It takes time to learn about and understand the rare coin scene; it’s not something that you can get to grips with in a few weeks then start making wads of cash.

In recent years, the rise of third-party, objective grading services has certainly made it easier for new people to enter the hobby as there’s much less risk of being ripped off by unscrupulous dealers. You can buy your Silver Dollars from Golden Eagle Coins, who enjoy a great reputation among newbies and old hands alike. Of course, the internet isn’t a total substitute for coin shows and talking to dealers and experts in person, but it does offer an “in??? for people who might otherwise be too intimidated to attend a coin show. So, here’s some handy tips for beginners to help them on their way.

Create a balanced portfolio

All investments should be diversified, or balanced, so that there’s lots of different types of coins. As some fall out of fashion, others come up, so overall, you tend not to make a loss in value. You should aim for classic US coins like large cents, half-dollars and silver dollars, as well as some one-dollar silver coins and $20 gold eagles, for example.

There might be the occasional person who “flips??? a coin, which works in the same principle as in real estate – they buy an unassuming-looking coin for a paltry amount and it turns out that it’s incredibly rare and so they sell it and retire on the proceeds… This might happen, but it probably won’t, so aim for a long project that will take you some years – even decades – to complete. The key is in the learning, as that way you’ll be able to spot that incredibly rare coin if it does come along.

Buy the book before the coin

You’ll keep seeing and hearing this phrase because it’s the best piece of advice you’ll get. By learning about coins beforehand you’ll understand the investments you may make, as well as their risks. You’ll also be able to spot worthwhile items, especially if you specialize. By book, people also mean the internet, which can give price lists, auction results and forums.

Watch out for bubbles

Any sort of market can see a sudden bubble – a rapid rise in the value of a particular asset – and coins are no exception. What can happen is that a sudden trend for a particular coin can lead to an influx of it onto the market as people seek to capitalize on old purchases. Once there’s lots on the market – you guessed it – the price drops!

You must visit shows and fairs

To really make a success, you have to visit real live coin shows. Trading in coins isn’t like trading shares, where each company share is worth as much as the other. You could have two rare coins from the same year, but one will always be slightly better than the other, even if they look identical to the untrained eye. This is why you need to tap up the experts for their opinion, which, in turn, is why you need to visit them.

Don’t feel intimidated, most coin experts and dealers are actually very friendly…

Only buy certified coins

If you’re investing in rare coins then you should only buy coins that have been certified by the Professional Coin Grading service (PGCS) or the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC). These two bodies are the only ones qualified enough to grade and handle rare coins.

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