Coin Collecting Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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    Coin Collecting Merit Badge

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop
    Coin Collecting Merit Badge is great way to introduce young people to the fascinating hobby of coin collecting.

    Check out the coin collection starter kits listed in the Scouting Prerequisites section. Allow one hour for prerequisite work, one hour for study hall and one hour for coin show presentation.

    Sample Activity Plan

    A) Make Your Plan
    The Trail to Adventure Fun!

      1. Merit Badge Activity Preview

      2. Sample Plan Outline
      Note: This Plan is a Draft - Some dates, events and activities may change after reviewing it with your leaders.

      • Make draft of Event Flyer (See Example Here).
      • Each Participant to be notified that he needs:
      • Event Dates / Places / Dress Code / Supplies / Etc.
      • Pre-requisites (ie worksheet, blue card, research materials)
      • Homework Requirements
      • Service Project Opportunities? (See Extra Credit)
      • Outdoor & Camping Opportunities? (See Extra Credit)
      • Other Related Scouting Activities? (See Extra Credit)

      3. Meet the Merit Badge Counselor
      Review your plan with the merit badge counselor. Some activities require his advance approval. The Scoutmaster should be able to recommend a counselor to you.

      4. Patrol Leader Council
      Present Activity Proposal to your fellow patrol leaders and scoutmaster. Make assignments as needed.

      5. Field Trip Plan

      • Contact the destination venue. Confirm that they can assist with the Field Trip Requirements. Reserve your Event Dates.
      • Troop Historian should be ready to take pictures on this activity to report back on the next troop blog, newsletter or court of honor.

      6. Announce & Start Activity

      • Get final approval from your scoutmaster.
      • Update event flyer (#2) above.
      • Distribute event flyer / Begin Introduction

      Req #10: Coin Show
      Discuss with your Patrol Leaders what your group can do to cover requirement #10. Check your local coin shop to find about when a major coin show may be coming to your town. A local coin club may have members that enjoy visiting local youth groups to do a private coin show. Your merit badge counselor may also have a useful recommendation here.
      File Tour Plan
      - required for all BSA Field Trips.
      Field Trip Group RSVP -

    Coin Collecting Merit Badge B) Introduction
    Present the plan to your patrol or troop (Either at your first activity meeting or sometime earlier.)

    Here are some ideas to show why this activity will be both fun and important.

    Why Do Coin Collecting Merit Badge
    What makes this a really cool subject?

    Coin collecting is one of the oldest of all hobbies. Hoards of ancient coins found in excavations indicate that coins were one of the first collectibles. From earliest times, people valued coins not only as a means of trading and storing wealth, but also as miniature works of art.

    C) Prerequisites - Scouts
    Work to be done prior to program start:

      Print Merit Badge Workbook
      One copy for each scout. And don't forget to have ready your Merit Badge Blue Card - (home printer version.)
      One copy for each scout.

      Req #4/#6 : State Quarters
      Collect five or more of the state quarters minted from 1999-2008 and show that you know how to store them properly. The coin kits available below may be helpful.

        Coin Kit #1: Presidential Dollars
        Available on

        This is a nice book- magnetic catch keeps it closed. Holds coins nicely. Has slots for all deceased Presidents and 6 extra. Nicely illustrated book with a two page spread of info on each and every president up to G.W. Bush. (Dollars not included.)

        Coin Kit #2: State Series Quarters
        Available on

        A beautiful, 4-color, oversized 3-fold folder with snap latch. / Color-coded map of the United States will showcase one of each / state quarter design. / Each coin opening located on the map has the state's logo. / Educational details of each state including their statehood / date, capital, state bird, flower, etc. (Quarters not included.)

        Coin Kit #3: National Park Quarters
        Available on

        Display your quarter collection in this educational Collector Map. Openings for all 56 National Park quarters. The National Park Quarters Coin Act of 2008 requires quarters, beginning in 2010, to have designs on the reverse depicting one national site in each state, the District of Columbia, and the five territories of the United States. Fifty-six (56) different designs will complete the program from 2010 through 2021. (Quarters not included.)

        Req #7 : U.S. Coin Series
        Collect from circulation a set of currently circulating U.S. coins. Include one coin of each denomination (cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, dollar). For each coin, locate the mint marks, if any, and the designer’s initials, if any.

        Req #9 : Foreign Money Collection
        Do ONE of the following:

          a. Collect and identify 50 foreign coins from at least 10 different countries.
          b. Collect and identify 20 bank notes from at least five different countries.
          c. Collect and identify 15 different tokens or medals.
          d. For each year since the year of your birth, collect a date set of a single type of coin.

          Coin Kit #4: Lincoln Cents Folder
          Available on
          - Collect every penny from 1975 and forward. (Coins not included.)
          -Professional quality look
          -Spots for pennies from both Denver and Philadelphia mints
          -Includes spaces for all seven 1982 pennies (the year they released both copper and zinc pennies), and eight spaces for the four coins released in 2009 (D and P)

        Genealogy Merit Badge D) Study Hall

        Learn important key concepts
        Any Safety Requirements?
        Start family research reports
        Prepare for your Field Tour

        While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

        Req #1: How Coins are Made

        Req #2 : Numismatic Terms
        Explain these collecting terms:

          a. Obverse
          b. Reverse
          c. Reeding
          d. Clad
          e. Type set
          f. Date set

        Req #3 : Coin Grading Terms
        Explain the grading terms Uncirculated, Extremely Fine, Very Fine, Fine, Very Good, Good, and Poor. Show five different grade examples of the same coin type. Explain the term proof and why it is not a grade. Tell what encapsulated coins are.
        Coin Grade Example - Washington Quarters Grading Scale

        Req #4 : Coin Storage
        Know three different ways to store a collection, and describe the benefits, drawbacks, and expenses of each method. Pick one to use when completing requirements.
        Coin Storage Methods - Graphic Display

        Req #5a : World Coin Reference Catalog
        Demonstrate to your counselor that you know how to use two U.S. or world coin reference catalogs.

          NGC Coin Explorer - Online coin catalog with the most comprehensive reference for United States coins. Includes images and specifications for every U.S. coin.
          PCGS Coin Explorer - Online coin catalog - coin certification service.

        Req #5b : Numismatic Magazine
        Read a numismatic magazine or newspaper and tell your counselor about what you learned.


      E) Patrol Activity

        Coin Collection Presentation
        From the pre-requisites above, present your collection of the following:

        • Req #4: Coin Storage Presentation Method
        • Req #6: State Quarters Collection
        • Req #7: U.S. Coin Series

      F) Field Trip

      Req #10: Coin Show
      Discuss with your Patrol Leaders what your group can do to cover requirement #10. Check your local coin shop to find about when a major coin show may be coming to your town. A local coin club may have members that enjoy visiting local youth groups to do a private coin show. Your merit badge counselor may also have a useful recommendation here.

      Coin Collecting Merit Badge G) Program Debriefing

      After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities and the people you interviewed about potential career opportunities in this field.

      H) Extra Credit

      Never add to or take away from the stated merit badge requirements. The material presented below is intended only to add fun for the patrol by way of either activity or community service.

      J) Coin Collecting Famous Quotes:

        Every side of a coin has another side. - Myron Scholes


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