Getting your kids interested in coin collecting isn’t hard to do, especially if they see it as ‘treasure collecting’ to begin with, and of course, rare coins are the original ‘treasure’ of many story tales.
Most kids love collecting ‘treasures’ and what better real life treasure exists than rare coins? After all, they are the stuff that many story tales are made of. Presented like this, children will often jump at the chance to start their own collection.
At this stage, they might not need to know (or be able to understand) that their ‘coin treasure’ will gain increasing value over the years and that what starts out as an innocent hobby usually becomes a lifelong passion. In the beginning, the focus is on the fun and excitement of finding an unusual old coin, or a bright, shiny new one that catches their eye.
Who knows though, your child’s coin collection could become the next family heirloom, passed on to their children. Or it might be used to fund their tertiary education, or buy their first car. A prized and valuable coin collection has a lot of potential.
Of course, it’s not only about ‘fun’; coin collecting is hugely educational too. Children are intrinsically learning about history, geography, culture and maths, while developing other vital skills such as reading, comprehension, organizational skills and set goals. For example there might be a particular coin they want to add to their collection, how are they going to get it?
A good way to pique their interest in the beginning is to show them how coins are manufactured. It’s a truly fascinating process and there are plenty of appropriate videos available on YouTube. Videos such as these will also give them a better understanding of popular coin terms, used in context, which makes them easier to remember.
So how do you (or your child for that matter) decide which coins to start collecting? In the beginning, let them pick and choose which coins which they find interesting. This needn’t be an expensive exercise. You can start by going through the change you have in your wallet, laying around the house, or in their piggy bank. You can also start looking at second hand stores, which often have old coins for sale at very reasonable prices.
After a while, it should become clear which coins your child has a preference for. You can then suggest that they focus on a particular type or set of coins and start adding graded coins to their collection. It’s important that you let them know the value of graded coins from early on, so they grow up understanding how grading works, and how other (ungraded) coins compare. Again, you needn’t choose coins that are too expensive or hard to source, because ultimately your child will get to a stage where they’ll want to buy coins themselves with their own money.
Here are a couple of ideas of coins that your child could focus on:
• Coins from a specific denomination
• Coins that are manufactured at the same mint
• Coins from a specific country
• Coins from their birth year
• Coins from a particular series or set.
• Coins with particularly unusual or beautiful designs.
Once your children reach a stage where they know where their coin interests lie and have developed a basic appreciation and understanding of the hobby, then you can start taking them to coin shows, coin shops, specialized dealers and even looking online for their next coin.
At the end of the day, coin collecting is a very time absorbing (but satisfying) hobby and if your child learns to make informed decisions from early on, it’s a hobby that can stand them in good financial stead in the future.