Coin Collecting

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Coin Collecting merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1938
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 035
Requirements revision: 2003
Latest pamphlet revision: 2002


Merit badge requirements

1. Understand how coins are made, and where the active U.S. Mint facilities are located.
2. Explain these collecting terms:
a. Obverse
b. Reverse
c. Reeding
d. Clad
e. Type set
f. Date set
3. Explain the terms poor, good, very good, fine, very fine, extremely fine, and uncirculated. 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.
4. 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.
5. Do the following:
a. Identify the people depicted on the following denominations of current U.S. paper money: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
b. Explain “legal tender.”
c. Describe the role the Federal Reserve System plays in the distribution of currency.
6. Do the following:
a. Demonstrate to your counselor that you know how to use two U.S. or world coin reference catalogs.
b. Read a numismatic magazine or newspaper and tell your counselor about what you learned.
7. Describe the 1999-2008 50 State Quarters Program. Collect and show your counselor five different quarters you have acquired from circulation.
8. Collect from circulation a set of currently circulating U.S. coins. Include one coin of each denomination (cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, Susan B. Anthony or Sacagawea dollar). For each coin, locate the mint marks, if any, and the designer’s initials, if any.
9. 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. Collect a date set of a single type since the year of your birth.
10. Do ONE of the following:
a. Tour a U.S. Mint facility, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or a Federal Reserve bank, and describe what you learned to your counselor.
b. With your parent’s permission, attend a coin show or coin club meeting, or view the Web site of the U.S. Mint or a coin dealer, and report what you learned.
c. Give a talk about coin collecting to your troop or class at school.
d. Do drawings of five Colonial-era U.S. coins.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
2018 Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Coin Collecting is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Coin Collecting requirements. has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks, Webelos workbooks,
Cub Scout workbooks, and Nova Award workbooks.

Per the BSA: You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Merit badge pamplets are available at your local Scout Shop or online at

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