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Rare Coins: Step by Step Process to Sell for the Best Value

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How Do I Sell My Rare Coins? Step by Step Process to Get the Best Outcome

Rare coins are coins that have value above and beyond their underlying metal content. There are many factors that go into making a coin rare, some of which we’ll address below. Whether you’re a long-time collector, who has never sold your coins or have recently inherited a collection of rare coins, you might be interested to know how to sell your rare coins. 5 Rare US Coins

You can also check out our article specifically on buying or selling your pre-1933 US gold coins should you have any of those in your collection as well.

The value of rare coins can range anywhere from a few dollars upwards of $1,000 or more, so it’s important that you take the time to evaluate all your options to determine the best way to sell your rare coins. In this piece, we’ll provide a step-by-step process to help you avoid common pitfalls and to assist with reaching a successful outcome.

Before diving in, if you are looking into buying and collecting rare coins, check out our blog posts on Seven Ways to Avoid Losing Money in the Rare Coin Market and Six Rare Coins Spotted in Circulation


Step 1: Know What You Have

Before you do anything else, you need to know a few things about your rare coins. You can find out much of this information online or in various coin value books. However, be careful not to anchor on to specific values you find in these resources, as the market value and wholesale value may be substantially different.

Doing your own research is just the first step in learning more about the rare coins. Once you have your coins appraised, graded, and begin to receive offers, you will have a better idea of the true value.


To start, look for information on the following subjects about your coins:

  • Coin type
  • Date
  • Mint
  • Approximate Condition or (Grade if already assigned)
  • Any errors or unexpected features
  • History of the coin type and year (including special circumstances about its minting)
  • Provenance of the coin
  • Rarity
  • Demand


For a layperson, determining some of these facts may be difficult. And some of these subjects are judgment calls best made by a professional coin appraiser. Therefore, don’t try to reach final conclusions about your coin. Just learn as much as you can so that you can protect your interests.

Step 2: Have Your Coins Assessed

A professional appraiser can give you a much more accurate estimate of the value of your rare coins. They will consider all the above factors as well as others you may not know about. A coin assessor has training and experience that makes their price evaluations more reliable.

After the coin assessor completes their evaluation, they will not only tell you the value of your rare coins, but they will explain how they arrived at that figure. This is where your research begins to pay off. A helpful rare coin assessor will answer any questions you might have. Since you have a basic knowledge of your rare coins, you can ask intelligent questions.

Step 3: Decide Which Way to Sell

Finding a buyer for your rare coins on your own may not be as easy as you’d hoped. However, there are easier and more sure ways to sell rare coins with the best results. You have several options. Consider each possibility below before you decide how to proceed.

Going to a Rare Coin Dealer

Selling your rare coins to or through an established coin dealer who is an expert on these coins may be the wisest move you could make. Certainly, you need to research, interview, and evaluate the dealer carefully. Although most rare coin dealers are honest and trustworthy, you need to be alert enough to spot a disreputable one. To help narrow down your search, you might want to check online or ask for recommendations or referrals from friends and family.


An honest and reliable rare coin dealer does offer many advantages. Here’s a brief list of benefits you get when you work with a dealer to sell your rare coins:

  • You can work with a coin dealer to sell your coins to a third-party buyer
  • The rare coin dealer has expert knowledge of rare coins
  • They have insider insight into the rare coin market, supply, and demand
  • You can choose a local coin dealer, a dealer at a coin show, or a dealer who does business online using the mail system
  • Dealers sell rare coins on low margins
  • By comparing buy-sell margins between different dealers, you can get a better overall net gain
  • If you have a rare coin collection that your preferred dealer can’t handle, you can spread the sale over several reputable dealers
  • Coin dealers take care of the entire process of finding buyers. All you need to do is decide whether to accept
  • You will likely receive as high a net profit as you would selling the rare coins yourself without dealing with all the challenges associated with going at it on your own


Coin dealers often sell coins to wholesalers, which might affect the price you can get for them. Also, if your coins are not all that rare and valuable, they will likely be of less interest to the end buyer making it more challenging for the rare coin dealer to market and sell these items. For many sellers, the benefits of ease, expertise, and reliability you get from an honest coin dealer make this the ideal choice.

Auctioning Your Rare Coins

PCGS Seated Liberty
PCGS Seated Liberty

NGC Seated Lib No DraperySome people choose to auction off their higher value coins. There are several avenues available if you want to auction your coins, some more advantageous than others.

If you are looking to sell your coin or collection through an in-person type auction, it is best to have your coin graded by a third party such as NGC or PCGS. In many cases, this will most likely be required.



Selling Through an Internet Auction Site

Selling through an auction site such as e-Bay appeals to people who like to do things for themselves. You might sell the coins quickly. If you prioritize speed of sale over getting the best price, this may be the best choice in some cases, if you are lucky.

However, if you sell through an online auction site, you miss out on many of the advantages of selling through a coin dealer, such as the dealer’s professional appraisal and industry connections. Plus, you are the one spending all the time on the sale, so you will need to be ready to work on it yourself.

Selling through an auction site requires you to create a listing with attractive images and appealing descriptions. Then, you must upload everything and monitor the auction site constantly to stay on top of activity on the auction.

If no one is bidding, then you need to determine what to do next, such as creating a new listing or changing the minimum bid accepted. By the time you add up all the fees and expenses, you will likely spend incur fees of 15% – 20% of the total sale price by selling the coin on your own. Not to mention, there’s also the risk of returns, fraud, lost packages through the mail, etc.

Selling Through an Auction House

Selling numismatic and collectible itema through an auction house is a popular choice for large coin collections that include many extremely rare coins. In fact, auction houses tend to be very successful in selling valuable coins, as they usually have many regular, affluent auction participants. Many of those who come to these auctions have been collecting coins for many years. So, this is a place where coin lovers with the means to buy rare coins often gather.

However, as you are contemplating how to sell your rare coins, consider all the fees you will pay. You may have to pay a listing fee for each coin. Often, the seller’s fee adds 15% to 20%, if not more, above the total costs that include all the other fees – both buyers and sellers. Since the buyer will also be paying a fee, he or she may not bid as high as they otherwise would considering the additional expenses.

Why Choose Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers for Help in Selling Your Rare Coins

At Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, we take the work and uncertainty out of selling your rare coins. We have a solid reputation as an honest company. Our rare coin experts have extensive knowledge and experience you can rely on throughout your sale process.

Make sure to download our Rare Coin Guide HERE to learn more about the higher value coins out there.

We provide in-house coin assessments and advise you on whether you would benefit by sending your coins to be certified by a third-party grading service. In some cases, we may waive the assessment fee completely. This is true in certain situations when you sell our coins to us or if it is a verbal assessment.

We have also established an extensive network of buyers, sellers, coin dealers, and coin services providers. What’s more, because we know what your coins are worth and sell rare coins as a part of our primary business, we are well-equipped to get you the best outcome..

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers

Picture of Tony Davis
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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