Coin collecting is not a science. It is a hobby, mostly determined by external factors. Therefore, we all collect differently, different coins, and according to different criteria.
Then comes the personal factor. Let’s say I have a set of criteria on what I collect, then I find a coin which doesn’t fit. But I like it, so I need to have it.
Interests are always changing too, you can start collecting one type of coins, and later loose interest or develop a stronger interest in something else. I guess I have done all of the above and more.
Primarily, however, my goal is to collect one of each type. I do not collect by date, and the reason is that to me the same type of coins with different dates are practically identical. I do want to know the date though, but more about that in another post.
But then what do we call a type? Is it determine by KM number? By looks, or by tactile features? There are instances when the KM number shows slight variations, but in reality you can feel the difference. Then there are the different KM numbers, the coins look different, but they feel the same. In this case, I do not get it.
So, probably collecting by type is subject to interpretation in case of each coin.
I collect all countries, old and new coins. Generally I try to aim at getting currently circulating coins for the most part, however, recently I’m more and more interested in old coins. So no strict criteria here, either.
Primarily I collect those coins which were used as a form of payment at some point. I’m not necessarily interested in collector’s items from the mint, but I have made some exceptions. For example I have a one Dollar coin from 2009 which has Braille on it. I couldn’t miss out on that one, even though it is not a circulating currency. And there are other exceptions.
I would say the bottom line is that if people paid with it, and I can tell them apart from the rest of my collection, I’m collecting it.