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History of Coin Collecting

Clock and coins

Learning about the history of coin collecting is fun and informative. Not only do you learn coin history but you also learn interesting facts about history in general.

People have been collecting coins almost since the first coin was made and it would take several books to fully explore, so this will be a brief coin collecting history.

Every era of coins represents a wealth of information. For example, they can tell you what language was spoken when they were made.

They can also tell you what metals a country considered to be valuable and what people of the era were held in high esteem.

You could think of each coin as a new chapter of history that you can hold right in the palm of your hand.

But you wouldn't only be holding a chapter of history. You would also be holding a wonderful piece of art.

The History of Coin Collecting as a Hobby
Has Been Traced to Ancient Times

Archaeological digs have unearthed stashes of ancient coins in which no two were alike. It has been deduced from this fact that the people of that era were as fascinated with coin history as we are.

It is also reported that Caesar Augustus collected coins and gave them often as gifts.

The California Gold Rush, Queen Victoria's court, and even the achievements of ancient Greece can all be seen in coin history.

Many years ago, however, coin collecting had a more practical purpose. Since there weren't any banks to keep their money in, people hoarded coins as a way to save for their future. The coins that were the most interesting and beautiful were naturally kept the longest and then eventually passed down to later generations.

Around the mid 1800s, two large coin organizations emerged. They were the American Numismatic Society (ANS) and the American Numismatic Association (ANA).

The ANS was founded in 1858 and is an international non-profit center for the preservation and study of coins, medals and paper money. More than 2,500 years of culture are represented by the organization. The ANS collection spans all periods and geographic areas and contains close to one million objects, including Greek and Roman, medieval and modern European, American, Islamic, Asian and African coins, as well as other materials.

The ANA was founded in 1891. They are a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to educating and encouraging people to study and collect money and related items.

The History of Coin Collecting
and The United States

The United States government established the Philadelphia Mint in 1792. It began producing half cents and large cents for circulation in 1793. Then in 1794, silver half dimes, half dollars, and silver dollars were made. Gold $5 and $10 pieces were introduced in 1795. Silver Eagle Dollars started appearing in 1986 however they are not intended for circulation.

United States Mint 1792

The United States has issued many denominations during the past 200 years or so. Some of them have been quite unusual, while others are strikingly beautiful.

Besides the penny, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar that most of us are familiar with, other denominations were also made.

These included: half cents, two and three cent pieces, 20 cent pieces and $1, $2.50, $3, $4, $5, $10, $20, and $50 gold coins.

The $50 gold piece is the largest coin denomination produced. It was made on several occasions. Once was during the California Gold Rush and another time was in 1915, when it was made for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Between 1909 and 1971, six American Presidents appeared on United States coins, but beginning in 2007 the new Presidential Dollar Program will introduce four new coins per year, each featuring a U.S. President. They will be introduced in the order in which they server their country as president.

Statehood Quarters however, are the most widely collected coin series in the history of coin collecting.

As you can see, it seems a lot of coins were produced just to add another chapter to our coin collecting history.

Searching for coins and learning their history over a period of time can bring untold hours of enjoyment, and eventually grow into a fine collection. At the same time, this growing collection, held for a period of years can be a worthwhile investment and a terrific inheritance that can be handed down to generations over the years.

Get started on your coin collection now and who knows, someday you might be another famous collector in the history of coin collecting.

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