In the ancient world, not all coins were round. Some were shaped like knives, spades, and even dolphins!
If you’ve been thinking of a new hobby, why not consider coin collecting? Millions of coins have been minted across the millennia, meaning there’s always something new and fascinating to discover.
In this post, we’ll answer the question, “What types of coins can I collect?” Keep reading to see which of these coin collecting types appeals to you the most!
- Challenge Coins
In ancient Roman times, soldiers received special coins after a particularly difficult military campaign. Similar traditions have made their way around the world, including the American military.
Challenge coins are shaped like regular coins and are usually about an inch in diameter. They’re not made by the US Mint, so they can’t be used as a real currency. Rather, they’re made to boost morale by celebrating rank or military achievements.
For example, the Marine challenge coin originated back in World War I. You can also find challenge coins that celebrate noncombatant services, such as firefighter coins and police coins.
- Rare US Coins
There’s a staggering variety of US coins you can collect. Some collectors look for a certain series, year, or mintmark. Others focus on specific date collections or error collections.
Here are some examples of US coin collecting:
- Lincoln pennies (especially double-stamped pennies or the rare VDB Lincoln Penny)
- State-themed Washington quarters
- “America the Beautiful” quarters featuring landmarks and national parks
- $50 Gold American Eagle coins
- $10 Gold Indian Head coins
- Mercury dimes
- Pre-1933 gold coins
- Saint Gaudens Double Eagle coin (one of the most beautiful and valuable coins in the world)
You can find many of these coins for sale online, or you can peruse antique stores in your area. Some coin collectors go a step further and invest in a metal detector to (quite literally) go hunting for buried treasure.
- World Coin Collecting
Whether you’ve circled the globe or you enjoy “armchair traveling” via books or TV shows, why not look into coin collecting with an international theme?
You can order pre-made world coin kits online to get your collection started. Or you can research different countries and their currency to see which coins appeal to you.
For example, South African Rand coins feature beautiful images of local wildlife you’d see on safari. Icelandic Krona coins feature marine wildlife on one side and the island’s guardian spirits on the other. In the Cook Islands, you’ll find a triangular $2 coin and a gold octagonal coin engraved with a seashell.
Collecting coins from around the world doesn’t just give you interesting souvenirs. It’s also a way to learn more about the unique cultures and customs of different lands.
Start Collecting Coins Today
There’s a reason thousands of people have already gotten into coin collecting. As a modern-day treasure hunt, you never know what gems you’re going to uncover!
Use these coin collecting tips and get ready to discover your new favorite hobby.
Now that you know why and how to collect coins, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for other lifestyle tips and advice.