The coin was unique from the common dimes that normally had the ship of the Blue Nose on them. I believe with a simple trade of dimes, the joy of my first collection of collectible coins began.
The value of coins depend on their rarity and very little has to do with their grade. The coins’ metal content (primarily silver and gold) will weigh heavily on its worth. Like that dime I traded when I was just a kid, now it is worth about one dollar just for the silver content. Today there are other valuable metals in coins like platinum.
Coins that have a unique story linked to them, like 2011 year old Roman coins can get heads turning, these make great cheap unique Gifts . You can buy them for a few bucks or cheaper if you buy them un-cleaned. They can be a lot of fun to clean then with the kids over the Christmas Holliday or on a weekend to see what is revealed under the dirt. All coins are collectible if you like the joy of hunting and finding them. Soon after that first dime, I started collecting copper pennies which I still have to this day. Pennies do not cost a lot money which made them fairly easy to acquire. My goal at the time was to get a penny for the last 100 years in a row. In a few years time, I had that goal accumulated.
Here is a quick run down of how a coin dealer would grade your coins.
MS-70 - This is the highest value for any coin- Mint State Perfect Un-circulated. You would not find a coin like this in circulation.
MS-60 - Un-circulated
AU-50 - About Un-circulated
EF-40 - Extremely Fine
VF-20 - Very Fine Sometimes you will see a
+ sign front of it, meaning “greater than”
like this, +VF-20
VG-8 - Very Good
G-4 - Good
AG-3 - About Good - This is like junk silver coins.
Today, I find that the best coins to collect are the silver dollar and gold coins. Who does not like gold or silver? Even pre 1966, simple, 80% silver, Canadian dimes would fit for most budgets or the pre 1964, 90% silver coins of the USA. If you are new to coin collecting, for most part I would suggest that you stay with you own country or with a theme like VG-8 silver dollars. Collect one for each year or go after error coins. If you have the dollars to buy the coins in bulk bags, get the years you want and then you could sell the rest back again. Most of the fun will be in the find. You can go to the library for more info that will also help you to understand the coin’s worth.
Gold coins and bars are (for the most part) for the richer among us. Gold at $1150 an ounce today can put that a bit out of reach for most of us. But there are gold coins that are still somewhat affordable and are very collectable, like the modern 1/10th of an oz. bullion maple leaf coins. You can buy one for less than two hundred dollars. Over the last few years, gold and silver both have been on the rise in price. Which that alone is a bonus if you have been collecting them over the year. You can work at getting one for each of the last 10 years, or you could go with the older pre 1921 coins. It is all up to you to just start somewhere.