Dealing with the Psychological Aspects of Selling a Coin Collection
For folks who are regular readers of our blog, you know that we occasionally provide tips, suggestions and recommendations on how to sell coins and collections, such as this recent article. We want customers to feel as comfortable, prepared and confident as possible going into the transaction. While there are certainly a number of steps that you can take to properly prepare for the evaluation and sale of an estate coin collection, what’s not as frequently discussed is the emotional or psychological aspect of selling a coin collection.
We deal with customers on a frequent basis who are selling the coin collection of a deceased relative (some recently) and believe that we can provide some helpful suggestions with respect to the psychological aspect of selling a coin collection.
Don’t Sell Your Collection Too Soon
This may sound like a strange recommendation from a coin dealer, but the fact of the matter is that some individuals sell their coin collections too soon. We’ve met with customers in the past who have sold coin collections shortly after the passing of their loved ones. In some cases, such as an estate that needs to be distributed within a certain period of time, you may not have the option to wait, but if legal or financial circumstances don’t necessitate the immediate sale of a coin collection, we suggest waiting until you’re emotionally prepared to proceed with the transaction.
Many long time coin collectors poured their heart and souls into assembling their coin collection, and if you were actively involved with them in the process of collecting coins and assembling their collection, we suggest waiting until the time is right.
Don’t Sell Sentimental Coins
In nearly every collection, there is a coin or two that may have some significance to you. This could be a coin that was given to you by the coin collector, a coin that he or she purchased with you, or that was a memorable or a cornerstone piece to the collection that he or she prized among all other coins. In a recent situation, an individual sold us an estate collection, including a particular penny that wasn’t particularly valuable.
I received a phone call the next day asking if they could purchase the coin back, as it was a coin that the seller specifically remembers his father giving to him. I was happy to oblige, but not all coin dealers are going to be so accommodating.
If possible, before bringing your collection to a coin dealer, remove items that have sentimental value to you so that you’re not tempted to sell them. In time, if you decide that it is in your best interest to sell them, then you can address the issue at that time.
Don’t Distribute a Collection Until You’ve Had it Evaluated
When multiple heirs are involved in an estate, chances are at some point there will be a disagreement over the value or distribution of the deceased individual’s assets. We’ve seen this on numerous occasions with coin collections, and have met with many individuals who believe that they’ve received the short end of the stick. Coins and coin collections are quite different from other easily valued assets, such as homes, vehicles, tools, etc.
Many coins are significantly more valuable than others due to their age, the underlying precious metals content, the mintage of the coin and the condition. Simply splitting a collection by the number of each type of coin will usually result in someone benefiting at the expense of someone else. It’s best to bring a collection in to a coin expert and have it evaluated so that it can be fairly distributed.
Most individuals will choose to sell their portion of the collection or opt to have the entire collection sold and have the proceeds split evenly, but if an individual chooses to keep their portion, they can be sure that they are receiving a value equal to the other heirs.
In conclusion, the selling of a coin collection can be an emotional decision, so it’s best to take a step back before proceeding with the sale of a collection. We recommend that you not sell a coin collection too soon, if it can be avoided.
Once you make the decision to sell a collection, hold on to a coin or coins that are especially significant to you or that have sentimental value. Depending on your circumstances, they may or may not have significant market value. Lastly, avoid potential conflicts with other heirs and have the complete collection evaluated by a coin expert prior to distributing it.
Chances are that most heirs will choose to sell their portion of the collection. However, those that don’t will know that they’re receiving a fair shake. We hope that you found today’s article to be helpful and welcome you to check back frequently for helpful tips, suggestions and recommendations on how best to buy and sell coins.