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Have you ever walked by our store and wondered what a "Coin Gallery" might be?  London Coin Galleries started here 38 years ago to serve local coin collectors. So now you may be wondering what coin collecting is all about.  Want an introduction?  Read on...


Coin collecting is a hobby that has been pursued for centuries – millennia even. It is said that there were coin collectors among the ancient Romans. What did they collect? Interestingly enough, Greek coins.

As the centuries rolled on past the time of classical Greece and Rome, the presence and importance of coinage grew along with the economies of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and Age of Exploration into the New World.

From the beginning, coin collectors were decidedly well to do – often high placed individuals in the royal courts or the church. Everyone else needed to use the coins that came their way for the necessities of living.

With the growth of a genuine middle class that came with the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, collector numbers increased. With the expansion of industry and population the numbers and types of coins continued apace.

What had been described during the Renaissance as “The Hobby of Kings” was now accessible to a much larger audience. And so it continues to this day.

At our store we meet people every week who tell us about their new-found interest in coin collecting. They have lots of questions, but the ones we hear the most are, “How do I get started?” and “What should I collect?”

It kinda depends on you.

If you’re starting out early, like I did at age 11, you may be interested in the older coins that are still obtainable at reasonable cost. On that note, you may be surprised to know that the age of a coin is not directly related to value. Coins well over 100 years old are available in respectable condition at $15 to $50 or less.

Or, let’s say you are all grown up and ready to begin in a profitable coin collecting investment. Perhaps you’ve already invested in gold or silver “bullion” coins whose price is mostly impacted by the spot commodity markets rather than collector interest.  But you’ve heard stories of people making a profit in the collector coins and want to know more.

In both above scenarios the first step is to learn something of the subject first. In the US, most coin collecting begins with US coins. If you’re inclined to “buy the book before the coin” we recommend “A Guide Book of United States Coins” by R. S. Yeoman. This book is available in our store for $15.95 and has been published annually since 1947. It is by far the most comprehensive index of all US coinage, including issues back to the first American colonies. In this fully illustrated presentation you will get answers to your questions about what coins were made when and where, and their approximate retail value.  You will see how many of each coin was minted at each mint, and learn how a coin’s condition, along with its scarcity, affects its value.

At London Coin Galleries Mission Viejo we maintain an extensive inventory of coins and banknotes of both US and foreign origin. Please feel free to visit our website at or visit our store in The Shops at Mission Viejo. Call us at 949-364-0990. We’d enjoy meeting you.

Look on our homepage of our website and scroll down, you'll see a list of all the major Key Dates for coins in all denominations and designs (conditional rarities are not listed).

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Coins and Coronavirus

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Coins? What’s the Best Way to Start?

Coins? What’s the Best Way to Start?

Look around where you live - dresser drawers, closets, an attic or even a basement or garage.

You’ll find US coins in your pocket – each one descended from a proud tradition of numismatic (fancy

word for coin collecting) history.

Or, you may find some foreign coins left over from a long-forgotten trip.

Tags coin collecting, The Hobby of Kings, collector coins, A Guide Book of United States Coins, scarcity, condition