Quick Tips for Beginning Collectors

  • Don't buy the blue PCGS slab holder boxes for your coins. If you send coins to PCGS they come back in a box. If you send coins to (hopefully) receive a CAC sticker they come back in a box. If you buy coins from a dealer many will send in the little blue box. Soon you have a mountain of spare boxes. Need the little blue boxes? Send me an email (Contacts Page) and I’ll send you a couple.

  • The best way to send coins is via the postal service. This seemed odd to me at first but I have never sent and seldom received a coin that didn't go through the post office. They insure coins whereas the other services have limited options in this regard. Also, the "it fits it ships" boxes are free for the asking so you can grab a stack in various sizes and store at home. Buy some adhesive mailing labels from Amazon or an office supply store (the two to a page 4.25" x 5.5" labels work for all package sizes). Print your labels bar-codes and all from the post office web site. Presto, you're ready to drop off your coins at any mail box.

  • Shipping logistics are important. Auction houses and dealers will send the shipping information so visit the USPS site and enable text or email alerts once you have the shipping number. The issue is accepting orders. Typically a signature is required and most of us aren't home at 2:00 in the afternoon to sign. Nobody likes standing in line at the post office to retrieve a package. Most auction houses (except Heritage) ship like clockwork some period of time after you pay. Use that information to control the logistics. My favorite auction house always ships the afternoon of the day after I pay. I pay on Tuesday night and my order ships Wednesday to conveniently arrive on Saturday when I'm home. A post office box is not a solution as you will still need to wait in line to sign for the package. If you have an office without a shifty coworker named Bubba or a nearby private mailbox business then that might be an option.

  • Buy a reference book for every series you plan to collect. I purchase these in Kindle format so I have easy access when looking at coins online.

  • You will need a safe or a bank safety deposit box or both. A fire can destroy your beloved coins and a thief may break open the slabs and put their greasy fingers on them as they try to pawn them. Please note - home insurance WILL NOT cover your collection (or very little of it). You either need to add a policy rider to your current policy or purchase collectors insurance and both are expensive.