Researching, organizing, and evaluating a coin collection is difficult under any circumstance. It becomes an even larger headache when the coins demand immediate attention and decisions from family members. Here are some tips for whittling estate coin collection issues down to size.
Determine If It’s a Collection or an Accumulation
For the novice, the first step in selling estate coins is determining whether it is indeed a collection of coins. An accumulation may be nothing more than pocket change or coins of interest only to the owner.
Never Clean Estate Coins
Coin collectors place a high value on the patina, the green or brown film on the surface of old coins. Cleaning permanently alters its surface—often a rare attribute—and can severely reduce the coin’s value. Uncirculated coins also have a distinct patina, but it’s generally more of a frosty or snow-like appearance.
Trace and Research the Coins
Try to find documentation of when, where, and for what price the estate coins were purchased. Look for printed descriptions, receipts, notes, booklets, and even old coin folders.
Two excellent reference guides provide detailed, straightforward information about a collection of estate coins. For U.S. coins, see “A Guide Book of United States Coins.” For foreign coins, see “The Standard Catalog of World Coins.” If you’re ever in doubt, bring your collection to Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers—we can help determine the value of each coin.
Be Sure to Keep These Certain Coins
The following U.S. coins deserve the review of an expert:
- Pennies made before 1959
- Nickels before 1955
- Dimes before 1965
- Quarters before 1965
- Half dollars before 1971
- Silver dollars before 1936
Also, keep any assembled albums, folders, packages, or sets of coins, as well as coins and bullion composed of precious metals, such as gold, silver platinum and palladium, any coins that have been certified by a third party grading service in holders, or those already identified.
Seek an Evaluation From a Professional
Find a reputable coin dealer for a professional evaluation and possible sale of the collection. Preferably, the dealer should be a member of the local Better Business Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, and such national coin organizations as the American Numismatic Association.
Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers is an A+ member of the BBB, a member of the most recognized coin and bullion organizations in the industry, and has earned Kudzu’s Atlanta Coin Dealer of the Year Award three of the last four years. Family owned and operated, we specialize in buying, selling, and appraising coins and collections of all sizes and types. Please call us today at 404-236-9744 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.