The collecting of coins is decreasing in popularity

Coin collecting is booming

Collecting coins is all the rage right now. Why actually? What is the fascination of “collecting coins”? Which coins are worthwhile? And what else should you watch out for with numismatics? Our expert Max Hoffmann explains.

Our numismatics expert Max Hoffmann with tips and information.

Question: Coin collecting is experiencing another boom. In short: so-called numismatics is on everyone's lips. What are the reasons for this?

Max Hoffmann: Let's start with the terminology: What exactly is numismatics? It is primarily a scientific field that deals with coins from their invention in the 7th century BC to the present day. Specifically, numismatics is all about the history, manufacture and development of the coin: where does it come from? When was it coined?

However, when it comes to collecting coins, the hobby of millions of collectors all over the world, one speaks of “numismatics”! And yes, coin collecting is booming right now. The corona pandemic has certainly contributed to this: People who are at home more often look for exciting hobbies. In addition, precious metals are a worthwhile investment, especially in times of zero and low interest rates and in difficult economic times. Gold and silver prices are exploding. Many collectors follow the precious metal prices. Gold coins, for example, are currently being torn from our hands.

Question: Many euro commemorative editions are currently being offered in daily newspapers and various magazines. Is it worth collecting euro coins?

Max Hoffmann: Euro coins are a big issue. The euro coins are currently in circulation in 19 countries of the European Union as well as the non-EU countries Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. It is less the circulation coins than the commemorative coins that are in demand among collectors. In particular, euro coins from small states, such as the four just mentioned, are sometimes extremely sought after: They are usually only minted in small editions and promise great potential for appreciation. For example, I just had a 2 euro commemorative coin from Monaco on my table for 2015 - market prices of up to 1,200 euros are currently being achieved for this issue! The commemorative coin from Monaco for the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Gracia Patricia is currently valued at over 1,000 euros.

As a rule, special euro coins that were minted for specific occasions offer very good opportunities for appreciation.

Question: Let's talk about German collector coins. Which editions are produced in Germany?

Max Hoffmann: These are the 2 euro collector's coins and of course the 5 euro and 10 euro coins with a polymer ring. The latter two are German collector coins with enormous popularity: When they are first issued, long queues regularly form at the issuing offices of the German Bundesbank. Polymer coins increase their value regularly, are real “eye-catchers” with their translucent, colored polymer rings - and also have a high level of protection against forgery.

In addition, there are the 20 euro and 25 euro silver coins - and finally the German collector coins made of gold: with the denominations of 20, 50, 100 and 200 euros.

Question: Where are German collector coins produced? Does Germany have its own German mint?

Max Hoffmann:

Here in Germany there are 5 state mints, also called mints. They produce coins on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Finance, our legal tender - “money”. In addition to the circulation coins, German commemorative coins are also minted. The mints are based in Berlin (A), Munich (D), Stuttgart (F), Karlsruhe (G) and Hamburg (J). The letters assigned to these mints can be found on the German euro coins: You can easily identify the mint from this mint symbol!

Question: You already mentioned German collector coins made of gold. Specifically asked: Should I collect gold coins?

Max Hoffmann: As I said, precious metals like gold and silver are currently booming. Coins and mintings can become more valuable when the materials used in them, such as gold and silver, increase in value. The development of precious metal prices naturally plays a decisive role with regard to the topic of value growth potential. In the case of gold coins in particular - due to the rise in the price of gold - there has been an extreme increase in the value of many coins in recent years.

Take, for example, a German gold coin: the 100 euro gold coin “Monetary Union” 2002 with the theme of the introduction of the euro. Their issue price was just under 200 euros. Today it is worth around 800 euros. However, if you want to collect gold coins, you can invest a lot more. The most valuable gold coin in the world is the Double Eagle 1933: The 20 dollar gold coin was actually supposed to be melted down again in 1933, but few specimens have come into circulation anyway. Their value is currently around 7.6 million US dollars!

Question: Gold coins are also a classic collection from the imperial era. Is it worth collecting coins from the empire?

Max Hoffmann: The coins from the collection area of ​​the German Empire - from 1871 to 1918 - enjoy great popularity. Since all 26 states of the empire had their own right to mint, a large number of coins made of different materials exist to this day: gold, silver, bronze, nickel. The Goldmark is particularly popular in its various coins: some issues are extremely rare. In particular, those with portraits of the German emperors are incredibly popular. These appeared not only as currency coins, but also as commemorative coins in a clearly limited number!

