Finding the right gifts for coin collectors isn’t always straightforward. The world of coin collecting (aka numismatics) is far from mainstream and chock-full of experts who have spent years becoming familiar with their trade. Choosing a gift for a numismatist friend or family member isn’t as simple as going to a hobby store and asking for a recommendation. Oftentimes, an online search for the perfect gift can yield more questions than answers.
Finding rare coins to give as gifts for a coin collector isn’t always easy — or cheap. The nine most valuable coins in the world auction for well above the value of the metal, from tens of thousands to millions of dollars each. The process of finding and purchasing rare coins online can be difficult to navigate as scams are common, and a coin’s authenticity can be hard to verify.
Rather than gifting actual coins, consider the following auxiliary gifts for coin collectors. These gifts are useful with any coin collection, regardless of the collector’s experience with the hobby.
1. Coin Loupe
Make no mistake, a numismatic coin loupe is no ordinary magnifying glass. Coin loupes or coin magnifiers are the primary tools used for examining the condition of a coin or its finer details. They make great gifts for all types of coin collectors, from those new to the hobby to seasoned pros.
Coin loupes are best with 5x or 10x magnification and sometimes are packaged as folding lenses with varying magnification in a single piece. Some coin loupes also contain LEDs to focus light as well as other helpful features.
2. Red Book
The Red Book, i.e., A Guide Book of United States Coins, is the coin collector’s Bible. Any numismatist worth their salt has heard the phrase, “Buy the book before the coin.” Well, this is the book being referred to.
A perfect introductory gift for a coin collector, the Red Book is full of educational material about coins minted in the US (and their value) going back to the 1600s. Armed with the book’s knowledge, budding numismatists can begin to understand the art and science behind making well-informed trades or purchases.
3. Coin Albums and Cases
Every coin collector needs them in their inventory, making coin albums and cases excellent gifts for coin collectors. The most popular coin albums are designed for a specific type of coin (such as a Lincoln penny), with slots for each issue of a coin to help collectors organize their collection and identify missing pieces.
Shadow boxes and other types of display cases can make great gifts for coin collectors by bridging numismatics with the latest home decor ideas. Make sure that these cases are coin-safe and free of PVC, as this compound can corrode a collection.
4. Coin Cleaning Kit
Coin cleaning kits allow numismatists to keep their collections in mint condition and preserve their value over time. They make superb gifts for coin collectors because they offer practical use as well as a novel way in which a collector can interact with their collection.
Coin cleaning kits usually contain some type of cleaning solution alongside brushes and pencils to remove grime, corrosion, and blemishes. Many sets also include special gloves for safe handling and polish for a bright, protective finish.
5. Precious Metal Bullion Sets
Bullion collector sets are an equally good gift for the numismatist with everything and the
absolute beginner. Whether in the form of gold, platinum, or silver numismatics, these collector’s items will help build a collection and maybe even appreciate in value over time.
The current-year American Eagles are a safe bullion set gift. Collectors with more worldly tastes might also appreciate a set of Canadian Maple Leafs or Australian Kangaroos.
Finding the Right Gift Shouldn’t Demand Expertise
Even if you’ve stumbled on some rare coins in your attic, determining whether they might be good gifts for a coin collector can be a lengthy process. Finding and purchasing a rare coin to give as a gift will require no small amount of patience and research. As in the art world, forgeries are common — verifying original coins demands expertise and specialized knowledge.
Auxiliary gifts make great gifts for coin collectors because they help protect, preserve, and display a coin collection, making the hobby more enjoyable. In addition to display cases and handling equipment, bulk bullion sets make excellent gifts for a coin collector because they blend numismatics with commodity investment — retaining their intrinsic value over time.