What motivates people to collect coin? Is it because they truly appreciate each type coin as a piece of art?

Many say they collect because of the challenge of trying to find one of each type and / or rare dates of a particular series. Yet others say they collect for sentimental reasons. It's a personal thing in most cases.

The reason most people collect, or at least those who buy coin for a collection, is for the potential profit. I don't think was my initial reason for starting my first " Parliament Series" collection, but it didn't take me long to realize the potential after I bought my first Parliament 1976 Copper Cent.

I started collecting because I had a brother and several friends who did. We were doing it for the fun of the search. It was several years after I poked coins into my first album before I ever saw a price guide -Standard catalogue of Malaysia,Singapore and Brunei,Coins and paper Money of Stevan Tan. Even as I looked at the coin values in the book, I never gave it any thought that I could sell coins.

My collecting remained just a fun thing for several years. The turning point, I think, was when I visited a coin collector friend,he asked me for the Parliament 1976 Copper Cent.He said, he would like to buy the coin and offered me a price very much higher than my  initial cost of purchased ,I don't remember the actual offer, but it didn't make any difference because I had no intention of even selling it.
I discovered that, except for junk silver, I could never bring myself to sell a coin that I actually bought in for my own collection. I was fascinated, however with the idea of being able to buy a coin and perhaps then sell it for a profit.

I had always wanted to invest in something. Most investment-quality areas, however, were out of my reach financially or beyond my scope of financial intellect. Coin, on the other hand, were simple enough to understand.

We used to refer to coins as the poor man's stock market. When you bought something as an investment, you at least got the coin's face value and not just a piece of paper saying you owned something.

I started buying small 'deals" from my local dealers and from a few other guys I had met at "coin-club" meetings and such. It was great fun.

I stopped by the shop almost every week-end, and I attended most of the "coin-club" meetings and even started venturing out to coin shows.

All the while, I was enjoying what I was doing plus learning a lot about coins and business.

Being a small part time dealer made you an insider at coin shows and along with this came the privilege of buying "wholesale."

Some of the "coin-club" members I met in those days had gotten into the business. It was an extension of their hobby. Few relied on their business to make a living.

My motive was to make money but to enjoy myself while I was doing it. I had the best of both worlds.

Everyone can't be nor do they want to be a coin dealer, but everyone likes to see the value of their collection go up.

Besides being the proud owner of nice coins, it always makes you feel good to know that  you were smart enough to buy something that perhaps someone else passed on but is now increasing in value.


  1. Numismatic is the only hobby where one can spend all his or her money yet always end up with some left :D