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Coin collection value
Old 03-06-2017, 05:21 PM   #1
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Coin collection value

DF has a fairly extensive coin collection that needs to be liquidated. There are one or two local dealers but the yelp reviews are atrocious. Anyone have any advice on how to go about getting a fair appraisal and more importantly a fair price? No one else in the family knows a thing about it.

I am wondering at least what the best web sites are for research.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:29 PM   #2
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check ebay
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:35 PM   #3
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The best thing to do is to go through EBAY and check the values against recent sales. Realize a dealer will try to pay far under that if you allow it, someone needs to go through the collection to check if there are any rare values. You leave valuations up to an appraiser and you are at the mercy of the appraiser. I learned 50 ago when I went to someone to appraise an error coin and some old dimes I had and was told $5 later I found out it resold for nearly a $100 and that the amount I was offered for my Mercury Dimes was about 1/4 of the value. When I went after I found this out I went to complain about getting shorted and he said, "I said what I thought it was worth and took them off your hands if you thought they were worth more you should have kept them."

Unfortunately coin collecting has many unscrupulous participants.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:54 PM   #4
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Auctions - any places that do estate auctions or regular auctions where you could consign the coins? Yeah you have to pay a commission, but that could be one means of getting a decent price - you would have both dealers and the general public there.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:54 PM   #5
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Take them to the TV show "Pawn Stars"?

I would still talk to the local dealers, after doing your homework on line. At least then you can get an appreciation of the possible value of the collection.

But, like Pawn Stars, they are buying on speculation. You will not get anything near the retail value. But then again, you don't have the contacts to attract high-end retail buyers. They might.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:56 PM   #6
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Visit an auction house, I find they will tell you the right value of something they would auction off, the higher the price the more money they make.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:01 PM   #7
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40 year collector here. You wont get retail as numismatics has a wholesale/retail pricing structure (bid/ask). Most of the times, these awful reviews are because the average person thinks that because a coin is old, it must be worth a lot. You have to remember that in most cases, coins are minted in the millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions.....
The key to their value is scarcity and condition, as well as the popularity of the series.
Example:You can buy 150 year-old US large cents on Ebay for under $20.
Unless you are willing to spend the time and energy on Ebay, see a local dealer.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:02 PM   #8
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I have used this site to get an idea of what some coins were worth

NumisMedia Online FMV Rare Coin Price Guide Index - Retail Fair Market Value Prices for U.S. Rare Coins
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:03 PM   #9
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But coins require grading to assess their value.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:08 PM   #10
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Whenever I am asked by friends and acquaintances about how to get a fair price for their usually common and not very valuable stamps, I tell them that most of the value in the stamps accrued to the original collector over the years of his/her ownership in the form of their joy in the hobby. What is left is the residual value, which may not be much.

That said, auctions nowadays provide excellent access to a large, diversified market. You can be reasonably assured of getting the 'true' worth through this vehicle. But be prepared for a surprise (see first paragraph above).

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Old 03-06-2017, 06:14 PM   #11
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But coins require grading to assess their value.
I agree, but at least you can get a range of values.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:30 PM   #12
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My Dad had a collection and we liquidated it when he passed. We were in the same boat. No idea how to value it.
I spent a few weeks photographing coins in groups and sets that made sense and put them on eBay. We let the buyers decide condition based on the photos and I made no representation other than what you see is what you get. We had an enormous response. We feel we got market value just based on the high number of bidders. Nobody lets a deal go by.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:37 PM   #13
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My Dad had a collection and we liquidated it when he passed. We were in the same boat. No idea how to value it.
I spent a few weeks photographing coins in groups and sets that made sense and put them on eBay. We let the buyers decide condition based on the photos and I made no representation other than what you see is what you get. We had an enormous response. We feel we got market value just based on the high number of bidders. Nobody lets a deal go by.
I've done the same, also with good success.

Biggest surprise was a bunch of 19th century silver dollars my dad left me. I did a little research and picked out the ten most valuable ones. Took them to a local coin dealer and asked what he would give me for them. He gave me a price that was about 80% of melt value. I called him on it and his response was "Hey, I have to make a living and these may sit here in my store for years before I can sell them."

Have to admit he had a good point but I passed anyway.

Another possibility is to take the collection to a coin show and visit various dealers for their interest. That way they know they are competing against each other and the deadline is the end of the show.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:42 PM   #14
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I've done the same, also with good success.

Biggest surprise was a bunch of 19th century silver dollars my dad left me. I did a little research and picked out the ten most valuable ones. Took them to a local coin dealer and asked what he would give me for them. He gave me a price that was about 80% of melt value. I called him on it and his response was "Hey, I have to make a living and these may sit here in my store for years before I can sell them."

