Thursday, March 10, 2016

7 Steps to building a coin collection with your child for under $30

I've said it before and I will absolutely say it again: It doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg to collect coins. Below ,you will find a step-by-step recipe (and a child friendly one at that) for beginning an interesting and beautiful collection for well under $30.

The Recipe
Step 1 -
Purchase a 50 State Quarters folder and make sure it's the kind that has one space for each state but disregards mint mark. The larger ones with a map of the USA printed on them are a good bet.

Step 2 -
When your folder arrives, show your child and talk about filling it. Have a look at the US Mint website for tips on what to cover. They have a downloadable PDF with information about each of the 50 State Quarters.

Step 3 -
Go to your local bank branch and purchase as many rolls of quarters as you can afford. (Don't worry. You will be returning most of them.) Explain to the teller what you are doing. There is a good chance they will make an effort to give you older rolls. These should contain a good mix of state quarters.

Step 4 -
Sit down with your child at home and begin the hunt! If your quarters were rolled at the bank (you can tell because quarters will be visible at both ends and the paper is rolled tightly, not puckered or folded over) they can be opened by hitting the center of the roll against a corner of the table. There is a chance this action could scratch a few of the quarters in the middle of the roll, but we're talking about circulated coins here and that's acceptable. Plus, it's fun to break rolls open.

Step 5 -
Divide and conquer! When it comes to sorting coins, I am a fan of going slow and being careful. Sort the quarters by state. Remove any quarters that are not state quarters and keep them in a container to be returned to the bank. Make little piles of quarters by state, grouping all of the Alaska together, all of the Alabama, all of the Arkansas, etc. As you sort, this is a good opportunity to review state capitals and/or major cities with your child. Or, drop in tidbits from the US Mint's State Quarter PDF that I linked to in Step 2.

Step 6 -
When you have gone through all the quarters and have, hopefully, fifty piles of change before you, it is time to dig in. Go through each pile and pick the very best looking quarter to place in the folder. If you do not find a nice, clean, well-struck example of a particular state quarter, don't fret. The goal is to get the best possible examples of each state design.

Step 7 -
Cash in! Return all unused quarters to the bank. If you have not filled every slot in your folder, trade in the old quarters for new quarters and try again.

50 State Quarters Folder - $9.99
Fifty quarters not returned to the bank - $12.50

Total cost: $22.49
Even with shipping and sales tax, depending where you purchase the folder, the total cost should remain below $30.

The 50 State Quarters program is a great way to introduce your child to coin collecting.

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