Selling Coins

Time to sell your coins?

You would be surprised how often people walk in to a coin store, announce that they have ‘no idea’ what this junk is worth, and just want some quick cash. This brings us to a fundamental rule of selling coins.

Is it time to sell my coins?

An educated seller will almost ALWAYS get more money.

There are a few important things to consider:

  • Precious metal value of the coin
    • With the at times volatile market of gold and silver, it is often the case that the coin has more value as a precious metal, than as a collector coin. This makes it easy to compare bids from various coin shops.
  • Numismatic value of the coin
    • This can be thought of as the ‘coin-nerd value’. What would a coin-nerd pay to own this coin?
      • They may be worth only face value
          • As often as you encounter someone who has no idea what a coin is worth, you will find people who think, if it’s old, it’s valuable! The sad reality is, much of your coin collection may be best used in the vending machine. Perhaps crazy uncle Leroy saved every 1976 bicentennial quarter he could find, but they are still only worth 25 cents each.

Getting the highest price for your collection.

Beware of buyers that just want to pick out the ‘good stuff’, and leave you with the rest. You want to find a dealer that will buy everything, and pay you fairly. At the very least, you want to find someone that will give you a little education when purchasing. I typically gravitate towards people in this world with a heart of a teacher.

Selling your coin collection can bring you serious money!

Selling Advice: Test the Waters

A great way to select which coin shop / dealer to sell to, is grab 10 coins from your collection, and bring them to all shops / dealers in your area. Pay attention to how the dealer treats you, how much they offer, what they tell you about the coins. If you can, ask questions. I’ve seen it a hundred times… people bring in a dozen coins to test the waters. The shop with the best service and/or highest offer, gets the opportunity to buy the sizeable collection.

This school of thought also works at a coin show / convention. Grab just a few coins, and take them to dealers booth by booth. Grab a business card of the few dealers that treat you with respect and have a solid offer, and give them a chance to make an offer on your coin collection either at the show or at a later date.

I use the above method when deciding where to spend my money at a coin show. Recently I walked to everything booth and purchased something (albeit sometimes a small purchase) at every single dealer who said hello and didn’t glare at me like a thief (as I’m a bit younger than the stereotypical collector). Out of 104 coin tables at that show, I only made 8 purchases.



Multiple Bids

I once heard a coin dealer say, “If 7 people are bidding on the collection, I don’t even want it”. Now ask yourself, why would a coin dealer not want a coin collection? Simple answer: They believe the price will be to high. The lesson to learn here? Get multiple bids if you do not trust the buyer of your coin collection.