Have to admit he had a good point but I passed anyway.

Another possibility is to take the collection to a coin show and visit various dealers for their interest. That way they know they are competing against each other and the deadline is the end of the show.
The one odd thing about our eBay auction was some bidders, especially on gold coins, bid above, sometimes way above, bullion value for coins that were just "bullion" type coins. I always thought that was odd, but there must have been a good reason.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:42 PM   #15
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My Dad had a collection and we liquidated it when he passed. We were in the same boat. No idea how to value it.
I spent a few weeks photographing coins in groups and sets that made sense and put them on eBay. We let the buyers decide condition based on the photos and I made no representation other than what you see is what you get. We had an enormous response. We feel we got market value just based on the high number of bidders. Nobody lets a deal go by.
I agree. Unless some of the coins are graded professionally (usually encased in plastic "slabs"), do not venture any guesses on condition. And it is important to use photography equipment that will take excellent close up photos of each coin, front and back.

You might consider having a coin shop divide the coins into groups of "worth quite a bit", and "not worth much". You could then individually photo each of the WQB's and lump the NWM's into group sales. Offer to pay for the service of the coin shop operator, but do not sell to that shop, and let them know that up front. Hopefully, you will get impartial information.

Ebay auctions are a very good way to get in front of tens of thousands of coin buyers. But if that is too much work, put the NWM's on ebay, and the better coins at a reputable auction house.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:51 PM   #16
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There also have been some scams of false grading where coins were put in fake holders of the grading companies. So it does take someone who knows what to look for even if they seem to be graded.

If you have pcgs and ngc graded coins, you should be able to get more information from their databases.

If you have a lot of gold or silver, you as least have a good idea of metal value.
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:49 PM   #17
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I've been collecting coins like all of us (but rare/collectable coins too). Most on line catalogs and auctions are going to be way off on the coins true value. Even many local coin shops tend to low ball the prices (due to their high overhead). Best to go to one of your local coin shows in your area (I think your profile says you live in Virginia) Most big city's have coin shows several times a year. They are your best source for good info and you can shop the coins for free at the show. If you want to find out on-line, buy a copy of the current GreySheet. https://www.greysheet.com/ They will show you accurate bid and ask prices for "accurately graded coins". If you really have a rare and/or higher value coin, you probably should have it graded by NGC or PCGS. Coins are graded on a scale of 0 to 70. A few grade points can make a huge difference in price of truly rare coins and opinions can vary widely (5 or more points) even among honest dealers. NGC and/or PCGS will settle any grading dispute.

If you are talking about US coins, look for the following "key coins" (although there are many more). Here are few that will bring you some bigger bucks in the higher grades. 1909S Indian Head Penny, 1909S VDB Lincoln Penny, 1938D 3 leg Buffalo Nickel, 1916D Mercury Dime, 1932D or S Washington Quarter and for some really big bucks, look for a 1893S Morgan Dollar in mint condition. (If you had a roll of 1893S Morgan dollars in MS65 or better condition, most people would say "just retire and forget about investing".)

Feel free to PM me if you have a "few" specific coins you'd like to get an idea of value. All's I need is the coin type, date, mint mark and an idea of condition.
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Coin collection value
Old 03-06-2017, 08:49 PM   #18
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Coin collection value

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Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
I agree, but at least you can get a range of values.


I collect coins and have since I was a kid. Besides the rarity, the conditions can make a big difference in book value (by the way, there is a Whitman's red book and a Whitman's blue book listing all US coins and their value by grade). Red book is buy value price guide, blue book is sell value. Example: a mint condition MS -63 1916walking liberty silver half dollar in my 2008 red book is worth $450 if the dealer is selling it. That same coin if graded very good because it has wear and half the fine lines on the skirt are worn flat is only worth $55. That's a big range. There are about 8 condition grades in the book for that particular coin. Some coins are not collected for rarity but the bullion value of their silver or gold, but they will be generally dated recently and under 30 years old.
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:47 PM   #19
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Ebay is really great for selling a lot of coins fast and for fair market value. Have had very good luck selling proof sets and also silver and gold coins. The ending prices on auctions are very consistent for those. The ones that can be tough to sell on Ebay are individual, ungraded, coins which you hope to get top dollar for. If they are truly valuable then probably worth having the individual coins graded. In my experience most people think their collections are valuable but the truth is otherwise. Also, I wouldn't worry so much about "appraising" it as that is just an opinion. The only thing that matters is what a buyer is willing to pay on any given day. An appraisal will just sadden you when you can't sell for as much as "it's worth."
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:08 PM   #20
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Wow what a great response. Thanks everyone. A lot to think about.
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