Introduction to Global Numismatics

By: Lance Tchor & Larry Michelson – WINGS™ Coins, LLC

When embarking on a collection of world coins, it’s important to establish a budget and a game plan.

Wings Coins Introduction to Global Numismatics
Collecting world coins can teach you much about global culture, history, politics and art.

Welcome to the first installment of this bimonthly column about collecting world coins. Our goal is to expose you to an area of numismatics often overlooked by most American collectors, namely older, rare world coins. Whereas the market for U.S. coins is well developed in this country, that for world coins is not.

Since this is our inaugural offering, a brief introduction is in order. Lance Tchor is president and owner of World wide Numismatics, Inc. in Tampa, Florida. An ANA life member, he has collected coins for more than 45 years, working as a professional numismatist since 1977.

Larry Michel son, also an ANA member, likewise has been involved in the hobby for nearly 50 years. A board-certified tax attorney, as well as a certified public accountant, he practices law full time and is based in South Florida.

As avid collectors of world coins, we’d like to share some of our experience and perhaps help you expand your vision of the hobby to include these issues. The fascinating, ever-changing face of global numismatics is exciting and offers unequaled enjoyment and opportunities to both the novice and the advanced collector.

For any country or region, coins provide a lesson in history and culture. Don’t know where to start? Just spin the globe and randomly pick a destination, or choose a place based on your nationality or the country’s popularity, history or numismatic art.

Before you start buying coins, however, you first must establish a comfortable budget. (This is especially important for beginners.) Decide how much you wish to invest over a specific interval of time, such as weekly, monthly or annually. Remember, don’t overextend yourself. Review your expenditures periodically, as budgets can change depending on individual circumstances.

If your resources are limited and your numismatic budget is tight, don’t be discouraged. Many gorgeous coins — even those a century old — are not as costly as you might expect, so your imagination sometimes is the only limit to assembling a wonderfully historic and pleasurable collection.

We’re reminded of the old adage, “Bean by bean, the bag fills up.” Well, coin by coin, world-class collections are built.

Once you’ve established a budget, you should devise a game plan. Talk to dealers at coin shows and read about geographic areas you think might interest you. A collection could be built around a country’s rulers or coin age denominations. Another popular choice is a type set of obverses and reverses of a particular denomination.

Or you might choose to collect by theme, such as coins of various countries depicting birds, ships, plants, etc. The pleasure numismatics provides is endless and rewarding.

In April, we’ll discuss gold escudos and their use in various countries.

If you have a topic or question you’d like us to address, please leave a comment below or send us an email: [email protected].

Reproduced courtesy of The Numismatist, official publication of the American Numismatic Association (

Photo: IstockPhoto/Andreajs Zemdega

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.