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Starting in Numismatics

Written by Q. David Bowers, Chairman Emeritus

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Monday, April 08, 2013 / Categories: From the Desk of Q. David Bowers
If you are new to coin collecting and are amazed with the thousands of different varieties of federal coins struck since 1792, not to overlook many different grades of those coins, there is an easy way to develop a methodology. This has worked for many people. Today, the Internet makes it easier.

Take a coin -- I suggest as an example an 1885-CC Morgan silver dollar. Look it up in the Guide Book of United States Coins. Beyond that, if you care to part with a few dollars check the Whitman website and order a copy of my Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars.However, without either book you can get started. Go on the Internet and you will find hundreds of thousands of “hits” for this coin. Zero in on several that give basic information -- the mintage, the price in different grades, and so on. Spend an hour or two checking offers, reading anything you can in the way of narrative, and taking in the information you see. Beyond that, for extra credit so to speak, check Wikipedia for the history of the Carson City Mint. After you have done this you will know as much about an 1885-CC silver dollar as the most expert of experts!