The task of how to sell a coin collection may at first appear to be a difficult endeavor, but with a bit of organization and a few helpful tips, you’ll likely be able to sell your coin collection like a pro. In this article we’ll discuss some of the most important ways to organize your collection, what you can skip, what coin dealers are looking for when they evaluate and appraise coin collections, and how to receive a fair price for your coins.
Organize Your Collection
First and foremost, it’s best to organize your collection into like items. This means that you should group the following types of coins and currency together: foreign paper currency, U.S. paper currency, U.S. dimes, quarters, and half dollars minted in 1964 and earlier, U.S. silver dollars minted in 1935 or earlier, .999 fine silver coins, rounds and bars, foreign silver coins, gold coins (both U.S. and foreign), proof and mint sets minted in 1964 and earlier, silver proof sets, commemorative silver half dollars and dollars, and old U.S. type coins, such as half cents, large cents, two cent pieces, three cent pieces, five cent pieces, etc.
This is a tremendous help to coin dealers, as not all coin buyers are interested in the same items. Additionally, some items that individuals may have collected, such as state quarters, aren’t worth much more than the face value of the coins. Furthermore, many coin collections can take hours to categorize and evaluate if they’re not presented in some type of organized fashion.
Inventory Your Collection
Contrary to popular belief, spending the time to make note of every coin, including the year and mint mark, is not necessarily a good use of your time. The reason is two-fold. Some coin types don’t have any low mintage coins that are worth a premium or so few that it will take a relatively short period of time to identify the coins. Secondly, some coins, such as Jefferson nickels minted in 1964 or earlier, with the exception of silver war nickels minted from 1942 – 1945, aren’t worth much more than the face value of the coins. Another good example is wheat pennies. With the exception of uncirculated wheat pennies and several key date coins, most wheat pennies don’t have much value.
Do Your Research
Does it help to research the value of coins in advance of your appointment? In most cases, unless you’re a coin expert, investing a good bit of time can be counterproductive. The reason being is that the internet is fraught with bad or inaccurate information. Furthermore, minor differences can make a substantial impact on the value of your coins. For instance, the presence or the omission of a mint mark can make the difference between a face value coin and one that may be worth a substantial amount of money. Additionally, issues such as rim dents, surface dents, scratches, evidence of cleaning, and other alterations made to a coin can significantly impact its value.
Locate a Reputable Coin Dealer
The above comments only apply if you take the time to locate a qualified and reputable coin dealer, which in this author’s opinion, is the most important decision you can make. This means that it’s advisable to check the coin dealer’s standing with the Better Business Bureau and to research their overall reputation online. This oftentimes can be accomplished by conducting an online search for the name of your preferred coin dealer followed by the words “ratings” or “reputation.” Any coin dealers that have a track record of negative or questionable feedback from previous customers should be avoided.
Expect a Premium on Low Mintage Coins
As alluded to above, while a standard rate should apply to common date average circulated condition coins, a premium should be paid for rare or low mintage coins. Additionally, some coins, such as Morgan and Peace silver dollars should bring a premium in uncirculated condition – even if they are common date coins. When you sell your coin collection, but sure to select a coin dealer that is willing to share with you the leading coin dealer price guides and resources, such as “The Official Blue Book: A Handbook of U.S. Coins” by R.S. Yeoman. They should also be willing to show you the difference in various grades of coins and how the condition can impact the price for key date or low mintage coins.
In summary, if you’re in search of how to sell a coin collection, there are several steps that you can take to streamline the process and to improve your chances of having a successful transaction. First, organize your coins, paper currency, and bullion by type and denomination. Next, locate a reputable local or online coin dealer. Thirdly, confirm that the coin dealer is willing to pay a premium for low mintage and uncirculated coins. Lastly, trust but verify. This means asking questions as to how the coin dealer arrived at certain prices for various coins and how they go about grading coins. Following these few simple steps will likely result in success when the time comes to sell your coin collection.