Coin collecting is the collecting of coins or other forms of minted legal tender. Coins of interest to collectors often include those that circulated for only a brief time, coins with mint errors and especially beautiful or historically significant pieces. A coin’s grade is the main determinant of its value.
Coins in circulation between 300 and 200 BC were exchanged from what is now Afghanistan to India. A few hundred years later, bronze Kushan empire coins betrayed Greek influences; silver and copper coins bearing images of brahman bulls and Arabic writing were minted in the centuries that followed.
Coin Collection Ideas & Themes
Year Collections –> Probably the most common coin collecting theme is to collect by Year. This can be done in several ways: collect every coin for a specific country for a given year, like your birthday or when man first walked on the moon 1969. Or collect all years of 1 type of coin such as all Roosevelt Dimes from 1946 to the present.
Country Collections –> Another popular theme is to collect by country, usually the country in which you live. You can also try to get a wide variety of coins from all over the world. This is a hit with little kids.
Mint Marks –> Usually an extension of collecting by year, holding the same coin and year with different mint marks is also a common way to put together a collection.
Time Period Collection –> History buffs will find this way attractive by collecting coins during a certain time period with historical significance. Say you are fascinated with World War I, you could collect all US/Country coins involved in the war from 1914 – 1918. Or when Abraham Lincoln was president from 1860 – 1865.
Series & Type Set –> A series is a collection of coins for a given period such as all Roosevelt Dimes. You would need to collect not only the years but also the different mint marks. A type set is a collection of coins for each major design for a given denomination such as all the types of nickels, such as the Shield Nickel, Liberty Head Nickel, Buffalo Nickel, and the Jefferson Nickel.
Error Coins –> Another popular idea is to focus on error coins for a denomination or type. Broad strikes, double strikes, and off-center strikes are some typical error coins.
World Coins –> Outside the US, foreign coins are another fascinating approach to coin collecting. Bi-metallic coins, coins with holes, different languages etc. are all ways to collect foreign and world coins.
Ancient Coins –> Coins that are really really old! Ancient coins are another unique way to collect a piece of history. Before machinery and being struck, coins had to be made individually or hand poured. Greek and Roman coins are particularly popular for the ancient coin collector.
Composition Coins –> Some people like to focus just on the composition or metals of the coins. Gold, silver, copper, platinum are all popular metals for collectors.
Remember When Coin Collecting
- Don’t drop your coins.
- Keep your coins in the best holders you can afford.
- Be a good steward, for your coins, will be in the hands of future generations.
- Don’t collect coins for the money – do it for the joy of the hobby.
- After all, coin values can go up and down overnight, just like the stock prices and index on Wall Street. However, if you collect coins for the pure enjoyment of searching for and preserving coins you really enjoy, you’ll never tire of your coin collection no matter how much or little it is worth.
- Never give up on buying the coins you really want.
- Keep your aims high and your hopes higher. You may not be in a position to buy the coin you really want right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy the coin you have your eye on sometime down the road. Perhaps you can save up some cash in a coin fund to purchase the pieces you really want.
- Share the hobby with those close to you.
- Some people are lone wolves, but if you’re like me, “the more the merrier” is your mantra in life. And, including those, I like when taking part in the things I love is something I’ve always tried to do. At the very least, when you share coin collecting with others, you may teach them something new. You may even inspire them to join you in this fascinating hobby. If you can encourage others in your social network to become coin collectors, too, that may help lead to even deeper bonds with the people that you most enjoy.
Anatomy Of the Indian Coin
Obverse Side:In Republic India’s coins the obverse side refers to the side on which, Lion Capital along with the motto ‘Satyamev Jayate’ is struck.
Reverse Side: It is the side on which the designs changes either based on the definitive series type or commemoration type. For example, in above-shown coin we can see the United Nations’ logo; this side of the coin makes the reverse side. Generally, obverse side design remains unchanged except minor changes and all the time it bears the lion capital and the motto ‘Satyamev Jayate’, whereas reverse side designs are changed constantly from one commemoration to other commemoration issues.
Lion Capital : It is the Emblem of India and derived from the Ashoka Pillar, as a symbol of sovereignty and indigenous motifs of independence.
Denomination: It refers to the value of the coin mentioned on it either in terms of the rupee or in terms of Naya Paise/Paise/Pice.
Motto: Republic Indian’s coins bear the motto “सत्यमेव जयते” meaning Truth Alone Triumphs. This motto was derived from Mundaka Upanishad Mantra 3.1.6 (सत्यमेव जयते नानृतम् सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः । येनाक्रमत् मनुष्यो ह्यात्मकामो यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परं निधानं ॥)
Year: This refers to the year of commemoration in the case of commemorative coins and year of minting in the case of definitive coins.
