Mail Bag – Is it Really Okay to Collect for Fun and Not Investments

Today’s Mail Bag question comes from Adam who, by self admission, is a new collector. They ask an important question that I think all collectors – new or long time – should stop and think about. Do you collect for fun or do you collect for investments and future generations?


I just started collecting towards the end of last year and have about 30 coins in my collection now. I’ve been collecting for fun because I find the coins pretty and fun to find. I’m 20 years old but a friend of mine said that I should collect just for investments because collecting for fun was not worth the time and effort. Is that true? I can’t afford coins that are high value right now but I would like to keep collecting.



First of all Adam, welcome to the hobby. It is great to see you’ve been able to amass 30 coins in such a short period of time! Well done!

Second, you collect what you want and for whatever reason that pleases you. Coin collecting is a personal hobby and the coins that you have in your collection should be what you want in it. If those happen to be investment coins, fine. But the majority of collectors out there are in this hobby purely for the fun of it. Ironically, there comes a point on some coins that you acquired for fun become an investment because of their rarity!

As I have posted in other articles, we need both hobby collectors and investment collectors in Numismatics. They both play a key role in the hobby. But not everyone wants to collect for the hobby and not everyone wants or can afford to be an investment collector. There is a balance and there should be no discouragement for being one or the other. If you happen to be able to do both, you are in an enviable position.

The only thing I would add Adam is that no matter your motivations for collecting, keep in mind the future. If it often said that we collect for ourselves but with future generations in mind. That is true. Whatever collection you amass will eventually be in the hands of someone else – your family, a gift to a fellow collector, or even an organization like the American Numismatic Association. You can’t, as they say, take your coins with you (Shame really, I’d love to take mine with me on the next journey!).

Adam, as a fellow collector to another, keep on keeping on! Collect those coins, medals and other things that please you, that you enjoy the hunt of finding or purchasing, and what gives you pleasure in sharing with others who have an interest. Don’t let anyone discourage you from these things or make your collection feel any less important than someone else’s. Your collection is important – because it is your collection! Have fun!

For those who have a question or comment, use the comment area on the About page to send in your mail bag questions.

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