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Coin Collecting: When Hobby Turns Business

Many people are driven by the desire to do something, anything, when presented with a block of time that has no activity to fill it. For all of written history men and women have used hobbies as a way to fill up these empty blocks with something both rewarding and satisfying to the drive to not stand stagnant. One of the most popular hobby types is collecting. Focusing upon the acquisition of a particular type of item, often those that appreciate with age, this hobby is especially satisfying for some. Coin collecting is a favorite subcategory of this hobby type. A collection of coins is not cumbersome to own, and the coins themselves hold a very clear image of value in the mind of the collector. They know that as the collection ages and grows more robust its value gets grows as well. If it includes rare or significant pieces this value can increase rapidly. The focus of coin collection is not usually centered on the value of the coins themselves. For most collectors the focal point is their interest in the pieces they collect. Of course the purpose and meaning of collecting can vary widely from one collector to another. As both collector and collection grow and mature it is common for exchanges to take place between them and other collectors. Often one collector may manage to procure extra pieces unimportant to their own collection, but vital to the collection of another. It is here that the earning potential of this hobby can be most spectacularly demonstrated. It can be very tempting for the established collector to consider taking their hobby, something they derive great pleasure from, and attempt to build it into a profitable business. In fact, many people have done exactly that with great success. However, many more have failed to varying degrees ranging from simply not making money to disastrous losses. Without a great deal of knowledge in the field a would-be professional can easily fall victim to the many forgers at work. And as with any business there are countless financial and other concerns to be addressed before a serious effort to build a business should be undertaken. For those who with the determination to educate themselves, plan carefully, and accept the risks involved, there is a very real capacity for significant profit. Tips to reduce risk in a coin collecting business:

1. Make an effort to ensure that the trader is honest. That is most important and perhaps most difficult thing to know. With all the unscrupulous dealers it can be a challenge to find individuals trustworthy enough for your business. The best way to accomplish this is to identify whether the coins presented for trade or sale are, in fact, authentic. This is an absolutely crucial skill anyone in the business should seek to cultivate, but until such time as a determination can be made with confidence the owner should delegate this to professionals. While authentic merchandise is a strong indication of legitimate dealers, this is not always true. Keep in mind that it is safer to buy or trade with a well-established business with a sound reputation.

2. Verify the state of the coins or merchandise. Never purchase anything sight-unseen unless you can afford for the product to arrive in extremely poor condition. If it has not been examined by someone absolutely trustworthy the true condition of the item cannot be guaranteed. Take note of dented coins or any other value-altering deformities or damage. Because this will degrade the value of the item it will be important to decide whether the item should be passed over or purchased at a price more accurately reflecting its true value.

3. Practice evaluating merchandise. It can be very difficult to properly identify a coin during trade if you do not know much about the proper classification of coins. Being able to demonstrate relevant knowledge during the trade or purchase of an item will reduce the likelihood the other party might believe themselves at an advantage and behave unscrupulously. Through study and practice a dealer can hone the skill of classifying merchandise properly and spotting the key details that are vital to properly negotiating a deal. Coin collecting can be turned into a rewarding and successful business, but doing so requires more than the average collector can bring to the table. However, armed with the necessary education, financial backing, and confidence it make the dream of earning a living doing something you love a reality.


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