For more than two millennia, coins have chronicled and reflected the history of civilizations. The achievements and failures of the ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire, the warlike monarchies of the medieval era, the blossoming of fine art and literature during the Renaissance, the colonial period and the industrial and space ages have all been symbolized through coinage.
Coins literally bring history to life and they have numerous fascinating tales to convey. In fact, whole books have been published on the historical significance of numismatics alone. Coins are not just genuine historical artifacts that have endured through wars, revolutions, plague, boom and bust, they are also works of fine art that add magnificence and value to the history that they embody.
This section details some of the more widely followed methods of coin collecting and is meant to provide a launching pad to inspire you to choose the path which appeals to your sensibilities. There are as many ways to collect as there are collectors. Most American collectors start with coins of the United States. Our richly varied national coinage stretches back to Colonial times. Massachusetts’ famous silver Pine Tree and Oak Tree shillings and their relatives as well as Virginia’s handsome Copper Half pennies date from the “Good old Colony Days, when we were under the King.” The State Coppers of Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts and private issues such as the Nova Constellatio Coppers are only a few of the colorful coins or tokens available from the post-Revolutionary era. Pieces portraying George Washington are generally placed in that category, as are the 1787 Fugio Cents, the first coins authorized by Congress.