Why Collect Coins?
Coin collecting is a fascinating and absorbing hobby and there is no logical end, which is exactly what most people want out of a hobby. Just within the sphere of collecting English coins alone (which is AMR Coins specialist area) the number of varieties of are almost endless. People collect coins for many different reasons and often start in one field of interest and then move into another. Interest in particular types of design, certain periods of history, coin manufacture, obtaining every date or variation of a given type are all reasons that people get hooked on collecting! We have listed some of the main ones below.
Collecting a single denomination
A popular way to collect is by denomination; a collector may choose to collect only shillings for example. It may be that all milled shillings are chosen spanning the period from 1658-1967, that both hammered and milled are collected, or that the collection is narrowed further to shillings of a particular period.
Collecting by period or monarch
Many people prefer to collect coins from a specific period in history or a specific monarch. One of the best known collections of this type was that of John G. Brooker who concentrated on collecting coins of Charles I (of which there are a huge variety of types).
Collecting a date run
This can appeal to the novice collector and advanced collector alike. It is quite easy, for example, to collect most dates of the bronze penny in low grade but still fun to make up the date run. It is considerably more challenging (and costly) to put a date run of Charles II crowns together in choice condition!
Collecting by type
Some collectors like to to get the best example they can afford of each type of coin, regardless of date or minor variety. This type of collection can be extremely varied representing the different denominations available.
Collecting die varieties
There are die varieties for many pre-decimal coins, even those of the 20th century, and include positioning of legend lettering, positioning (and absence) of stops, varieties in busts and edge beading to name but a few. There is much scope here for the advanced collector. The variations in dies used really becomes obvious in hammered coinage, the most basic example being differences in mint mark, and collecting one of each mint mark of a denomination of hammered coinage could simplistically be likened to a date run of milled coins. Collecting varieties of dies can go hand-in-hand with other collecting ‘methods’ mentioned above. John G. Brooker collected as many coins struck from different dies as possible, for example, but only within the scope of Charles I coins.
Collecting by metal type
Some people collect coins of only one metal. For some it is copper, others silver or gold. The superb collection of the late Herbert Schnieder is a good example, concentrating solely on gold.
So there are many ways to collect, and the above list is by no means exhaustive. Above anything, enjoy the hobby and buy the best you can afford.