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Collecting Foreign Coins

Collecting foreign coins can be a fun, interesting and educational pursuit. There are many, many countries to choose from. Most foreign countries are inexpensive to collect and their coins are readily available at coin shows, on the internet and through mail order.

I find that a lot of people from another country, living in the United States, look for their home country’s coins. Other collectors will collect foreign coins because either their parents or grandparents live elsewhere in the world or have migrated here from another country.

In addition to regular circulating coins of a particular country, there are now trial strikes, patterns or medallic issues made that collectors can choose from. A collector can choose certain valued coins as the Mexican Peso, Russian Ruble, German 5 Reichsmark, Chinese 10 Yuan, or Canadian $25 for example. You can collect only counter stamped coins, bi-metal or trade coins. Coins such as these can be found easily and are generally within most budgets.

Again, I recommend that if you plan to collect foreign coins, it would be wise to buy a reference book as you start out. The original authors of “The Standard Catalog of World Coins” were Chet Krause and Cliff Mishler who turned their gigantic catalog into what has become the foreign coin collector’s bible. Today there are several volumes of “World Coins” covering whatever era you focus on. Perhaps the most popular one for the beginner is the 2010 issue of “World Coins 1901-2000” available from Krause Publications or, on a smaller scale, Warman’s “World Coins Field Guide.” Visit our books page to link to Krause resources. Happy Hunting!