As your coin collecting becomes more serious—or just to properly identify and protect the coins you have—you’ll want to get some tools to up your professionalism. Here are some to consider:
These are the things every collector should have.
- A Magnifier
Small details can make a big difference in identifying a coin properly. A basic magnifying glass will help pick out many things that can affect the coin’s pedigree and value. More advanced collectors will want more sophisticated ones.
- Soft Cotton Gloves
Dirt and oils from your hands can attack a coin and cause it to lose value over time. You can get these inexpensive, lightweight gloves on the internet or at coin and camera stores.
- Coin Holders
You want a safe place to store and display your coins. Less valuable coins can be kept in tubes, envelopes, cardboard coin holders, and album pages. If you have a lot of coins, you may also want some coin storage boxes. You can find all these things at coin shops or on the internet under “coin collecting supplies.”
- A Book or Two
There are dozens of good books about coin collecting that go way deeper into collecting than you’re likely to find on the internet. Here are a few we recommend.
For more valuable coins and advanced collecting, you’ll want some things that let you look at them more closely, display them properly, and store them safely.
- A Pocket Magnifier or Jeweler’s Loupe
These are small, higher-powered magnifiers that show much more detail than a magnifying glass. When a small detail can greatly affect a coin’s value, these relatively inexpensive tools are worth the investment. Most collectors prefer 10-20x magnification.
- A Padded Cushion or Tray
This lets you sort coins without fear of picking up hairline scratches.
- Coin Tongs
These padded tongs let you handle coins without touching them. The cotton gloves work fine, though, so save these for special circumstances.
- Archival Display and Storage Holders
Cheaper cardboard and plastic holders can give off gasses that will eventually damage coins. Go for ones that are contaminant-free and damage-resistant. Coin slabs are inert plastic holders that snap securely shut. Most have a place to make notes about the coin.
Like any other hobby, coin collecting has its specialized tools. Pick these up according to your needs and you’ll find your collecting easier and more rewarding.