Coin Collecting can be fun as well as a learning experience for kids. I think there were more kids collecting back when I was a kid than today.
My Personal Coin Collecting Beginnings
Back in the late 1970s, I was in my teens and was looking through my older brother’s drawer and found some coin folders. I’m guessing one of my uncles gave them to him. He never had much interest in them. So, I took them. There were 5 blue Whitman Folders: 2 Lincoln Cents folders from 1909 to 1940 and 1941 – 1974, 2 Jefferson Nickel folders from 1938 – 1961 and 1962 on, and 1 Roosevelt Dimes folder from 1946 on. The second Lincoln Cent folder had all three steel cents from 1943 and the first Jefferson Nickel folder had some of the silver Wartime Nickels between 1942 and 1945. When I took these folders as my own, I became a coin collector.
My mother got out her glass piggy banks full of Lincoln Cents and Jefferson Nickels. With these I finished the 2nd Lincoln Cent folder and almost all of the 2 Jefferson Nickel folders. I found both a 1909 and 1909 VDB Lincoln Cent. No key dates were found, but did find a 1915-D and S as well as a 1932-P and D. I think I still have a dozen empty holes in the 1st Lincoln Cent folder which isn’t bad. As I recall, I was missing the 1938-D and S and the 1939-D and 1939-S Jefferson Nickels as well as a few other older Jeffersons. Over time, I would find these in the lunch money that my Dad gave me. Today, both Jefferson Nickel folders are filled except for the 1950-D which was only released in Mint Sets. I did buy one, but it’s in its own personal folder. Within the next few years, I would buy more Whitman folders including Washington Quarters, Kennedy Half Dollars and Eisenhower Dollars.
During 7th grade, I was in Physical Education class and noticed a guy reading a book while we were waiting for the teacher. As I got closer to him, I noticed the pictures in the book had British coins. We started talking about coins and eventually became friends. We are still best friends to this day, and still talk a lot about coins. Throughout the years, we have gone to a number of coin stores and shows, and are members of the local coin club.
Enough about my childhood. Let’s talk about getting other kids interested.
Getting Kids Interested in Collecting Coins
First, what would be a good set to start with for a kid. Here are a few ideas:
- Lincoln Cents – Kids can easily find Lincoln Memorial and Shield Cents (1959 – present) in change. Some interesting cents to find include the 1960 and 1960-D Large and Small Cents, “S” mint mark cents between 1968 and 1974, and the 4 2009 Centennial cents. A plus for them would be finding Lincoln Wheat Cents between 1909 and 1958.
- Jefferson Nickels – This complete set would be easier to complete than a complete Lincoln Cent collection. You can even find the silver nickels in change or coin rolls. Of course, it will take time to find all of them, especially between 1938 and 1949. You’ll have to buy the 1950-D because they only released in Mint Sets.
- Roosevelt Dimes – This would be one step up from Jefferson Nickels because Roosevelt Dimes minted between 1946 to 1964 are 90% silver. So, you won’t find them often in change, but you can buy a silver circulated dime between $1 and $2, depending on the current price of silver.
- State and America the Beautiful Quarters – Washington Quarters since 1999 have had different reverses to make them more collectible for kids. Quarters between 1999 and 2008 had a design from each state and came out in the order that the state entered the United States. There were five coins each year starting with the first state, Delaware, and ending with the 50th state, Hawaii. After Hawaii, the mint released displays for the District of Columbia and all 5 United States territories in 2009. 2010 introduced the America the Beautiful Quarters which are expected to last until 2021. This set will be in order of when a park or site became a national park or site. Once again, with the different designs, this should get kids interested and they should be able to obtain them all.
What Kids Need to Get Started
Once they decide what they want to collect, they can get a coin folder or album to keep them together. Like me, they can start with a blue Whitman Folder. These are good for a start and can be easily found at a coin store or even here at Ebay. If you are considering getting high end coins, go for a coin album. The more popular albums include Dansco and H.E. Harris.
You can also build your own album using a binder, plastic coin pages and cardboard or plastic coin holders. With these, they can build their own type set with whatever coins they want. They don’t have to just collect one particular coin. The skies the limit when you’re a coin collector.
Get the Kids Collecting
There’s no better time to start a kid collecting coins. They can have fun filling holes and finishing a collection. Do you think coin collecting is a good idea for kids?