An absolute highlight is a rare imperial gold coin with the face value of 20 Mark "Duke Ernst II." From 1872, for which 135,000 euros were achieved at auction! As a collector, of course, you don't have to “dig deep into your pocket”: For example, you can find numerous gold coins from the Kingdom of Prussia close to the gold price. An attractive collecting area - I assume that more and more people will collect coins from the German Empire!

Question: Let's move on to another important precious metal: silver. Collecting silver coins - a good idea?

Max Hoffmann: Silver is incredibly popular right now. Because the price development of this precious metal is “traditionally” strongly based on the gold price. Gold and silver have now reached an all-time high. Silver coins are in demand, the orders in our mint have risen sharply, no question about it.

When collecting silver coins, you should keep the following in mind: While the sales price of silver investment coins is only slightly above the current silver price, collector coins are regularly traded significantly higher due to specific characteristics. In addition, silver coins in the investment products category differ significantly from their “colleagues” made of gold in one important feature: gold investment coins are exempt from VAT in Germany, while investment products made of silver are taxed at the full 19 percent.

By the way: The most expensive coin in the world is a silver issue: the Liberty Dollar from 1794, the very first US dollar. It's worth more than $ 7.8 million.

Question: “Value” is a good keyword: How is the value of a coin determined?

Max Hoffmann: Quite casually answered: The value of a coin is determined by supply and demand. So according to the price that others are willing to pay. Important characteristics for the value of a coin are: face value, origin / country of issue / mint, year of issue / year of issue, minting material, mint quality, degree of preservation, rarity, popularity.

If the coin material consists of gold, silver, platinum or palladium, the metal already has a high intrinsic value - if it is an alloy, it is of course correspondingly lower. The origin is also an important factor for the value of a coin, e.g. if a country is numismatically important and possibly only produces a small edition. Of course, the year of issue also plays a certain role: As a coin ages, the collector's value increases, especially for antique coins. The already mentioned mintage is also an important parameter for determining the value of a coin - thanks to small and limited editions, a coin can develop into a sought-after rarity.

Question: In this context, you also mentioned the quality of the embossing? What is this exactly?

Max Hoffmann: Commemorative coins are regularly minted in the minting quality uncirculated or polished plate. In the most complex embossing process - polished plate - issues are usually produced in significantly smaller editions. But it is precisely this that promises the highest increases in value! During the production of the coins in the minting quality Polished Plate, the coin plates (round blanks) are polished again to a high gloss before minting. The same goes for the die. So that the relief and the inscriptions stand out from the reflective background with a fine matt finish, these parts of the coin motif are processed again with a super fine sandblasting blower.

However, the clear majority of commemorative coins are mostly produced in the minting quality uncirculated, as freshly minted, uncirculated coins without defects. By way of comparison: A 5 Mark piece “Germanisches Museum” from 1952 in unmistakable shine achieves revenues of up to 1,500 euros, in the case of a polished record even up to 5,000 euros!

Question: And what role does the degree of conservation of a coin play?

Max Hoffmann: The degree of preservation of a coin is also of considerable importance for the valuation of a coin. A distinction is made - depending on the rating scale - up to 15 degrees of preservation: from "poorly preserved" to "very beautiful" to "brilliant as a stamp" and finally "polished plate": The last two degrees of preservation are not just technical production methods or embossing qualities.

Question: Question to the expert: which coins should you collect? Please give us tips.

Max Hoffmann: It's simple: whatever coins you collect, it should above all be fun! There are so many options for collectors ... a particular historical age, for example. Or a certain collection area such as euro coins: New sets are always being issued with euro coins in particular, and you can expand your collection in a relatively short time! We are happy to collect exclusively gold or silver coins as well as commemorative coins with a high degree of rarity. I would simply advise a beginner: "Start - now!"

Question: Next good keyword: “Collecting coins as a beginner”. What should beginners consider?

Max Hoffmann: Anyone who collects coins as a beginner should find their way into the world of coins very quickly. So go to coin fairs, read trade magazines and catalogs ... and also like to study the business section of a national daily newspaper. Because collecting coins can also represent an investment: Then the question arises as to which coins promise high value potential.

My tip for beginners: Acquire knowledge - start collecting coins with current coins and work your way up to historical coins bit by bit!

Question: Let us come to the last question: Ancient numismatics is also a large area of ​​collection. What exactly is meant by this?

Max Hoffmann: Ancient numismatics include, in particular, coins from ancient Greece and Rome, coins from Alexander the Great, and coins from the Celts and Persians. The time frame extends from the beginning of coinage in the 7th century BC. BC to the 8th century AD. Some valuable coins can be found here. For example an excellently preserved gold coin from the Roman Empire: For the “Diocletian, 284-305 AD. Aureus Mzst. Rome 294 AD "are called for over 30,000 euros!

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