Unlocking the World of Numismatics: Insights from “Coin Collecting 101: What You Need to Know” by Alan Herbert

Coin Collecting 101 by Alan Herbert

Summary of the Book

“Coin Collecting 101: What You Need to Know,” authored by Alan Herbert, is a comprehensive guide for beginner coin collectors. Published in 2005, this book covers everything from the history of coins and the minting process to practical advice on handling, storing, grading, and identifying coins. The book is designed to help collectors avoid costly mistakes and navigate the world of numismatics with confidence.

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Key Insights

Starting Your Coin Collection

Alan Herbert provides detailed instructions on:

  • How to Begin: The book guides you through the initial steps of starting a coin collection, including selecting the right coins and understanding their value.
  • Handling and Storing Coins: Proper handling and storage techniques are essential to preserve the condition and value of your coins. The book outlines best practices to prevent damage and degradation.

“From the proper handling and storing of coins to grading and identification, this guide will help you learn the do’s and don’ts of successful collecting” .

Understanding Coin Values

  • Grading Your Coins: The book explains the grading system, which is crucial for determining the value of coins. Accurate grading helps in buying, selling, and insuring your collection.
  • Market Insights: Herbert provides insights into the coin market, including factors that affect coin prices and how to invest wisely in coins.

Legal and Security Considerations

  • Coins and the Law: Learn about the legal aspects of coin collecting, including regulations on buying and selling coins.
  • Security Measures: The book offers tips on securing your collection, both at home and during transport to coin shows or auctions.

Practical Applications

Tools and Resources

Alan Herbert emphasizes the importance of:

  • Using Proper Tools: Essential tools for coin collecting, such as magnifying glasses, gloves, and storage solutions.
  • Educational Resources: Joining coin clubs, attending coin shows, and building a numismatic library to expand your knowledge and network with other collectors.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

  • Cleaning Coins: The book warns against destructive cleaning methods that can damage coins and reduce their value. It provides safe cleaning techniques and maintenance tips.
  • Buying and Selling Strategies: Practical advice on how to buy and sell coins effectively, including understanding auction dynamics and negotiating with dealers.


“Coin Collecting 101: What You Need to Know” by Alan Herbert is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in coin collecting. By following the practical advice and insights provided, new collectors can build a successful and enjoyable coin collection. This book is a must-read for understanding the intricacies of numismatics and making informed decisions in the coin market.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on the findings of Alan Herbert. It is intended for educational purposes and should be tailored to fit the specific context and needs of individual collectors.

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