There are many different ways to acquire coins for your collection. The easiest way to collect coins is from pocket change. In Canada, there are still plenty of nickels dating back to the late 1930s and 1940s still circulating. Admittedly, a collector does have to spend a bit of time going through pocket change and bank rolls to obtain older dates, but it is a very rewarding and inexpensive way to start collecting coins.
Ninety-five percent of coin collectors have begun the hobby in this manner. Unfortunately, collecting pennies, dimes, quarters and other denominations is a bit more difficult, as most of the pre-1968 silver coins have disappeared from circulation as their value as scrap silver bullion greatly exceeds their face value. Nonetheless, pre-1968 silver coins do still circulate in small numbers, and the collector should still be on the lookout for them.
Two other popular starter series of coins are fifty-cent pieces and nickel dollars. Contrary to popular belief, nickel Canadian fifty-cent pieces and nickel dollar pieces dating from 1968 to 1986 still turn up at banks from time to time. These can also be fun and challenging to collect. Fifty-cent pieces from 1987 to date haven’t entered circulation in any great numbers due to hoarding by investors and the public.
At some point you will find that some of the coins you require to finish your collection cannot be obtained from circulation. There are lots of other ways to obtain coins other than from circulation. For a beginner collector, purchasing coins from any source can pose problems if the collector is not knowledgeable in the field of numismatics. Knowledge and experience is learned over time, but having some background information before deciding to purchase coins is essential.
First, purchase a price catalogue. Second, join a coin club. All coin clubs are actively looking for new members. It is not very expensive to join a club (in some cases its free), and you will meet other collectors and gain a lot of important information. Once you feel comfortable with the knowledge you have acquired, you should be fairly safe in purchasing coins that you need for your collection.