Most investors who get into rare or ancient coin investing start as a hobby.
However, it can be a a sound investment with reasonable longer term returns. Technically, “rare” means very few examples are known. According to the Sheldon Rarity Scale this means no more than 75 should be in existence to earn that designation.
Rare coins will not be as volatile as stocks & shares because the movement in value will be a lot slower, which in turn makes them fairly predictable in terms of risk. Ancient coins in particular can reach values in the tens of thousands of pounds each at auction.
International buyers have lifted the market in recent years. At the lower end the cheaper Roman and ancient British coins can trade for less than £5. As is often the case though, it is the upper end of the market where real gains are to be realised.
Rare or ancient coin performance as an investment depends mainly on supply and demand. The coin market has an ever diminishing supply, and, whilst demand may fluctuate, it will never decrease significantly over the long term. Recently the quality coin market has seen average price increases of around ten per cent annually.
How To Start Investing In Rare Coins
A good place to start is by using a BNTA dealer. This is the official British Numismatic Trade Association where you can get expert advice on investing in coins, medals and banknotes. Many investors feel that British rare coins in particular are undervalued in comparison to those from America or other continents. Investors should always look for the best quality rather than to buy in large quantities.
Coins bought as an investment strategy should be considered a long term investment. Most experts recommend holding them for at least three to five years or longer on certified rare coins.
As with art or antique investing, counterfeit and altered coins are fairly common. Investors should learn the diagnostics of genuine specimens versus the counterfeits before seeking out coins as an investment.
Remember that investing in the ancient or rare coins market is unregulated, speculative and constantly changing. The most important part of any investment is education. A thorough understanding of the risks, costs, and other considerations should drive the investment.