How We Started Collecting Coins

My son and I have recently started collecting coins.

Several months ago, my son received an Electronic Piggy Bank: Digital Counting Money Coin Jar with LCD Display as a gift.  After the jar was filled with pennies, he decided that he wanted to deposit his money in his savings account.

As we were sorting through the coins, in preparation for our trip to the bank, I noticed a few “wheat-back” pennies.  This lead to a discussion about the different types of pennies – which lead to google-searches for information about types of quarters, nickels, and dimes.

My son was hooked.  We were soon collecting coins.

I called a couple of friends who are in to coin collecting – and both recommended the A Guidebook of United States Coins 2014: The Official Red Book.  We ordered the book – which is a great read, with tons of information about coins, coin collecting, and coin values – and we started collecting coins.

Currently, we keep things simple.  We collect coins that can be found, in rolls, through our local bank.  We are brand-new to collecting, are we aren’t looking to buy expensive coins.

We are, in the truest sense (cents!), collecting coins.  When we find cool coins, we collect them.

Each week, I’ll take my son to the bank and he’ll get $5 to $10 worth of coins – usually a few rolls of pennies and nickels.  He’ll also ask for an 50-cent pieces (half-dollars) that the teller might have on hand.  Half-dollars are super-fun to sort through, because certain older half-dollars contain silver, and these are actually worth more than their face value.

We’ll spread the pennies out – and search for older pennies (which contain copper) – and wheat pennies.  My son keeps the older pennies in one of these cool Lincoln Cents Folders.  It’s cool to watch him sort through the pennies and find the ones he needs for his collection.

Any coins for which he doesn’t have a folder go plastic parts-bin or my son’s mini-safe.

With the way that we are collecting coins – we can’t really lose any money.  Worst-case, we turn the coins back in and deposit the money into a savings account.  Best-case, we get mad-rich from some super rare coin! 🙂

We have actually found a couple of kinda-rare pennies, worth a few bucks each – and a handful of silver half-dollars.  My son loves to visit the Coin Trackers page, to check values and do some research.  Each roll is an opportunity to find just the right coin.

We may never find anything of great value, but this is an inexpensive way to teach my son about saving money, paying attention to detail, and being organized.

Side note:  We often only find a few coins, per roll, that we want to keep.  We will roll the coins that we don’t want – and take them back to the bank on our next trip.  This way, for just a few dollars initial investment, we can pick up several rolls, over several weeks.

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