For beginners I would suggest that you collect what you like. If you like the state quarters then that might be just what you are looking for. if you do decide to collect all the state quarters there are several different ones to collect, such as uncirculated examples from the both the Denver Mint and the Philadelphia mint, the clad and silver proof series from the San Francisco mint and we offer some other runs like the Satin coins from mint sets in 2005 through 2010.
In 1974 there are proof sets and mint sets available,as well as a couple Silver Eisenhower Dollars, the “Blue Pack Ike” and the “Brown Box Ike” Both made of a 40% silver alloy. we are probably sold out of the silver Eisenhower dollars, They are hard to keep in stock.
If worried about value then start your collections with things that are worth nearly face value or silver melt value. For example, to start a half dollar collection buy a box of halves from your bank, sort out the best example of each year and mintmark you can find. Then you can take the rest back to the bank, or just spend them, and you only have 50 cents in each half in your collection. Once in a while you can find uncirculated examples in these boxes, and occasionally you can find a silver half (1970 and earlier, these are worth a few dollars each). This probably would be a good exercise for children too(for the silver content in them), if you were trying to get them interested in coin collecting.
Stick to your budget and shop around for the coins you want and like. If you want to find out what a coin is actually worth you can search completed listings on eBay to see what the last several sold for.
Hope this helps and have fun collecting coins,