As soon as the Halloween candy is cleared from the shelves, Christmas and Hanukkah decorations start popping up in its place, reminding us that the holidays are right around the corner. Once Thanksgiving is over, the pressure to finish up your holiday shopping is ramped up to full force. The sales and deals can make things easier on your wallet but finding the perfect gift for loved ones who are historically harder to shop for can still be a daunting task. Luckily, if you have a numismatist on your list, we have a few suggestions for you. Below are some gift ideas that will please coin collectors of all levels and ages.
Sure, you can find updated information on coin collecting online, but a premium coin guidebook is one example of a reliable reference that any coin collector would appreciate. Books are easy to flip through and reference, and a new edition yields consistent and accurate information that may be more difficult to find online. Coin reference books can range in price from about ten to a few hundred dollars, depending on the range of time and geographical location covered. Unlike websites, coin books never require an Internet connection to provide their information and can be used anywhere.
2. Membership to Association
Of all the coin collector associations out there, the most respected group in the U.S. is the American Numismatic Association (ANA). The ANA has been around since 1891 and provides a wealth of gatherings, events and online forums where enthusiasts can share their finds and ask other collectors for advice. Memberships to associations not only provide comradery but can be invaluable resources and networking platforms as well. Certain membership levels include a monthly issue of The Numismatists, a hobby journal containing all the latest updates in the world of coin collecting.
3. Commemorative Coins
This one may be a bit obvious, but what better gift to give a coin collector than actual coins? Commemorative coins can honor just about any person, place, institution or milestone. If your collector has other hobbies or interests, there just might be coins that pay homage to them. Commemorative coins honor public servants, veterans and even sports teams or rock stars. Chances are, with a little searching, you can find a coin that speaks to a different layer of the numismatist’s personality.
4. Coin Microscope
Proper light and some sort of magnification device are essential for viewing coins. Many collectors prefer incandescent light, as fluorescent light can be too soft, thus smoothing details and hiding minor imperfections that could influence the value of the coin. Stereo microscopes make great coin microscopes as they magnify while also providing an appropriate amount of light. Some digital microscopes even allow enthusiasts to photograph the pieces of their collection. These pictures can help people organize their collections or can be shared on public forums with other collectors.
5. Bullion Coins
Bullion coins might not hold as much interest for a collector as a rare, ancient piece of currency, but they do hold their intrinsic value. American Gold Eagles and American Silver Eagles are types of bullion coins that are minted from precious metals and retain value solely based on their composition. These can be collected as an investment, as their value changes over time, or used as currency to be traded for coins or equipment that is more intriguing to the collector. Most bullion coins are also aesthetically pleasing and make a great starting point for people who are just beginning their collections, or nice additions to well-established anthologies.
As any numismatist will tell you, serious coin collecting is so much more than just coins. From the coin books, hobby microscopes and tickets to a coin show, collecting can add up. Whatever you decide to buy, they will probably be excited that you shared their enthusiasm for their hobby this season. If you still can’t decide on the best gift or are worried about giving them something they already have, a gift certificate to their favorite hobby shop or coin collecting website might also do the trick. Check with your local coin dealer to see about special holiday deals and packaging to make it a truly memorable gift.
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