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Coin Collecting: Getting Started
(NC)-Okay. So you've been diagnosed with the collecting bug. Don't panic. Here's what you need to do: first, visit the library. Pick up some standard reference catalogues (for example The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, or Haxby's Coins of Canada) and read them thoroughly, along with every book you can find on collecting. Contact your local coin dealer or numismatic club, and ask them to recommend good websites and other resources. Become a member. Buy a magazine or two. That way they'll know you're not going to waste their time. You might also want to take a course. The Canadian Numismatic Association offers one by correspondence at www.canadian-numismatic.org.
Once you've done your homework, the next step is to decide what, specifically, you'd like to collect. The best advice here is to follow your interests. Collect what you love, and, again, learn everything you possibly can about your chosen specialty. Most collectors go for issues of a particular country or time period, some go with themes, like airplanes or animals. Silver dollars, $100 gold coins, bi-metallic coins, coins featuring flowers…whatever you choose is fine, there are no rules. Many collect coins to commemorate great events in their lives, a child's graduation, a new baby…or to mark historical events such as the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
The more knowledge you have, the more fun collecting becomes. Learning what to look for, how to identify quality items, how to use the lingo, and how to establish a fair price will make the hunt that much more exciting. The more you know about pricing, the easier it will be to recognize a good bargain. And getting good bargains is a big part of what it's all about. To the collector, bragging about 'finds' constitutes one of life's most enjoyable pastimes.
The final step is to get out there, enjoy the hobby and pull together the most amazing collection of coins ever assembled.
For more information on this exciting hobby, and ideas on what to collect, visit the Royal Canadian Mint on the Internet at www.mint.ca.
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