Top 5 Beginner Coins to Collect

Posted on February 15, 2021

While staying at home is the best way to keep yourself safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can get boring after some time. One thing you can do to make your life more interesting is to pick up a new hobby, such as collecting coins. Collecting coins is a versatile pastime that you can do for personal enjoyment or as a form of investment. However, it can be confusing when you're starting out, considering there's such a vast number of collectible coins to choose from. Find out which coins are suitable for beginner collectors in this comprehensive article.

Why Should You Collect Coins?

Before discussing the best coins to collect, let's take a look at a few reasons why you should consider becoming a coin collector:

  • Collecting coins is a fun pastime: It's satisfying to have a collection of small, intricately designed pieces of art that you can display and admire any time you want.
  • Studying coins improves your knowledge: As a coin collector, you'll spend a substantial amount of time delving into history books and learning about milestone events, iconic individuals, politics, and different cultures. Interest in coins and their backgrounds can help you develop a passion for learning new things.
  • Hunting for coins is challenging and rewarding: Coin collectors find great pleasure in searching for the coins they want to acquire. In some cases, hunting for coins requires a lot of research and determination, but it can be fulfilling when you finally find a great piece for your collection.
  • Coins may increase in value: Many people take collecting coins as a hobby. However, if you have high-end coins in your collection, you may find that some of them increase in value over time, which can slightly or significantly improve your personal wealth. Also, you may want to pass your coin collection to your children or grandchildren in the future so that they can enjoy or add to the collection you've built.

Top 5 Coins To Collect

The coins you collect can vary significantly from those of another collector depending on your purpose, budget, and interests. However, some coins are generally more sought-after than others. Below is a list of coins that are popular with virtually all types of collectors because of their artistic beauty and potential to rise in value:

1921 Peace Dollar

The Peace silver dollar was first minted in December 1921. Farran Zerbe, who was formerly the President of the American Numismatic Association, proposed the creation of a new coin to commemorate the peace that ensued after World War I. After the idea was approved, Anthony de Francisci began designing the new silver dollar. The obverse of the coin featured a beautiful profile of Liberty's head, while the reverse showed an American bald eagle perched on a branch, which symbolizes peace.

The United States Mint didn't start striking the Peace silver dollar until December 26, 1921. Since it had extremely limited time to produce the coins, it only minted slightly over 1 million pieces [1], which the public quickly snapped up. Although the 1921 Peace dollar is scarce, a beginner collector can get a circulated example at a relatively low cost.

1878-CC Morgan Silver Dollar

The 1878-CC Morgan silver dollar was minted as a result of the passing of the 1878 Bland-Allison Act. The act required the United States government to buy silver in large quantities for producing silver dollars. Created by engraver George T. Morgan, the design on this dollar coin was initially meant to be featured on a half dollar, but it was later modified and used on the new silver dollar.

The United States Mint in Carson City, Nevada, produced more than 2 million pieces of the 1878-CC Morgan silver dollar [2]. Although this coin isn't a key date or scarce, owning it can add character to your coin collection. A circulated piece is generally moderately priced and within the budget of a novice collector. An uncirculated piece, on the other hand, is usually affordable to an intermediate collector.

1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent

The United States Mint created the 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cent to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln. This coin proved to be an instant hit with the public. However, while previous coins bear only the last initial of their designers, the 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln penny has the three initials V.D.B. at the bottom of its reverse side, which represent its designer Victor David Brenner. After striking 484,000 pieces of the penny [3], the San Francisco mint facility removed the initials, which instantly made the earlier variety scarce.

The 1909-S V.D.B Lincoln cent is one of the most sought-after and valuable Lincoln pennies. Due to its rarity, it's usually the final piece that collectors acquire in their endeavor to build a complete Lincoln penny collection.

1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel

Many collectors who are interested in error coins have the 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo nickel on their radars. This coin features a buffalo with a missing front leg on its reverse side, which occurred as a result of over-grinding on the surface of the die. Since they didn't receive a lot of attention immediately after their release, most Three-Legged Buffalo nickels saw circulation. Uncirculated examples are very rare and only affordable to collectors with deep pockets, but those that have been circulated are moderately priced [4].

1916-D Mercury Dime

Also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, the 1916-D Mercury dime is part of the Renaissance of American Coinage. On the obverse, this coin depicts Liberty wearing a cap with wings, which the public mistakenly believed was the Roman god Mercury. The Denver mint struck only 264,000 pieces [5] of this coin, making it very rare. The 1916-D Mercury dime appeals to all kinds of collectors because of its unique and beautiful design.

Besides these five popular coins, you can find numerous others that are worth your investment. When you have difficulty choosing coins to collect, you can read articles and books and seek advice from experts to find the perfect pieces for your collection.

Article Sources

  1. Coinweek. 'United States 1921 Peace Dollar,' https://coinweek.com/us-coins/united-states-1921-peace-dollar. Accessed September 10, 2020.
  2. CoinTrackers. '1878 CC Morgan Silver Dollar,' http://cointrackers.com/coins/1134/1878-cc-morgan-silver-dollar. Accessed September 10, 2020.
  3. Lincoln Cents. '1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent,' https://lincolncents.net/1909-s-vdb-lincoln-cent. Accessed September 10, 2020.
  4. Coin Update. '1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel,' https://news.coinupdate.com/three-legged-buffalo-nickel-3003. Accessed September 10, 2020.
  5. Mercury Dime. '1916-D Mercury Dime,' https://mercurydime.net/1916-d-mercury-dime. Accessed September 10, 2020.