Coin collectors don’t make money by collecting coins – they make money when selling all or part of their coins; sometimes to profit, sometimes to liquidate part of a collection, sometimes to pay bills.
Collectible coins are an accumulated or acquired asset. You are in a position to make money with coins when you can sell them for more than what you paid.
Most collectors (myself included) have a fondness for coins and collect for fun. If you approach coin collecting as a business, You can make money, but you need to learn the market. Your coin collection becomes inventory, you need to manage it, track your costs, advertise, and buy and sell to build up your business. Some coins may have value but not sell well; a downturn in the market may cause a downturn in your business.
If you are truly interested in coins as a business (and you need to treat it as such) I would suggest educating yourself as to what coins can make a profit, which coins sell quickly vs. sit on a shelf, and what kind of investment you want to make in your coin business.
Making friends with a local coin dealer, and going to shows is also helpful – their experience and advice can be invaluable.
- Decide whether you want to be a collector or coin dealer/trader
- Treat coin collecting like a business, not a hobby
- Learn as much as you can about grading and coin values
- Track prices in the coins you want to inventory and sell
- Make friends in the business, you will benefit by knowing them
Books that may help:
A Guide to Coin Collecting: A Guide to Buying, Selling and Finding Coins Online (Amazon)
Pleasure & Profit: 100 Lessons for Building and Selling a Collection of Rare Coins (Amazon)
Dumb People Can Make Money in Coins
How to Make Money as a Coin Collector
Get the Inside Scoop on Buying and Selling Coins
YouTube video (one of many):
Thanks for the A2A! (This question originally appeared on Quora)
I wish you the best of luck in your numismatic endeavors!
Disclaimer: I blog about coins on my site, Pocket Change Riches