What is the difference between a Coin Accumulator and a Coin Collector?

This is not a joke there are differences! But if you were looking for a coin joke…
What do you call the coins you toss into a wishing well?
Money Well Spent

The coin community is chock-full of Coin Collectors and Coin Accumulators (and bad jokes), but there are differences between these unique types of numismatic aficionados.

Coin Accumulators are coin lovers who seek coins, sometimes old, sometimes new, sometimes proofs, sometimes errors, and sometimes coins pulled directly from circulation. Coin Collectors seek coins for similar reasons, but that is where the similarities end.

Accumulators keep their coins in drawers, cases, books, or flips just like some collectors, but collectors maintain an inventory of their collection. Strictly speaking, a collector has a coin catalog, whereas an accumulator does not. Both numismatists find and buy coins, but the collectors know what they have and can therefore look only for the coins they need to complete their collection.

difference between coin accumulators and collectors numismatists

Despite this single difference, every coin collector knows in their heart of hearts that a collection can always expand to include new types of coins, or new versions, or new years, or new denominations.

If you would like to join the “Unofficial Club of Coin Collectors,” all you have to do is keep an inventory list of your collected coins. If you choose not to catalog your coins, that is okay. The greater numismatic community is inviting and accommodating. Welcome to the club!

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