Guidance on Buying the Book Before You Buy the Coin
You hear it all the time in the world of numismatics. You are supposed to procure the book before the coin. But what does it really mean? What it really means is that before you cough up money on coin collecting, just like any subject, you should research and understand what you are doing. While it may sound simple, going down to the coin shop and purchasing coins, it can be much more difficult than that if you do not want to lose your shirt.
Coin collecting is big business and just like any industry, it can be filled with people who have less than honorable intentions. Yes, even in the coin collecting hobby, where there can be a close knit circle of insiders, the villainous element will prey on those who are not informed and do not do their research.
If you are a beginning coin collector, or even a long time collector, books about coin collecting can be brimming with knowledge that you may not know. After all, the book you buy may have been written by someone who is an expert in a specific area of Numismatics. For example, there are several books on the market just about Lincoln Cents. If you are a beginning collector of Lincoln Cents, these books can teach you various collecting strategies you may want to inspect. If you are an accomplished collector, you can learn more about different die varieties. Most books will also teach you about what to look for in counterfeit coins, or coins that have been doctored to make them look better than they really are. This is by far the biggest advantage to you as the collector. A $25 book with knowledge about cleaning, counterfeits, alterations, etc. can save you thousands if you are after high end coins.
Many books will also cover the background of a coin and how it came about. To be an authoritative collector, you should have knowledge of why the coin was made, the political climate that caused the change and the public attitude towards the change. If nothing else, you may learn something. Many coins have a heritage behind them that is quite compelling.
Every collector should have a library of books to refer to for their collection. If you are going to cough up hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over time to collect coins, good reference books for your area of interests is not that big of an expenditure.
Even today, it is surprising how many so called collectors will still clean their coins, polish them and store them incorrectly thus decreasing their worth. Additionally, intelligent collectors buy coins that will keep value rather than diminishing in value.
So, where can you buy books about coin collecting? Just about any book store will have books about coin collecting, but if you really want a better selection, there are many resources on the internet that sell books specific to coin collecting. These sources are confidential and private. Because it is online, they may even be cheaper than traditional brick and mortar stores, even after you pay shipping. Just shop around and you will be dumbfounded at how many different titles of books that are available for coin collectors.