When it comes to coin collecting or the science of numismatics, the discipline extends far beyond merely valuing coins for the intrinsic value of base or precious metals that they contain. People who collect coins usually also learn about economics, history, politics, art and even the personal relationships of people during the time when a particular coin was first designed and struck. Successful collectors keep up with news about coins, and that is exactly what this resource about coins here on Coin World provides. The value of numismatic, or collectible, coins usually exceeds the mere value of whatever base or precious metal that they contain. Rather than simply collecting coins for their precious metal content, numismatists value coins because of their beauty, historical significance, and/or rarity. Of course, a good number of collectible coins also contain precious metals, commonly silver or gold, and this only adds to the coin's value.
Collecting coins as an investment in bullion has probably been in existence since the first ancient civilizations figured out how to hammer rough tokens out of bronze, copper, iron, silver, gold and other metals. Historians believe the first bullion coins used as a standard currency came from ancient Lydia (in modern Turkey), but even more significant to coin collectors, they believe that the value of certain coins departed from the bullion value fairly early, and so it is possible that the hobby of viewing coins as collectibles was born thousands of years ago.
The fact that coin collecting is probably an ancient hobby is good news for contemporary collectors because it means that many ancient specimens survive. This is similar to knowing that some specimens of more recent historical coins probably survived because coin collecting increased in popularity at certain points in history. For example, coin folders were introduced in the United States in the 1930s, and this is believed to have helped preserve many U.S. coins from the late 1800s and early 1900s during the Great Depression and World War II — a time when many coins were melted.
In any case, coin collecting as a hobby appeals to people of all different generations and economic classes. While many kings, captains of industry, U.S. presidents and even sports figures and other celebrities have enjoyed numismatics as a hobby and source of profit, the hobby is still accessible to young and old people without great fortunes at their command. When it comes to coin collecting, the most valuable currency is knowledge, so stay tuned to Coin World for constant updates.