There are few people who do not have at least the beginning of a coin collection. Many of us at least have one or more "good luck coins", a large penny, nickel or silver dollar, a medal or a souvenir token. Any one of these items has often led to the start of a large coin collection and a new hobby.
Acquiring a coin collection of scope, interest and value takes some time and effort. This is due to the fact there are many branches of the numismatics hobby to explore and study. Some of these take years to master but this is part of the secret of this hobby's interest and charm.
Coins are fascinating because often reflect stories of royalty, great leaders, history, power and patriotism relating to their respective countries of issuance. Famous figures become real and alive when depicted on an old coin. For example, Julius Ceaser and Alexander the Great, in ancient times; Henry VIII, Napoleon, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are portrayed on coins just as they appeared at the time.
It's best to start our collection by choosing what we want to collect. It's difficult to say "I just want to collect coins" because the are hundred and hundreds to choose from. If we want to just amass a few stray coins for our own pleasure, by all means, we can do so, but this is not really coin collecting.
True collectors strive to complete sets of coins. That's part of the allure - hunting out the coins that will fit into their set. Do not try to specialize in too many categories as it can become time consuming and expensive. We may want to attend a coin show to see some of the specialized collections often on display and find one that interest us.
It's important to study the hobby - a lot. Familiarize yourself with coins and what you will be collecting. If you don't study the hobby, you risk investing a lot of money an over-priced and counterfeit coins.
Collecting coins from circulation is a great place to start. The risk is negligible (you can always spend the coins) and you can learn a lot examining yours coins carefully and seeing what a reference book say about them.
This is easiest and least expensive way to begin collecting coins. You must do so systematically. Otherwise, you will let too many good coin to get away. Every day, put aside any coins you receive in change. Keep them either in a separate pocket or in a separate spot inside your purse. Do this with every coin you receive.
Then, in the evening, go through the change, keeping the coins you don't have. Also compare your day's catch with the coins in your collection, exchange the poorer coins in your collection for better ones from the change. By consistently checking your change every day, you do not only add to your collection, but also upgrade its condition. Upgrading a coin is almost as much fun as finding it.