fine, very fine and extremely fine.
Tone: A toned coin has, over time, acquired a colour deeper and richer than the original. With ancient coins, an attractive natural toning can make a coin more desirable. Most collectors prefer more modern coins to have their full lustre, as though they had just been minted. But a brown or green patina on ancient bronze and copper coins may increase their value significantly due to improved eye-appeal. Tones are also evident in old coins made from precious metals. Silver can have a golden tone ranging through to an almost black or plum colour. Tone can also affect the raised parts of the coin differently from the rest. To some degree, the attractiveness of the tone can be subjective. But an attractively toned coin could (and often can) sell for a substantial premium.
The legend (writing around the coin): can have an impact on its value, especially in cases where the monarch’s name has been misprinted or abbreviated. This is not uncommon on older coins where the literacy of those making the coins was not high. Mintmarks on the coin, usually a ;oj;single letter to indicate where it was made, are another distinguishing feature. They too can have a significant effect on value.
The edges: Pieces with edges that have been knocked or damaged sell for less than those where the edge is intact. Some dates are much rarer than others. In the UK, a 1933 penny is extremely rare. The same is true of an 1804 dollar, an Australian 1919 shilling and a Canadian 1921 50 cent piece. These capture the public’s imagination but date alone is rarely the basis for a good investment.

What kind of coins can i collect?

Start by choosing a specific time period, region, ruler or theme. You’ll learn a lot about whichever area you pick.

Ancient Greek coins

The first territory to produce coins. They feature exquisite craftsmanship and often depict the patron deities of the city-states that issued them. Its influence was so widespread that the coins of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, spread to the Danube basin and were widely copied by Celtic tribes as far west as Britain.
Although rarity is important, it is a less crucial factor than condition and appearance with these coins. The market is currently relatively stable. Collect Ancient Greek coins.

Ancient Roman coins

Coins spanning seven centuries, providing infinite variety. They reflect the spread of Roman culture to a huge part of the known world, from Sudan in the south to Britain in the north and from Spain in the west to Syria in the east. Britain was part of this empire for nearly 400 years. The coins, which refer to Roman Britain, are highly collectable. 
Collect Ancient Roman coins

British Coins

Prices of British coins have been in a steady upward trend for some time. From hand-made Celtic issues to those struck during the reign of monarchs, they have given collectors and investors alike very decent returns over many years.

Collect Ancient Britain, Shillings, Sovereigns, Groats, Half Pennies and Farthings, Crowns and Halfcrowns.

RULERS

Alexander the Great silver tetradrachms dating to the ruler’s lifetime command significantly higher prices than those struck after his death. The same can be said for Julius Caesar. Famous Roman Emperors such as Caligula, Nero, Claudius and Hadrian are often of interest to collectors.

Similarly, English coins featured lifelike portraits, inspired by the Renaissance. King Henry VIII’s (1509-1547) ageing and distinctive portrait appeared on silver Testoons and Groats in the final years of his reign.

Read more about coin collecting in the guide, written by our experts, provided below.

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