Undoubtedly you have once found a coin in your pocket that was different than the coin types you were familiar with, be it an old coin portrayal or an old date that roused your curiosity and pride of ownership. You put it away in a box and enjoyed the beginning of a coin collection. One day you brought the thus collected coins to a numismatist in order to find out their value. Often such a case is one of disappointment because the coins, although of considerable age, were only worth very little. In order to understand this situation one needs to learn a few of the rules and principles of coin collecting.

Coin collecting should not be limited to hoarding and accumulating coin types. Occupying oneself with coins and their history can be a virtual and intensive voyage in time. Coins and medals combine in a unique way money, art and history. You can inform yourself in detail about coins and the history of your area of collecting through the acquisition of a small library. You will learn their fascinating background and gain profound knowledge. Auction catalogues, numismatic magazines and dealer's lists will give you additional information about the price structure and the present values.

The collector should concentrate himself on a certain area. Areas of collecting can be countries, regions, cities, epochs in time, rulers and all sorts of different themes.

Two criteria are of special importance in building a collection: conservation (quality) and rarity. They determine the value and importance of a collection. Coins that have circulated heavily can be found for little money, even from past centuries. The same pieces in uncirculated quality can be worth a multiple amount. Rare pieces, however, may be expensive even in mediocre condition.

Coins will nit become more valuable through cleaning and manipulation. The natural expressiveness is lost; the matte relief becomes shiny or fine details are polished away. The coin loses the original value for the collector.

One's treasures should be kept either in coin holders, special albums or on tablets laid out with satin or felt. Albums found in the trade sometimes contain chemical softeners (PVC) that may attack the coin surfaces with time and create verdigris.

The collector or coin interested person is, in any case, wise to contact a member of the Swiss Coin Dealer's Association for free information and counsel.