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Buying Coins

Amateur coin collectors, called "numismatists," are found around the world and coin collecting, old and new coins, is now one of the most fascinating and one of the fastest growing of all hobbies and for many, it has turned into serious business.

Years ago, rare coins were not necessarily thought of as being a hedge against inflation or a way to invest money for retirement. They were usually found in general circulation and not everyone knew to save a rare specimen if they came across one.

But today, coins are bought and sold for investment purposes and are used as a vehicle for retirement savings and various other opportunities.

Coins are bought, sold, and traded on the open market like stocks, bonds, and real estate and coins are are graded and authenticated by industry professionals.

The key to investing and trading in coins, especially expensive coins, is to know the market, make sure that the coin is genuine, and to make smart purchases at good prices.

Collectible coins are produced around the world and if you are a serious collector, you probably already have coins from different countries in your collection.

There are many venues in which coins can be purchased. They are advertised for sale in newspaper and magazine ads all the time, on television shows, and on the internet.

You can buy collectible and not so collectible coins from private parties, at antique stores, yard sales, and auction houses.

But as with all purchases, use discretion because, although most dealers are legitimate, there are some unscrupulous individuals in the business who call themselves coin dealers when in essence, they are just out to make a quick buck.

They will tell you that a particular coin is rare or more valuable than what it is or tell you that the coins came from a special mint edition or still, they put several coins together and tell you that they were minted as a set.

Although some coin collectors have an uncanny ability to know a good coin purchase when he or she see's it, most of us don't know a ducat from a bronze follis.

Before buying, do your homework. Consult professional coin dealers and ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask for proof that the coins, or the set of coins, are authentic.

Also, there are coin catalogs, books, and other publications that will give you some idea of what specific coins are worth.

Remember that there are literally millions of coins in circulation all over the world, but most collectible coins are usually not in public circulation.

But because they are not in public circulation does not mean that they are not being circulated. Coin dealers and private collectors move coins around that are not seen by the general public.

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