Collecting notes and coins is a popular hobby for many people. Whenever people travel to exotic destinations, money is among the top items they bring back as souvenirs and gifts. However, for others who do not have the time or financial resources to travel, a banknote collection is easy to start right at home. While some collectibles are rare and hard to find, banknotes are not. Notes vary in price and condition, as do most collectors' items, and they represent many people, places, and themes.
Where to Begin
As with most hobbies, starting a banknote collection requires spending money. Some bills fetch high prices; purchasing a dozen valuable cards can easily drain one's account. Starting small is one way to begin. This involves searching for bills of the lowest denominations, which generally cost much less than notes of higher values. This approach is ideal for those looking to accumulate bills from a wide variety of locations. As with other collectors' items, notes come individually or in sets. Beginners might start with a "beginner set" of cards, and choose a card lot with a variety of banknotes in small denominations grouped according to time period, region, or with a certain theme.
As with starting new hobbies and collections in other disciplines, it never hurts to seek help or advice. Banknote collecting books offer suggestions for novice collectors, such as generating ideas for collection themes and providing historical context on various banknotes from around the world. They also offer advice for maintaining cards, and for selling, trading, and grading cards, should collectors choose to do so further down the road.
Amateur currency collectors may need some ideas for starting a collection. Narrowing choices by time period, nation of origin, prominent political or religious figures, or monumental historical events is a good place to start. Some collectors are partial to very specific attributes of a banknote, while other collectors prefer to put together a more eclectic collection. All of these options are ways to sort a collection, as well.
The options for grouping banknotes are nearly infinite. People start collections with notes depicting favourite items (such as plants, animals, and landscapes) and personalities. When purchasing notes as solo items, collectors should buy two identical notes, if possible. That way, backups are available to replace lost or damaged notes.
Keeping Collections Looking Their Best
Regardless of collection size and composition, collectors must store banknotes properly to prevent damage and wear. Banknote albums help to preserve notes, and shield them from exposure to dirt and debris. Albums contain special plastic-coated sleeves that hold individual notes, and keep them from fading and curling at the edges too. Notes, whether or not they appear in albums, are not safe in direct sunlight, high levels of humidity, and moist areas, which invite the growth of mould and bacteria. Keeping notes in pristine condition is especially important for individuals interested in selling or trading notes further on, as notes quickly lose value when they have signs of wear and tear.
How to Buy Banknotes on eBay
Collectors need not travel the world to start a banknote collection; a quick trip to eBay does the job perfectly. From the comfort of your home, you can start accumulating banknotes in no time at all. To begin, type the key phrase "banknotes" into the search screen at the top of the page. You can find results in the next page; from there, you can narrow your selection in many ways, such as by nation, price, special features, and more.