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Don’t Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish When it Comes to Coin Appraisals

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Don’t Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish When it Comes to Coin Appraisals


As a high-volume coin dealer, we frequently receive requests for coin appraisals. In many cases, folks ask if they can just bring their items in to see if any of their coins havedo it cheaper - coin appraisal value. While we would love to accommodate everyone that reaches out looking for an evaluation, if we did, we would spend most, if not the entire day looking at various coins in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough.

In these situations, we typically ask folks to email over pictures of their items and we’ll be happy to let them know if they have items of value and if the estimated value is sufficient to warrant a paid coin appraisal.

Some of the individuals we speak with are upset that we charge for coin appraisals. There’s a reason we do so.

Our appraisal process involves a thorough evaluation of all coin collections that we appraise, including placing a special emphasis on identifying any coins that may sell at a premium.

We also provide an itemized report of our appraisal so that our customers are clear as to the individual values that comprise the total.

(The itemized example below is from a previous appraisal. The client’s name and info have been hidden for obvious reasons. The pricing has been blurred due to precious metal prices changing by the minute and we do not want to give a future reader the impression of higher or lower prices than the market may call for on the date someone comes across this post.)

coin appraisal example

This is different from some other coin dealers that offer “free appraisals.” Based on feedback from our customers, this typically entails the coin dealer briefly looking over the items and throwing out a value that may or may not be accurate. If your collection consists of just a few bullion-type items, then their estimate may be appropriate, but in many cases, individuals have rare, numismatic or certified coins that take more time and effort to properly evaluate. In many of these cases, our appraisal of a collection ends up being hundreds, if not thousands of dollars higher than many free appraisals. As a side note, we post live buy rates on our website for some of the most common items that we deal in daily.

As you can imagine, a thorough evaluation of a collection takes time, which takes time away from other activities, such as buy and sell appointments, marketing, inventory, answering phone calls, responding to emails, etc. While we’re happy to conduct appraisals, as time permits, this puts our other revenue generating tasks on hold, which is why we need to be compensated for our time.

On a positive note, we have a unique approach to coin appraisals. Since we have more than one coin expert on staff, we have one individual dedicated to inventorying the collection and another that simultaneously prices up the collection. This cuts the time and your expense in half versus other coin dealers that may only have one person dedicated to your evaluation. This “team effort” is much more efficient, but it also requires the time and attention of two staff members as opposed to one.

When given the option to go with a quick, streamlined and not so thorough free coin appraisal or a detailed itemized paid coin appraisal, always go for the latter. You are much more likely to receive fair and accurate pricing with a more in-depth evaluation.

Furthermore, the great thing about Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers is that we waive the appraisal fee if you choose to sell your coin collection to us at the time of the initial appointment.

The big takeaway is don’t be penny wise and pound foolish, as it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in the long run.

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Tony Davis
Tony Davis is the owner of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, a full service Atlanta based coin and bullion dealer specializing in buying, selling and appraising coins and coin collections of all types and sizes. Tony frequently writes on various economic and numismatic related topics affecting the coin and bullion markets and has been published on some of the industry’s leading websites, including Coin Week, the American Numismatic Association, Coin Collector, Coinflation, and Coin Auctions Help, just to name a few. Visit Atlanta Gold & Coin’s website at atlantagoldandcoin.com to obtain additional information on the products, services and educational resources offered by his company. Tony can be reached at sales@atlantagoldandcoin.com or at 404-236-9744

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