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The Do’s and Don’ts of Selling a Coin Collection You’ve Inherited

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Selling a Coin Collection You’ve Inherited

If you’d like to sell a coin collection you recently acquired, there are some things you need to know. It may seem easy enough to sell your coin collection at an auction or on eBay, but you’ll have to put a bit more effort into the process to maximize the value of the coins when you sell them. Read our do’s and don’ts before you bring your coin collection to an appraiser.coin collection


Learn About the Coins in Your Collection

If you’re unfamiliar with buying and selling rare coins and bullion, it’s a good idea to spend some time learning about the industry and the coins in your collection. Some features that affect a coin’s value are:

  • Mintage (how many copies of the coin were initially made) and survivorship (how many are left)
  • Grade: The condition of the coin
  • Underlying metal content (gold, silver, platinum, etc.)
  • Demand: Depending on shifts in the market, some coins may rise or fall in value based on their popularity

Organize Your Coins

Before getting the items in your collection appraised, it’s also a good idea to organize your coins and take inventory of what you have. We recommend that you separate and sort the coins by type and denomination of the coin(s). Obtain an inventory of the various coins, bullion, and currency in your collection and have some pictures of the coins available for the coin buyer that you’ve selected for the disposition of your coin collection.

Find the Right Coin Buyer

Though an auction house will handle almost all of the legwork for you, they’ll also take about 20-30% of the sale price as their commission. If you’ve inherited a large collection with rare coins, this could end up being tens of thousands of dollars. You can substantially reduce your expenses and increase your net proceeds from the sale of your coin collection by working with a reliable coin dealer. Make sure you check Better Business Bureau ratings and client reviews before choosing a coin dealer to work with.


Don’t Clean Your Coins

Another tip is to avoid cleaning your coins. Cleaning will remove the original patina or mint luster of the coins, can cause damage, and is likely to greatly reduce the value of your items. Coins that have been cleaned, polished, whizzed, or otherwise altered typically sell at prices equal to two grades lower than the coin otherwise would have realized. For example, if you have a cleaned extremely fine (XF) condition coin, it will likely sell at a rate closer to a Fine (F) graded coin. If you want to protect them, you’re better off storing your coins in specially designed albums, mylar flips, holders, or folders.

Don’t Sell to a Pawnshop

Pawnshops, “we buy gold” shops, and general gold buyers typically aren’t experts and aren’t qualified to identify coins in your collection that have value above and beyond the underlying metal content. They’re generally not familiar with rare or key date coins, which mint produced the coin and how that affects the value, the Sheldon 70 point grading system, which coins may be suitable for third-party grading, and how to differentiate between a proof and uncirculated coin. This can potentially cost you thousands of dollars. If you strictly have privately produced bullion in the form of bars and rounds, it may not be as much of a factor, but when it comes to coins, it’s important to do business with a coin expert.

Are you ready to sell a coin collection a loved one left you in their will? At Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, we’re a coin dealer that’s been authorized by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and the Professional Coin Grading Service, two of the most respected third-party numismatic organizations in the world. Along with our A+ Better Business Bureau rating, we’re also the only coin dealer in the Atlanta area that posts our rates for buying coins online. We want everyone we work with to feel comfortable that they’re making the right decision.

If you’d like us to appraise the coins in your collection, fill out our form to schedule an appointment or give us a call today at 678-922-4909!

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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