Coin collecting has an inaccessible image as a hobby – people imagine it’s difficult to start, even trickier to maintain, and reserved for people with insider information on the world of ‘numismatics’ (coin collecting).
This perception couldn’t be further from the reality – and perhaps the best part is that there’s a steady flow of new coin announcements and discoveries. In 2019 alone, Hattons of London has released four gold sovereign sets and there are various other coin companies striking collectable coins throughout the year.
There are some occasions where coins may appreciate in value, but for many enthusiasts, the main enjoyment comes from collecting beautiful sovereigns and can be a way to commemorate special events.
Following the below tips will help you navigate the world of your new coin collecting hobby.
Speak to an expert
There’s no better time to start coin collecting than the present. With gold prices at an all-time high, more people are entering the world of sovereigns. However, as with any high-value investment, people should investigate who they are buying valuable coins from to avoid being stung.
Reputable dealers have the knowledge and perspective to help you decide which limited edition coins you would like to invest in, based on your financial position and interests. Looking for a dealer that is independently verified through a site such as Trustpilot, is essential – you want to ensure you’re in safe and expert hands.
Another telling sign is looking at the guarantees offered. If a company does not offer an adequately lengthy returns policy or buyback options, it should make you think twice. A long returns policy gives you the freedom to change your mind if you feel you no longer want to invest in – or own – a valuable coin. A buy back opportunity takes away the hassle of ever having to put your coin up for auction if you decide you want to sell it on.
Don’t bank on finding a rare sovereign
The best place to find coins is through a reputable dealer such as Hattons of London. We have an array of rare and unique sovereigns, from a range commemorating the moon landing, to gold sovereigns celebrating past and present monarchs.
Every so often, the media reports on spectacularly lucky individuals finding incredibly valuable coins in their attic, at a car-boot sale or metal detecting. Just recently a couple found 2,500 silver coins dating back to the Norman period thought to be worth £5m.
While these stories are of course hugely exciting, unfortunately such finds are infrequent events. Your best bet if you are to begin collecting coins is by contacting a well-regarded dealer.
Can your coins make you rich?
Working out whether a specific gold sovereign will make you money over another is like looking into a crystal ball: there is no telling whether a coin will make you rich.
As with any investment, there is often risk attached to spending a large amount of money on a specific product, however you need to remember that coin dealers are not regulated to provide investment advice.
The coins that are more likely to rise in value are ones that have a high precious metal content such as gold, platinum or silver and have a rarity value. When companies create coin sets with limited mintages, they naturally become harder to find, and therefore may attract a premium. These dealers might also offer buy backs on rarer coins. Finally, investigate how the coin is finished, many collectors are prepared to pay higher prices for a Proof finish. These are all indicators that suggest that certain coins could become more valuable in future years.
Beware of fakes
A coin can only be classified as a coin when it has legal tender status. This means that it must be recognised by an issuing authority, such as a government, as having a face value. In Britain, legal tender coins are produced by the Royal Mint but there are several other British territories that are authorised to issue coins denominated in Sterling and bearing the Queen’s portrait such as Gibraltar, Alderney and Tristan da Cunha.
There are huge amounts of counterfeit circulation coins in use all around the world. In the UK alone, the £1 coin was replaced in 2017 due to the sheer quantity of fake coins in circulation.
Unfortunately, fake coins are also to be found in the collectables market. The best way to check if a coin is real or fake is through physical inspection. It is never a good idea to buy a coin through an online auction and, if you want to be sure you are being sold a real coin, always buy through a professional dealer.
Coin collecting is an immensely enjoyable hobby that may interest anyone with a passion for history, gold, and precious metals, or is simply looking for potential heirlooms for loved ones. It’s important to do your research and understand what to look out for when speaking to coin dealers and investing in coins.
We hope you enjoy the above and it will give you the confidence to start your sovereign collection.