Selling old and rare coins to collectors and numismatists can be an excellent way to make money. Knowing the do’s and don’ts before selling your rare and valuable coins is critical to avoid accidentally devaluing them or getting a poor return on your collection.
Whether you have inherited an old mint set, found rare coins in your home, or simply want to know the right way to sell valuable coins, follow these five simple tips to learn what they’re worth and get the best price.
Don’t Clean Your Coins
A common sign of a coin’s age is its patina. As a coin ages, its surface naturally develops an oxidized coating that changes its appearance and protects the underlying metal from further environmental exposure.
The look and appearance of a coin’s patina vary depending on the coin’s metal. For example, the patina on copper coins looks brownish, whereas nickel and silver coin patina looks gray or brownish-gray. Pure gold does not react with oxygen, so gold coins do not develop much patina.
While most standard household cleaning products can remove patina, they are abrasive and can alter the coin’s surface. Cleaning the patina risks adding blemishes or damaging your coin’s face, making it less appealing to coin buyers and reducing its resale value.
The best solution is to avoid cleaning your coins and retaining their patina. Patina does not harm the value of a desirable coin, and keeping your coins in “as-is” condition eliminates the risk of damaging them.
Research Your Coins and Know What You Have
Researching what types of coins you have is a critical first step to determining their value. This information can help you identify whether the coin was used as currency, where it came from, what materials it is made of, and when it was produced.
Government-issued bullion coins typically feature a date, denomination, and other marks that can be used to identify their provenance. Old United States coins, such as the U.S. Half-Cent (1793-1857), generally feature “United States of America” in full or abbreviated form, making them easy to recognize.
If your old coins are foreign or harder to identify, visit AU Precious Metals. We have the resources and expertise to help you identify and sell your coins. We can identify your coins for free and provide you with all the information you need to estimate their value.
Specific production years on many coins are what the industry refers to as a key date, indicating a year of special importance for this type. Coins with key dates are usually worth more than other years.
A well-known key date example is the 1928 version of the United States Peace Dollar. 1928 was the year with the lowest mintage number of its series, fetching significantly higher prices than Peace Dollars of any other year.
Consider Getting Your Coins Graded
While knowing the types of coins you have is essential to determining their value, the amount of wear and tear on each coin can affect their value, even if they are of the same type or series.
A professional evaluation of a coin’s condition is called grading. Coin grading services use the 70-point Sheldon Scale to determine each coin’s condition and market value. The scale ranges from 1 (poor condition) to 70 (perfect mint).
Two of the most respected American numismatic organizations, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), offer coin grading services. Collectors and enthusiasts typically request their services with particularly rare or exceptional coins.
AU Precious Metals also provides professional coin grading services, using non-invasive technologies to assess the value of your collection without damaging it.
Watch Current Bullion Prices
If some of the coins in your collection are made of precious metals like gold and silver, buyers may offer a price for your coins based on the metal’s current spot value, which roughly corresponds to their melt value.
A typical example is the 2008 $50 American Gold Eagle. The nominal weight of this coin is 1.0909 troy ounces, and its composition is 916.7 gold (22-karat), meaning this coin contains one troy ounce of gold.
If you sold this coin on March 11, 2022, its fair market value would be equivalent to the spot value of a troy ounce of gold at the time, which averaged $1,985.29, far exceeding its face value of $50.
Find a Trustworthy Local Buyer
Having an accurate estimation of what your coin collection is worth allows you to find a trustworthy buyer who offers you a fair price. When choosing a buyer for your coins, look for a business that offers the following:
- Excellent customer service. Choose a buyer who offers helpful customer service to guide you through selling your coins. Look for positive customer reviews on the company’s website, Google Business page, and social media.
- Industry knowledge. Sell your coin collection to a buyer with years of demonstrated knowledge in the coin and precious metal industry. They should have services that extend to buying and selling coins, bars, and jewelry.
- Non-invasive assaying methods. The buyer you choose should only use non-invasive assaying methods like X-ray fluorescence that can accurately assess your coins for up to 22 metal elements.
- Convenient payment processes. Choose a metals dealer who offers convenient payment processes, such as mail in programs or in-person visits. While online buyers are accessible, use a company that also has a well-established brick-and-mortar location for better security.
- Multiple payment options. Opting for a buyer that offers multiple payment options, such as cash, check, and bullion, gives you more freedom for how you earn money on your collection.
AU Precious Metals is a reputable coin buyer with experience in the precious metals industry. We assay your collection using state-of-the-art, non-invasive technologies such as X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy to test your pieces without causing damage.
When you visit us in-store or use our mail in program, we use our XRF technology and appraisal skills to accurately evaluate your coins’ value, ensuring we buy your coins for the fairest price.
We offer quick, secure payment for your coins, including check, cash, bullion, and wire transfer.
Get the Best Price for Your Coin Collection at AU Precious Metals
If you want to sell your old, rare, or valuable coins in Michigan, contact AU Precious Metals. We are a local coin and precious metal dealer in the Great Lake State with the resources and numismatics experts to help you get the best price for your collection.
Contact us today to learn more about our mail in program, or visit us at one of our Michigan locations in Rochester or Novi.