There are several types of coin collectors, I fall somewhere between a speculator and a perfectionist. That is, I want to turn a profit while improving my collection with the best coins I can find. With this in mind, I have come up with a system that has grown my collection and allowed me to turn a profit. My system is simple, profitable, and continues to grow the value of my collection.
I started my coin collection with wheat pennies. As a completionist and perfectionist, my goal was to possess every penny in the best condition that I could find. This was the beginning of what later became my system. What I did was purchase pennies in bulk, looking for the best of every year and mint. I would sort them by year and put them in individual bags. Once I had the best coins out of the bunch, I sold the remaining ones that I did not want. I have bought a lot of wheat pennies in bulk and have always turned a profit. By swapping out the best ones and selling the rest, I have a collection that consists of almost every penny in near BU condition. With the exception of the 1909 SVDB, which I keep hoping to find amongst the piles of pennies I purchase. I can dream, right?
As I got older, my collection grew, and so did my responsibilities. With a mortgage, kids, and student loans, money was tight, my collection began to look like a way out of debt. With so many hours of work put into my collection, giving it up was the last thing I wanted to do. So I began to take stock of my finances, gaining a better hold on where my money was going in an effort to hold onto my collection. I went through every bill I had, eliminating things that I did not need, making sure I was getting the best deal possible by comparing the prices of everything, from insurance to groceries.
I was committed to getting out of debt and keeping my coin collection. I considered every alternative I could think of, refinancing my house, holding a yard sale, working odd jobs in the evening, you name it. Every effort was made to save money. I started drinking coffee from home, made meals instead of eating out, purchased off brand groceries, and deprived myself from expensive entertainment. In the summer, I abstained from running the air conditioner, in the winter, I turned down the heat and wore a sweater to save on energy costs. With all the effort taken to reduce my debt and hold on to my coin collection I still wasn't making ends meet.
Things started to look up the more practical I became. It wasn't until my kid lost his first tooth that things started to look a little brighter. I wanted the tooth fairy to give something cooler than a dollar bill. So I went to my bank and asked for some half dollars. I gave the bank teller $10 and she gave me a roll of half dollars. When I got home I opened up the roll to find that every coin was pre-1964. What a find! At that time my silver collection was small and incomplete, so I decided that I would sell them. I made several hundred dollars off of that $10 roll.
Over the course of the next year, I visited every bank in my area, buying up all their half dollars. Believe it or not, I found a lot of silver ones! While I didn't become rich or get completely out of debt, I definitely made a dent in my debt. To this day, everytime I visit a bank, I purchase all the half dollars available. The next time you find yourself in deep water, consider trading money for silver at your local bank, you might just get lucky.