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Try Collecting Something New in 2014
By Ginger Rapsus, Numismatic News
December 23, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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2014 is almost here! The New Year is a time to begin anew, to try something different and better. Why not apply this to coins?

If you have a half-filled album of a certain coin series, take a closer look at your holdings. What would it take to complete this set? Can a few of the coins be upgraded? Can you do this now, or are you no longer interested in this series?

Perhaps now is a good time to pursue another set. Look up a new series of coins in your trusty Red Book, and pick a set that you may have considered before. Maybe it’s a modern set, maybe a classic set, or one that is more challenging than your first set. Learn all you can about your new interest, and take it from there.

And if you still like your original coin series, and have planned to finish your set, why not build another set? This second set could be in higher grade, or lower grade. If it’s a modern set, such as Roosevelt dimes, try to find coins out of circulation and build a set this way. Check your change. Get rolls of dimes from your bank. Why not try to collect all of the statehood quarters out of circulation and see how long it takes? Can you finish this set? Which quarters are the hardest ones to find?

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was Nov. 22. A set of Kennedy half dollars may be an interesting new pursuit. Get out your old hoard of Kennedy halves and check those dates and mintmarks. See how many different ones you have, and then make a want list. Even if half dollars are rarely seen in change anymore, get rolls from your bank and check to see how many different dates and mintmarks you can find. You might be surprised, and might even find a few 90 percent silver coins. Recent issues have been collector-only, but quite a few Kennedy halves can be found in bank rolls, including the seldom seen 1970-D – a collector-only coin.

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The year 2014 might be the time to start a Kennedy set, as a special offering from the United States Mint is coming this year in honor of the 50th anniversary of this popular coin.

If you are really a Kennedy fan, you may want to consider purchasing one of the official inaugural medals. This handsome medal was designed by Gilroy Roberts and was the basis for the obverse design of the half dollar, probably one of the most famous and lasting Presidential portraits.

History buffs may want to check out the many historical medals available. Those who appreciate the artistry of coins might want to build a set of medals with a certain theme, medals designed by a favorite sculptor, or medals commemorating the Civil War or other events.

A new reference book on Civil War tokens was recently published. Collectors who want something really different can pick up this volume and find a treasure trove of tokens to collect. Historicals and store cards, tokens depicting Lincoln, assorted metals and slogans ... all this awaits a new collector of Civil War tokens.

Token collectors cannot check mintage figures and population reports. No one can be sure of the exact mintage of Civil War tokens, let alone how many are still around in super-high condition or lower grades. Some pieces are rare and a set of Civil War tokens can never be complete.

Hard Times tokens, too, are historical and a real challenge to collect. Some bear a strong resemblance to the large cents of the time, with the motto, “not one cent.” Some are satirical in nature. All are souvenirs of a turbulent time in American history when President Andrew Jackson battled the Bank of the United States for financial control of the country. Jackson one and the United States ceased having a central bank in 1836.

Buy a few new books on your favorite series. or on a new collecting pursuit, and read them. Learn something new about your coins. There are always new discoveries and new research. Make a resolution to go to a major show this year and attend a lecture or two. Maybe consider exhibiting your favorite coins at a major show. Try an educational approach instead of a financial approach, and see if it adds to your enjoyment of numismatics.

The New Year is an ideal time to pursue something new in collecting. Why not start the New Year right and pledge to do it in 2014?



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• IT’S HERE! Order the 2014 North American Coins & Prices.

 



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