RARE COINS, CURRENCY & PRECIOUS METALS AS A COLLECTIBLE OR INVESMENT
Collecting or investing can be a rewarding experience for anyone who approaches the calling armed with the right attitude and background knowledge about this exciting field. It can just as easily become a costly mistake for anyone who attempts to profit without giving serious thought to the idiosyncrasies of this unique market.
Investment is defined as "the outlay of money usually for income or profit". We do not recommend that customers focus on the profit incentive when buying rare coins, currency and precious metals. Our feeling is that these items are very "speculative" and that the best advice given to anyone considering investing is to use common sense. No thinking person would consider buying a diamond ring from a street peddler, or an art masterpiece at a garage sale. It is just the same with rare coins, currency and precious metals, and the more careful you are in selecting a qualified dealer and making an educated evaluation of the items that you purchase, the greater will be your chances of enjoyment.
The opportunities for successful collecting are as great today as at any time in the past. Buyers can now purchase coins that have been graded and authenticated by third-party services to assure the quality of each item, and there is more written information available for beginners than ever before. The pricing is also very competitive in today's open market where profit margins are often lower than in the past.
The shift in emphasis from collecting to investing has created a new market and demand for coins resulting in more stringent grading methods, and pricing geared to the rarity of coins in various levels of condition. Coins in high grades of condition that have been certified and encapsulated (slabbed) may be valued at multiples of similar coins that have not been so graded. The "raw" (non-serviced) coins are valued lower than what is charged for certified "investment" coins.
For hundreds of years rare coins and precious metals have proven themselves to be an excellent hedge against inflation, and source of ready money in times of disaster. There is no reason to think that this will change in the future. Gone are the days when coin collecting was only a passive hobby for those who study the history and artistry of these enjoyable objects. It has now grown into an activity where speculation on the future demand for rare coins has made them part of many investment portfolios.
With this change in attitude about collecting has come a measure of concern for those who purchase coins without the background or experience necessary to avoid costly mistakes by accepting overpriced or overgraded coins that simply are not worth what is paid for them. Extreme caution is advised for anyone considering an investment in rare coins. Investigate the person or firm with whom you are dealing. Seek professional non-biased help with grading determinations. Satisfy yourself that the coins you select are priced competitively to prices being charged by other dealers.
Protecting valuable coins is an important part of investing. The best protection for keeping coins pristine is to store them in an inert, airtight plastic holder, away from paper products, cigarette smoke, wood, natural rubber, paint and textiles such as wool or felt. Humidity greater then 75% can also be harmful.
Collectors and investors alike can profit by investigating the background and history of the coins they buy. Coins are a mirror of history and art that tell the story of mankind over the past 2,600 years, reflecting economic struggles, wars, prosperity and creativity of every major nation on earth. We are but the custodian of these historic relics, and must appreciate and care for them while in our possession. Those who treat rare coins with the consideration and respect they deserve will profit in many ways, not the least of which can be in the form of a sound financial return on one's investment of time and money.