A Companion to Rare Coin Collecting - Are Rare Coins For You?

Rare Coin

Are Rare Coins For You?

As with other investments, there are many anecdotes about individuals earning enormous wealth from collecting coins. Yet, even the more believable stories are about people who spent twenty years or more patiently learning and developing their numismatic skills. Unlike stocks or real estate, collecting rare coins requires a deeper commitment to learning and dilligence to augment personal knowledge. For successful collectors, there is an emotional attachment to the art not found in traditional avenues for personal finance. In short, as a serious long-term investment strategy, collecting coins is not ideal for everyone.
There are three important prerequisites one should consider before engaging any investment strategy. The first is: Do I have long-term funds that can be committed for a number of years? The second: Do I have the ability to meet ordinary living expenses with other resources. The third: Am I confident of my knowledge of my target investment?
Having the long-term funds to commit to your investment is particularly important when you consider the nature of rare coins. As with other investments, rare coins require a minimum period of "holding" and, to reap the best investment earnings, timing is essential. Rare coins have demonstrated a pattern of growth spanning many years and, for those "hold" their investments over extended periods, profits are the rule rather than the exception. However, for those expect an immediate profit, the results are often disappointing. Keep in mind that some coins might suffer from overexposure and investors who purchase at the peak of a particular cycle may experience substantial losses if they sell into a softer market.
Meeting your ordinary living expenses is paramount over any investment activity. Never expose yourself to possible losses that could jeopardize your standard of living. Since rare coin investing is a non-income producing asset, it should never be viewed as a "savings account" to dip into as the need arises. While certainly capable of providing strong capital gains, rare coins serve mainly as an excellent vehicle for capital preservation, as well as a hedge against inflation and other forces which erode the value of more traditional paper assets.
Knowledge can mean everything. At least where investing is concerned, knowledge can be your best asset. Being able to "see" a good deal is probably just as important as "smelling" a bad one. Unfortunately, there are always those individual who are eager to feed on the naive and gullible. Nearly all of the horror stories surrounding bad rare coin investments concern people who knew absolutely nothing about what they were buying. Save yourself the grief and learn the basics before you buy.
This text discusses some of the many books, magazines and newsletters that are available on the subject. Reading them will help sharpen your ability to "see" and "smell" the opportunities you may find.

Go to Next Chapter "What is a "Rare Coin"?"


Rare Coins News
Rare nickel up for auction in Philadelphia bought for $4.56 million
“There remain two other ones in private hands.” Rare coins are big business. Earlier this year, a small $5 gold coin produced by the San Francisco Mint during the height of the California Gold Rush wa... more info

Rare coin fetches record-breaking $4.56 million at auction
A rare nickel was up for auction in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head Nickel fetched $4.56 million from an anonymous buyer. The nickel is one of only five that are known to ha... more info

Someone bought a rare nickel for $4.5 million in Philly last night
Despite the obvious and highly scientific flaws of nickels, one rare coin at a Philadelphia auction just went for one of the heftiest price tags ever: $4.5 million. The nickel sold at the American Num... more info

Rare Liberty Head Nickel Fetches More Than $4.5 million at Philadelphia Coin Auction
The Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is 1 of only 5 ever produced It is named for financier Louis E. Eliasberg, who bought the coin in 1948 and amassed one of the greatest coin collections in U.S. h... more info

Rare Nickel Sells for Record-Breaking $4.5 Million
... a coin collection that included colonial coins, a set of Proof Liberty Head nickels and more that had belonged to his great grandfather. That set him on the path of numismatics, where he began gat... more info

$5M for a nickel? Rare coin up for auction in Philly
A rare nickel is going up for auction in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is expected to sell for between $3-million and $5-million. The nickel is one of only five tha... more info