Military Life

Why starting a currency collection is a good idea on active duty

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(Photo source: Dr. Thomas Maibenco via Flickr)

Currency collection is a hobby that enhances art appreciation and expands your understanding of geography, politics and history. It has become a favorite hobby of many people, regardless of their social standing. In addition to being both thrilling and fulfilling, currency collection completes a series of precious souvenirs.

Although coin collecting and currency collection may allude to be the same thing to non-money collectors, they are different elements that share vastly different commonalities. Both appreciate over time, and although coins may slightly fade, currency papers are fragile and easily damaged. 

While hobbies may feature several perks, most do not have much return on the initial investment. Perhaps the most significant benefit of this hobby, however, currency collection can actually make you money. In addition to expressing interest in the nation’s social and economic history while making money, below are some benefits of starting a currency collection. 

currency collection
Coins from Germany, the United States, and Mexico featuring eagles. (Wikipedia)

Beauty and art

The design of each currency paper always starts in the skillful hands of an artist. Different artists can design paper symbols, but the best are handpicked for creating relief sculptures. 

A strategic investment-driven currency collection can turn out to be a valuable series for your inheritance. It is impossible to get rich overnight from currency collection, but carefully planned and long-term investment strategies can appreciate while still sprucing up beauty. 

Most people agree that the most beautiful U.S. currency, for instance, was designed by Victor David Brenner – the most renowned coin artist. At the same time, other masterpieces have been attributed to dexterous designers. 

More than a hobby

What started as the “Hobby of Kings” because only the royal could afford to collect rare coins has now morphed into a hobby anyone can engage in. As something that has come a long way from the pursuit of popes and noblemen, the increasing education and appreciation are encapsulated in currency collection.

Besides being regarded as historical pieces, the intricacies in their appearance make currency collection a profound hobby. Currencies designed in a certain period reflect the culture of that time and give a glimpse of history in their layout. Rare currency papers are not only defined in their perfection as there are currency papers whose value is hidden in their imperfect design. This certainly elevates the value of currency collection to something way beyond a mere fun-based hobby. Even misprinted currency has value.

serious collector
Portrait of a Man with a Roman Medal by Hans Memling, depicting a Renaissance collector with a sestertius of Nero. (Wikipedia)

National pride

Currency collectors experience the pride of owning the papers along with personal accomplishment. Acquiring the desired number of currency papers can foster a strong sense of pride in addition to increasing monetary value. 

There also comes some social connection that accompanies coin collection that can particularly be beneficial for older enthusiasts. Currency collectors maintain high cognitive ability, study and remain organized with continuing engagement with life. 

There’s a good chance the currency papers being collected now won’t be circulating in the future, but would still have value. With few precious items today, currency collection is a value-addition factor to consider. 


Currency collection comes with one of the biggest “steal” factors. Taking inventory or looking for a specific piece through your pool comes with a rifling serenity. With so much going on globally, currency collection can be beneficial for relaxation from stress to get away from everything. 

Of course, the biggest barrier to entry is geography. There are many who have to start their collections with what they can source locally. However, on active duty, you’re thrown to all sorts of places. Even if you only stay within the continental U.S., you have more opportunities to come across something unique. Regardless of your specific passions, you’ll most likely find value hidden in currency collection — especially if you’re only in it for the money.