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How Frequently Should you Consider Obtaining a Coin Appraisal? Read now!

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How Frequently Should you Consider Obtaining a Coin Appraisal?

Coin appraisals these days are becoming more and more prevalent as the Silent Generation and Baby Boomer Generation pass on. Many of these people were avid coin collectors and amassed quite a collection over time.

The individuals that were left with these coin collections are commonly in need of coin appraisals, whether they be for estate, probate, informational, insurance purposes or with the intent of selling the coin collection. Estate Coin Collection Appraisal

Most coin collections appraised for estate and probate purposes are typically liquidated in short order once the executor receives approval from the court, so the realized values are typically close to the original appraised value. However, we have noticed that appraisals conducted for informational or insurance purposes are more often kept for a longer period of time, if not indefinitely.

If there’s no intent to sell an estate coin collection, it’s still a good idea to have the collection evaluated by a professional coin appraiser.

The reason is two-fold:

  1. You may find that you have an extremely valuable coin or collection of coins that you didn’t realize you had. This alone may change your opinion on what to do with the collection or at the very least help you to identify extremely valuable items that should be properly secured.
  2. A coin evaluation will help you to separate the wheat from the chaff. In many cases individuals collected coins that they were attracted to, but that don’t necessarily have value above the face value of the coins. This will allow you to deposit or spend face value coins or currency that otherwise would be taking up storage space.

Once an appraisal has been completed, it’s relatively easy for most coin dealers to update pricing if and/or when the need arises. However, to do this, you need to make sure that you’re receiving a detailed itemized appraisal so that another dealer can assist you in the event you move or if the original dealer is no longer available for one reason or another.

Appraisals for insurance purposes are a bit different in that most insurance carriers request the replacement cost value of the coins as opposed to the market or wholesale value. The latter is more common for estate and probate purposes. The reason insurance carriers request replacement cost values is so that you’ll have sufficient coverage limits to replace the coins with similar or like items in the event the collection is lost or stolen.

Interestingly enough, we typically only meet once with customers who request an appraisal for insurance purposes. Unless you’re able to secure a rider that applies some type of inflation factor to the collection, the appraisal that you obtain will likely only be accurate for a few months. This is especially the case if your collection primarily consists of bullion or bullion coins, as the value of these items can fluctuate substantially over a relatively short period of time.Precious metal chart 30 day

On the flip side, values for collectible or numismatic coins tend to be relatively stable over a longer period of time, so the values from an appraisal that is up to six months old may still be relatively accurate. However, we have seen prices on these coins also fluctuate a decent amount after six months. In our opinion, you’re rolling the dice if you haven’t had your collection appraised in a year or more, unless you’re able to secure some type of endorsement on your policy that will provide coverage in the event your limits are insufficient. That being said, it’s probably a good idea to obtain an appraisal bi-annually on a numismatic coin collection.

With respect to bullion and bullion coins, we recommend that you obtain quarterly to bi-annual appraisals to ensure that you have sufficient limits. If you’re working with the same coin dealer, updating prices is a much less onerous process than hauling in a coin collection and having a coin dealer itemize an entire collection. This can usually be done in half the time and at half the expense as an initial appraisal.

At the end of the day, you need to weigh the value of the coin collection versus the expense to have it appraised. We recommend that you try and limit your appraisal fees to no more than 5% of the value of your collection. If you have a collection worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Consider having your coin values updated on a somewhat regular basis so that you’re properly protected if an unexpected loss occurs.

coin appraisal example
Coin Appraisal – Itemized List Example

We hope that our comments on the frequency of coin appraisals were helpful and welcome you to contact Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers whether you’re in need of an initial or updated valuation. We look forward to helping you properly protect your investment.

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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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