Please take the time to answer yes to this review if it was helpful .
Most novice coin collectors are confused when buying coins for the first time. What is the grade ? And type ? Third party grading companies make a difference in price and quality. First let talk basics . Their are basically two types of finishes on today's modern coins .You have Mint State or MS which is the base metal a satin like finish .Then you have the Proof or mirror like finish. Most coins that are investor or in bulk tubes are MS coins the coins that are collectors series and not in circulation are mainly proofs. Their are exceptions to this rule .But lets stick with the majority. So to start any collection you first need to figure out what your budget is for the project and how many dates and types are in the collection you what to finish. Then you need to pick a grading company which you will buy mainly the same coins to keep a collection run within the same company for each project. So let me say I believe PCGS is the #1 grading company and NGC is #2 .Most other grading compaines are just a waste of money giving out high grades like tic tacs with little knowledge of coins .
Now the differences are very close so either company is very good. Grade levels is on a point system from 70 being Perfect non higher to lower grades in EF . But in most modern coins from 1986 to present you will mainly want to collect no lower grade then a 68 in my professional opinion. Point being most coins of today reach a fairly high grade due to the US.Mint doing such a great job at producing high quality coins in the modern era. Anyhow so you have a budget in mind and you know you need _ # coins to complete the collection. You might consider the Red Book by Whiteman . It is a Guide to the United States Coins very informative. So now the fun comes you search for your first coin .I always like to start the collection off with the First year and collect dates going toward present .Sometimes dates are hard to find and you'll need patience till they are available.
You can always start with the current year the work your way backwards. Either way any collector will enjoy the hunt for their next coin . So just to recap types are MS(mint state satin finish) and Proof (PR mirror like finish) grades vary 70 being Perfect highest obtainable to lesser but stick to no lower then MS68 for moderns unless you can not find a certain coin in a higher grade. Companies are a big choice to make go with PCGS or NGC and you will be fine. One last thing modern coins have different labels for series and issues .So you will have to find out more on that subject as well as joining a registry program with NGC or PCGS once you start collecting you can compete against other collectors for the best sets or types .Thanks for your time I hope this helps some to make a better informed choice.