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Starting Your Collection of Jefferson Nickels

The bright lustrous surface, the lines in clear, fine detail,  with a toned and flawless edge, the MS-69 graded coin, slabbed and displayed, can be the highlight of any collection.  In a series key date, it is the pinnacle of attainment for a collector.  But not many collectors start out that way, and often young people grow interested in coin collecting by looking at the few coins they had in their pockets.  To get started, simply get interested in the topic, call yourself a numismatist regardless of your knowledge or size of coin collection.  Entry into the privileged realm of coin collection begins first with desire, interest in the subject, not money or assembled coinage. And because Jefferson Nickels are so prolific, it make for an excellent starting collection.

To the aspiring collector, there are several pitfalls that could render a perfectly good collection made now, useless in only 10 years.  Often is a collection started by storing coins in any random container, without thinking if the collection could be degraded by the combination of temperature, dust, contamination and humidity.  These are a coin’s enemy, as metal and water do not do well together.  Avoid using a spare container found around the home, because so many household materials, like PVC plastics, dyed cloth, and non acid free paper, etc. emit tarnish inducing vapors that, over time, damage nearby coin surfaces.  It makes little sense to spent precious time and resources saving your new coin collection to have it destroyed by improper storage.  Contamination is the prime cause of coin degradation, and the method of displaying or storing your collection should revolve on limiting outside element’s ability to degrade your coin.  Handle your coins with cotton gloves to avoid fingerprints, and don’t talk on your coins, as tiny bits of saliva may adhere and degrade your coin.

Most modern coin holders will have been tested to ensure that it is non-reacting with all types of coins, and at reasonable prices for entry level collecting, are the best choice for those new to numismatics.   Think about the purpose your collection will eventually serve, if you plan on displaying your coins at your home, opt for individual holders, with as much protection as you can afford.  For a collection in a bank vault of home safe, the bulk storage holders and coin tubes will serve you fine.  Avoid secondhand supplies, buy sealed professional holders to ensure the safety of your coins.

When collecting Jefferson nickels, start by finding the best examples of the more recent years, trying to get a mint state, uncirculated, coin if possible.  As the coins get older, they will be harder to acquire in good condition, but collect the best you can find among old bank rolls or pocket change.  Look for key dates like war years, 1942-45, and the low mintages of the 1950-D.  Error coins may also be found in this series, and are very valuable as well.

Time spent developing a fine collection will develop the keen eye of a seasoned numismatist, and the resulting good collection is a treasure for generations to come.