While this is a more advanced area of collecting, it is a very interesting and important part of collecting. I’ve thought about starting a small collection of what is called Pieforts. These coins are the most interesting and largest coins made. They are double the thickness of the regular series coins and sometimes referred to as Piedforts.
These pattern coins are massive and have very, and I mean very low mintages. They are very much sought after. The designs are truly works of art on metal, and show that an engraver is a true artist. My favorites are the French 50 and 100 Franks. While these coins are not cheap, they are very good investment pieces to own.
The first thing to do, is to buy a good book and study the designs and then make up your mind which ones you would like to collect. Make sure you also checkout Auction prices on the ones you may be interested in. As with any coins you may be interested in buying, make sure you do your studying up on them first.
Do not start to spend your money on coins you do not know anything about. Checking the market on the up swing and down swing in pricing is very important. Again, make sure to go for coins that are collector driven in pricing and not investor driven.
This is where an advanced collector can be your best friend, as they know which coins will do you the best in the long haul. But, do not use Advanced collectors as your only learning tool. Buy books and study.
As with anything, it will take some time to become educated, and you will at some point and time, make a bad buy on a coin. This not only happens to beginning collectors, but also Advanced collectors. So, if you can, buy a few of these for your collection.