Many people inherit rare coin collections or have been collecting for years and do not know how to properly determine the value of their collections. This could often lead someone to sell rare coins too cheap. Below, you will find some of the best practices that astute coin collectors follow to determine the value of their rare coin collections.
Rare Coin Resources
A plethora of resources exist to help you determine the value of your rare coin collection. However, the most common and trusted source is the Red Book. This is known as "A Guide Book of United States Coins." 2020 marks the 73rd Edition of the book. It is written and edited by some of the most trusted names in the rare coin industry. The book provides a brief history, mintage numbers and a price guide based on specific grades. NGC and PCGS, two of the most trusted rare coin grading companies, have also published price guides on their websites to help you determine the value of your rare coins. It is important to note, that the price guides should be considered a guide. The pricing is often a good indication of the value, but keep in mind that some coins are exceptional and carry a premium and some are not so exceptional and may be sold at a discount.
One of the best ways to make sure that you know what you are looking at is to get your coins graded. This process will assign a numerical grade to your coin. The grading scale is called the "Sheldon Scale," which rates coins from 1-70. Coins can vary wildly from one grade to the next, so it is important that you know the exact grade of your coin. This does not always hold true. It is important to note that some coins are simply not worth getting graded. For example, to pay $20 to get a Peace Silver Dollar graded that is worth $17 would not be worth it if it only increased the value by $20 or less. Nonetheless, third party coin grading has brought much integrity to the rare coin market and helps coin collectors get a better grasp on the value of their rare coin collections.
Coin dealers are experts in their field. When you have a medical question, you ask a doctor for advice. When you have a question about a $20 Saint Gaudens, you ask a coin dealer for his or her advice. Many coin dealers offer free appraisals, with not strings attached. They may even make you an offer on what you brought in to show them. It is important to make sure that they are a trusted dealer to make sure you get a fair offer for your coin collection. You can do this by reading online reviews, researching how long they have been in business and checking out if they have any affiliations with major entities within the industry. It is also helpful to get multiple appraisals to determine the value of your pieces. It is also important to note that coin dealers often have a "specialty." Some coin dealers specialize in Pre-1933 Gold Coins, some in Silver Dollars, some in Modern Coins and some in ancient rare coins. It makes the most sense to get an appraisal from a dealer who specializes in the particular type of rare coins you may have. They often have the best resale market for those types of coins and get get you top dollar.
Spot Price of Gold, Silver and Platinum
It is important to be aware of the current spot prices of gold, silver and platinum. Most of your coins are composed of these precious metals. Pre-1965 United States coins are composed of 90% silver and Pre-1933 gold is made of 90% gold. Modern rare coins are often composed of .999+ purity. Knowing the precious metal content of your coins may also help give you an indication of their value. Of course, many coins are worth much more than just their melt value, but this is a starting point.
Determining the value of your rare coins can be tough. Bullion Shark is trying to make this more simple for you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at 516-739-5822 to speak with one of our rare coin specialists. You can also browse our site www.bullionsharks.com to see what the retail value of your coins might be.
*These are solely the opinions of Bullion Shark, LLC and are not intended to be used as investment advice. Please consult an investment adviser before investing.