When it comes to precious metal coins, there are two types of people often associated with the items: coin collectors and stackers. While numismatists are a breed of their own and might be intertwined with the coin collector community, the difference between a collector and a stacker is something that should be noted, as they can sometimes be confused with one another. So, what are the key differences between coin collectors and stackers? And, most importantly, is one better than the other?
Coin collectors are people who buy and trade coins solely out of interest for the coins themselves, whether for their design, collector’s value, or history. Collectors tend to be a meticulous bunch, keeping logs of the collections they have in their possession, as well as taking noted measures to preserve the coins in their collections. While some collectors might hold onto coins handed down from family members or rely on antique coins found at markets, exchanges, and trade shows, the better part will only possess coins that have been verified by professional grading organizations, such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
Coins might be collected to complete collections, but many coin collectors will also feel a personal connection to the items in their possession, whether for their designs, merit, or history. To collectors, the value of the coin truly stems from the value it has inherited with time—the hands it has been in, the history it has seen, and more. While there are some collectors who appreciate their coins for their usefulness as investment assets, this is not the main motivation of most collectors, as bullion is often seen as a better item for investors.
The detail to notice here is that while coin collectors tend to have similar interests, they are a vast, diverse group, with many different types of coin collectors existing. The type of coin collector you might be will come down to what your end goal is as a collector, whether you want to secure a collection for personal interest or own a collection for investment purposes.
People who buy large quantities of precious metals for investment purposes are often called “stackers,” as they are stockpiling assets in the event that they provide a notable return on investment (ROI).
Whereas collectors are interested in seeking out coins that will allow them to complete their collections, stackers are more intrigued by coins that have low premiums. By buying precious metals at a lower price, they are able to acquire large quantities of the items, usually as much as they can afford at any given time, to utilize them as an investment asset.
While coin collectors usually store coins securely within their home, having them on hand whenever wanted, stackers tend to take measures so their investments are as secure as possible, which usually means storing them with trusted companies. Some investors still choose to store their bullion investments at home, but it solely depends on the stacker.
While there might be notable differences between coin collectors and stackers, there are similarities between them, too. The overlap tends to occur with coins that are of particular numismatic interest. PCGS-graded coins and specific runs produced by the U.S. Mint, such as the American Gold Eagle coin, are highly sought-after by coin collectors, but they are just as interesting to stackers. The coins are often parts of larger collections, but they also tend to have low premiums, making them a smart investment for stackers.
Furthermore, some stackers might become coin collectors with time, and vice versa. If a stacker begins to take a closer look at the coins they are buying, they might begin to learn more about the history of the items in their possession and become interested in them for this reason. They might soon find themselves poring over numismatic books, attempting to learn the finer details of the coins they are buying, trying to find ones that would finally complete a collection for them. Similarly, coin collectors might become stackers if they ever learn how valuable some of their collections are.
Neither coin collectors nor stackers are better than the other, but they both have attributes that make them unique individuals. Truthfully, they might have a great deal in common! If you’re interested in the coins available at Provident Metals, take a closer look and consider reaching out to one of our representatives. They’re bound to offer you information on the industry and hobby that will catch your attention!