Among the mainstays of coin collecting, old coins are among the most exciting and sought after members of the coin family. Not only do they tend to be rarer than modern coins, but they are often made from valuable materials that actually worth more now than the actual denomination of the coin itself. Which makes old coins that much more of a thrill.
One reason why old coins become value is the simple fact that old coins were often made from precious metals, such as gold or silver. Thus, old coins can often be worth more melted down than they would if they were spent like regular change. However, the fact that they are still stamped coins makes them even more valuable. And their value is only enhanced even more by the fact that they have been around for a while.
Old coins are made even more valuable when they are also rare. Fortunately, the fact that coins are old tends to make them rarer. This is because the older a coin is, the more likely that people have exchanged it for more modern currency and the more likely that the government has gotten a hold of it and melted it down. In fact, most governments have specific legal requirements to destroy old coins in order to keep the money supply modern, making it more difficult for coin collectors to find old coins.
However, coin collectors don’t just look for old coins because they are valuable. They are also unusual and provide a connection to people who lived long ago. When you have an old coin in your hands, you are holding the same coin that was passed from hand to hand one hundred, one thousand, even two thousand years ago. They are not just metal, they are pieces of history. What you see and feel in your hands is exactly what your forebears saw and felt.
When you hold old coins in your hands, you are not just holding some old money. Rather, you are holding links to your forebears. Those coins have moved through history as surely as great architecture. And the old coins you collect may have even made history on their own. Who knows whose hands those old coins may have passed through? They may have been in the palms of kings and presidents, philosophers and physicians, writers and artists, or inventors and tycoons. And with the number of times that change changes hands, there is no telling who might have spent those old coins you are adding to your collection.
While old coins can be good investments, they are much more than that for a coin collector. They are windows to long gone pasts and forgotten times. They are connections to people who have lived all manner of lives and done things both great and small. So when you see old coins, remember that many people have worked to earn that coin and they have all, at some level, appreciated its presence in their lives. So enjoy those old coins that you collect and appreciate them for the fact that they could fill entire books with the stories that they have to tell.