Are you new to the coin collecting hobby? Want to start building your collections but you’re on a budget? Numismatics is a very fun hobby but for beginners, it might be a bit demotivating at the start because some coins are hard to find and considered expensive for people who are on a budget. That’s why we have gathered 10 coin collections that you can assemble that can be found under the $100 limit. So, let’s get right into it.
1. Lincoln Wheat Penny Date Collection
The Lincoln penny is not only one of the most commonly collected coins in the United States, but it is also one of the affordable ones. As a novice coin collector, assembling a date collection of circulated Lincoln Wheat pennies might be a difficult goal to you, but it is most certainly achievable. By collecting a date set, you will be able to save any of the more expensive mint-marked Lincoln wheat pennies from previous years. Some of the affordable Lincoln pennies would be the 1909 Philadelphia minted Lincoln Wheat Penny. However, if you decided to complete a date-mint set, you'd have to spend a lot of money on coins such as 1909-S and 1909-S VDB. All in all, expect a total of 50 coins from the years 1909 to 1958 to be included in this collection. Make sure to showcase them in an album to get the best out of it.
2. 20th Century Basic Collection
This collection is undoubtedly one-of-a-kind. Not only that, you can get a whole 40-coin set for just about $50 from some online sources. It features every major event of the century, struck in coins. To put together a basic type collection of circulating 20th-century coins, you'll need one of each type of coin minted between the years 1900 till 1999. However, Proof issues and minor types will not be included in this basic type collection.
If you plan to purchase the coins individually, you’ll have to get them from a dealer. The most affordable would be the Peace Dollars, which were minted from 1921 to 1935. At about $35, a circulated 1927 Peace dollar is your best bet.
Some of the other coins featured in this collection would be:
First-year Issued Coins:
90% Silver coins:
- Barber Dime (1900 -1916)
- Mercury Dime (1916-1945)
- Roosevelt Dime - Silver (1946-1964)
- Roosevelt Dime - Clad (1965-1999)
- 1944–1946 Lincoln Wheat Cents
- 1942–1944 Silver Jefferson War Nickels
- 1776–1976 Quarter, Half Dollar and Dollar
Classic Design Coins:
- Standing Liberty Quarter (1916-1930)
- Indian Head Cent (1900-1909)
- Buffalo or Indian Head Nickel (1913-1937)
3. Jefferson Nickels
The Jefferson nickel was struck by the United States Mint in 1938 as a five-cent coin, and it is still used today. A date-mint Jefferson Nickel collection is quite affordable and will include 176 coins that you would have to assemble. Most of these coins will be available in circulation (i.e. in your pocket change) or by purchasing nickel rolls from your local bank. However, some of these coins would be harder to collect because they have been discontinued; such as the ones minted between 1942-1945. So, you’ll have to rely on your local coin dealer to complete your collection.
4. Eisenhower Dollars Collection
The Eisenhower dollar collection is a beautiful, meaningful, and important collectible that includes 16 magnificent coins. The first Eisenhower Dollar was minted in 1971, and production continued until 1978. However, a special circulating dual was issued in 1975 and 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial of the United States of America. To collect these beauties, you might find them at your local coin dealer; they usually have circulated Eisenhower dollars in stock, which you can purchase for a slight premium over face value. If you wish to find uncirculated coins as well, these can be found for a fair price, but you'll need to shop around and be patient if you want to keep your collection under $100. You can also check with your local bank to see if any Eisenhower dollars have recently been deposited, then you can buy them for face value.
5. U.S. Nickel Type Set
A very unique yet affordable coin set that you can add to your collection. A collection of U.S. nickels will include one of each type of nickel that the U.S. has ever produced. There will be a total of 13 coins in this collection, which also includes minor types. Out of all the U.S. nickels, the most “expensive” would still be considered affordable and under the $100 threshold. These are the Shield Nickels with rays on the reverse (1866-1867) and the Shield Nickel without rays on the reverse (1866-1867) that would cost around $20-$30. Other coins can be easily found and purchased at a nominal value or at face value.
6. State Quarters Collection
This is one of the most widely-known and collected coin sets in U.S. history. The U.S. Mint's 50 State Quarters Program, which began in 1999 and ran for ten years, honored each of the country's states in the order in which they supported the Constitution or were added to the Union. Each quarter was made for approximately ten weeks and will never be produced again. State quarters are still in circulation and can be obtained directly from your pocket change. As a result, the majority of widely distributed examples are only worth the face value of 25 cents. Uncirculated sets are marginally more valuable. Nevertheless, completing this collection would be quite the thrill!
7. Clad Roosevelt Dimes
The first Roosevelt dimes were minted in 1946 to commemorate the death of American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. We would not advise you to buy the ones minted from 1946 till 1964 because they were made with 90% silver and would exceed the $100 budget. However, coins minted after 1965 were made of a copper-nickel clad alloy, which is still minted today. You can easily put together a collection of clad Roosevelt dimes by going through your pocket change or purchasing rolls of dimes from your local bank.
8. Susan B. Anthony Dollars
The U.S. Mint issued the Susan B. Anthony dollars from 1979 to 1991, and then again in 1999 for a single year. Because they were easily confused with quarters, the public largely rejected these coins at first. These are considered the most affordable coins which can be purchased for between $2 and $5 per coin from your local coin dealer or from online sources.
9. World Coin Country Type Set
This would be a very interesting set to assemble. In this case, you're just getting one coin from every country. It's definitely a fun way to collect because you can get tons of different countries when you're beginning. Obviously, there are tons of them that are really challenging to get and are going to be somehow expensive because only a few of them would be issued, but you can definitely get your first 50 countries for a very cheap price and then enjoy having a wide variety of coins to boast.
10. Birth Year Mint Set
The United States Mint has produced this personalized and unique birth year mint set that would be great for celebrating a special year. The best part is, it is also affordable, coming at around only $25. It includes a proof Kennedy half-dollar, a Roosevelt dime, a Jefferson nickel, first America the Beautiful quarter released for that year, and a Lincoln cent coin, each having the “S” mint mark of the U.S. Mint at San Francisco.
As a beginner coin collector, whatever your budget is, our advice is to simply start collecting. Whether it’s from your pocket change or a coin you incidentally found somewhere, no one can deny the joy of assembling a complete collection of coins after long and adventurous quests.