Legend: Legend is the written alphabetic script on the coin which generally indicates the details of Commemoration or any other details related t coin but it will be in terms of alphabetic and numeric script.
Field: This is any flat/Plain area of the coin which is free from any designs or which is not raised.
Relief: This is the portion of the design that has been raised.
Mint Mark: It is generally given below the date, but in some cases at the top of the vertical axis of the coin. It indicates the mint in which coin was minted. In India, there are four mints, namely; Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Noida Mint. Kolkata mint doesn’t use any mint mark, whereas Mumbai mint has diamond shaped (Rhombus), Hyderabad mint has Star shaped and Noida has Round Dot-shaped mint mark. In addition to these, India also got its coins minted through foreign mints during the 1980s and 1990s. Mintmark ‘B’ and ‘M’ were used by Mumbai mint on proof sets whereas Mintmark ‘U’ was being used on UNC sets issued by Mumbai Mint.
Edge: The edge is the actual side of the coin, and shouldn’t be confused with the rim. Edge can be either Plain, Milled/Reeded or Security edge.
Eraser: Some people have used an eraser to help smooth over the surface of the coin and to remove or reduce noticeable damage. When this is done, it is very easy for a coin collector/dealer to notice that the coin has been altered and will greatly reduce the value of your coin. You will tend to see where the eraser strokes started and stopped and where they started in a new location.
Baking Soda: This is a more popular way to shine up silver coins. If done with a light touch, this type of cleaning is more difficult to see with the naked eye but if the person cleans the coin vigorously then it will give the coin a “Polished” appearance and is easy to spot. Using baking soda will create small scratches on the surface of the coin and are noticeable under magnification.
Polishing Wheel: This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to ruin the value of a coin. This method shifts the surface material and gives the coin a mirror like finish, but it also makes this type of cleaning very easy to spot.
Chemical Cleaning : This is typically done on copper items, in the hopes of returning the coin from a brown color to a bright red coin again. There are a number of household products that have been tried and used to “brighten” copper coin. These types of chemicals will brighten the color of the coin, but will usually give it a dull and unnatural color that is easy to see. Not all chemicals to clean coins are bad; you need to look for a product that is designed specifically for cleaning coins and not some other type of surfaces.
Facts About Indian Coins
The earliest reference of coins in the Indian context can be found in the Vedas. Nishka was the term used for coins of metals.
Cowrie shells were used as the medium of economic transactions for a long period of time by a large number of people in ancient India.
The reign of Gupta dynasty 4th century CE- mid 6th century CE is considered as the golden age of Indian coinage due to the numerous findings of gold coins from that era.
Sher Shah Suri, a 16th-century ruler of Afghan lineage introduced the Rupee. It was a silver currency. At that moment one rupee was equal to four coins made of copper. The Indian currency is still called Rupee.
Ruby was made of silver which weighed almost 11.34 grams at that period. Even during the rule of British emperor the silver coins were circulated in large numbers in the Indian market.
In the year of 1862, many new coins were introduced in the Indian market which had depicted Queen Victoria’s image and name on the coin. Queen Victoria was the new Empress of India after the end of East India Company’s rule in 1858.
After the independence of India, the first coin was issued in the year of 1950. The Government of India removed every sign of British colonial legacy from the coin except the English language and the Roman script.
In the year of 1938, Reserve Bank of India first issued the paper currency notes. In fact, nowadays, RBI is the only one who manages all of the currency. It is the Indian equivalent of the Federal Reserve of US.
In the year of 1957, the Indian coin got decimalized. In this system, the rupee was divided into 100 Maya paisa . At 1964, the word ‘naya’ concept was dropped as by that time any paisas had already grown old.
At the time of independence, there was the concept of annas in the Indian currency system. 16 annas were equal to one rupee. The annals were further divided into 12 pies or 4 paisas. Even there were ½ or ¼ paisas as well.
After independence, copper-nickel alloy was used to make coins. After that in 1964 aluminum was brought there to make coins. Even the coins made of stainless steel and nickel were introduced after 1988.
D. Udaya Kumar introduced the symbol of Indian rupees in the year of 2010. While creating the symbol, the Latin ‘R’ and the Devanagari symbol of ‘Ra’ was used shortly. Even the symbols were given two lines situated parallel to represent the national flag of India.
To commemorate special occasions RBI occasionally issued coins of special denomination such as 10, 50, 100 or even 1000. These are the special sets for xxx collectors.
The first set of commemorative coins was issued in 1964 in honor of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the Indian Republic.
Indian 5 Rupee coins were occasionally smuggled into Bangladesh. They were melted and used to make razors. This business greatly devalued the coins and harms the economy. Thus, the government had made it illegal to melt coins or destruction of currency notes.