Just a couple of decades ago, it was somewhat challenging for collectors to find information on their favorite hobby. They had to seek dealers, go to libraries, buy books, and jump through other hoops to find some necessary information. Fortunately, the internet has dispensed with much of that and has put all that information within a few clicks. Unfortunately, with the abundance of good information comes plenty of misleading or outdated information.
Here are some of our picks for the best numismatic resources on the internet.
The United States Mint's website is perhaps the single best resource for modern American coins. The site has information about new releases, ongoing series and programs, a history of the mint section, and even information about its many talented artists. The Mint's website also has important areas dedicated to growing the hobby. One of them is dedicated to the basics of coin collecting. This 101-level introduction helps novice collectors to understand the basic terminology that can be so daunting to those looking to get started with the hobby.
Additional sections are dedicated to children and educators. Through things like coloring pages, games, and activities, these sections help introduce the youth to coin collecting in the most relatable ways.
The grading company Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has a handy website for collectors. As one of the two leading coin grading services, NGC’s website houses numerous resources for all levels of coin collectors that include chat boards, coin galleries, pricing guides, and more.
Three sections of the site are of particular interest. The Coin Grading Guide provides fantastic overviews of American coins and offers a useful bird's eye view of what collectors can expect from different series. The Grading Scale section provides brief descriptions and examples of the various grades. While estimating coins' potential grades is a skill that can only come with experience, this section is a fantastic starting point. Finally, Coin Explorer provides basic details such as mintage, minProft marks, designers, etc. about every coin in American history. Sections about peculiarities of particular mintages are also available for many coins.
Professional Coin Grading Service, the other leading coin grading company, offers many similar resources to NGC including resources like prices guides, the most recent coin related news, and more. PCGS' CoinFacts section boasts being the largest encylopedia of coins on the internet, and offers information for the buying, selling and collecting of United States coinage. Their website also hosts a detailed Population Report section that gives collectors access to the the number of coins PCGS has graded over the course of its history. Wondering how many 2019 Proof American Silver Eagles have been certified by PCGS to be in Mint State 70 condition? This is where you would find that information.
In addition, PCGS's website offers books that can be read for free on the site. The site also links to CoinWiki, which is a numismatic encyclopedia. For collectors looking to learn more about coin grading, the site also hosts videos with details about coin grading. These videos help to clear up some of the questions left by brief grading overviews.
Collectors looking to share their hobby with others may wish to turn to the American Numismatic Association's website. The organization provides help in finding coin clubs and dealers. The ANA website also has extensive information about online courses and numismatic events. The company also offers access to one of the world's most extensive numismatic library, where collectors can order books, DVDs, and other resources, for just the cost of insurance and postage.
KITCO offers collectors a fantastic option for collectors who want to know more about both current and historical spot prices. The site hosts live charts that detail the current spot prices of silver, gold, platinum, and other precious metals. Collectors looking to understand why spot prices are where they are and where they might be going can turn to the site's News and Commentary pages. Several articles and videos by experts detail how current and future events could impact precious metals' prices.
Coin Week is an excellent choice for collectors who want information about upcoming issues. Such information is perfect for collectors who wish to plan their purchases and make sure that they don't miss out when new coins and series debut. Some of these articles provide full details about new releases, while others simply offer whatever information is available at the time of writing.
Also, the site offers articles, videos, and podcasts on ancient and modern coin education alike. Dates, mintages, and mint marks only go so far. Coin Week goes further by telling stories of the coins, the people and places on them, and, in the cases of ancient coins, the societies that used them. Put simply, the site brings coins to life and makes the hobby relatable rather than rote.
The Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection (NNC):
The Smithsonian website houses a digital version of the National Numismatic Collection (NNC), which contains almost 1.6 million historical artifacts. Thought to be the largest such collection, it includes money and transactional objects dating back more than three millennia from all over the world.
In particular, the collection has an extensive collection of American coinage and includes collections from the United States Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and United States Treasury. Images of the individual pieces are available as well as historical information concerning its place of origin, purpose, and the time it would have been in use. The extensive catalog includes a plethora of useful information for collectors and is also a fun, visual way to learn about how money evolved over time.