The history of coin collecting is fun and informative. You can learn that coin history is fascinating. You can even find out other thrilling facts about history in general. People have so many different reasons why they collect coins. Coin collecting goes way way back in history. People have coin collections almost since the first coin came into public.
Every era of coins represents a wealth of information. Aside from the coin values, they can tell you what language people were using when they made the coins. You can also learn what metals a country considered to be valuable. The coins can also tell you what people they held in high esteem during the era. Each currency is a new chapter of history. At the same time, it is a beautiful piece of art.
There have been documents of coin collecting in as early as the 15th through17th century. Europe and the New World regarded collecting coins as a hobby of kings or at least serious scholars. The first coin collectors were ancient royals. These included kings, queens, and other wealthy individuals. Most of them are from ancient Rome and Mesopotamia. The ordinary people needed their coins to buy necessary items. When the Renaissance period came, scholars, researchers, and others started coin collecting, too. A lot of people began to have an interest in the contemporary coinage of the time. The study of the artistic and cultural aspects of ancient coins also grew. People even became interested in the coins’ sociopolitical elements. Scholars published in the 17th-century treaties and studies of coins. But, these were not for public use. The study of coins in those days focused on ancient coins. They did not tackle those in current circulation.
Coin collecting as a popular hobby
Coin collecting enjoyed a revolution in the 1800s. The scope of the study used to delve into ancient coins only. World coins, including U.S. coins, became part of the study. Novices and even non-scholars had introductory handbooks for their use. People in the middle class started to have access to collectible coins. The American Numismatic Society began in 1858. It started along with a wave of new numismatic societies in England and the United States. Coin collecting became a popular hobby in the United States in the mid-1800s. The hobby became a major pastime in the United States.
Coin collecting evolved more as a hobby in the middle of the 19th century. It became even more popular this time. A lot of collectors became interested in tracking every year in the large cent series. That trend started in 1857 when they discontinued the series. There were studies of coin auction catalogs from those days. Early collectors became excited about the first Colonial coins and currency. One of the reasons was that there was an association with the Founding Fathers.
George Heaton published A Treatise on Coinage of the United States Branch Mints in 1893. Collectors started taking note of mint marks at the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1930s, coin boards and folders came on the market. Barber coins were the oldest series in circulation during this time. Dr. Sol Taylor said these organizational tools made coin collecting even more accessible. A lot of children became interested in the hobby. Many of these children made coin collecting a lifelong hobby. They also passed on their passion and collections to their kids.
Evolution of coin collecting in the United States
There were no official services to grade and authenticate coins before the 1980s. People collected and developed grading systems without these services. But, these services can give buyers more trust in the market. The reason is that a credible third party verified that the item is what the seller claims.
The 50 State Quarters Program is the most successful coin program in the history of the country. That is, according to the United States Mint. People continued to get attracted to new bullion coins, such as the silver eagles and gold eagles.
People still covet and study rare, ancient, and precious coins. That proves that nothing got lost on numismatics over time. Affordable and new coins also excite collectors. The modern hobby evolved into a more accessible, popular, and trustworthy one. People spend fewer coins now in this digital age. But collecting coins is still very popular.
Coin collecting is a hobby that is ideal for those who march to the beat of their drums. You can assemble any coin collection you want. What is good about coin collecting is that there are no right or wrong ways to collect coins. People collect coins by date, by type, by year, and even by design. There are also many ways to find coins for your collection.