Sell Antique Coins
If you are wondering how to sell antique coins, you have come to the right place. However, here is some basic information about coins first.
Coins in history
Back in the earliest days of trade and commerce, people used the barter system, but it was a difficult ay to do business. The first metals coins were produced in the 7th Century BCE on parallel developments in China, Greece, and India, and their use spread quickly. Coins were not always disc-shaped, however. Some were in the shape of ox hides, or cowrie shells.
The earliest coins were made from electrum and had no standard weights. Electrum was a natural mix of silver and gold, and further processed with silver and copper. It is believed that the first Anatolia coins of the Iron Ages were used more for religious rituals and as badges than commerce. Most of these early coins had no writing in it, but mostly representations of animals, and sometimes Greek inscriptions meaning various things such as “I am the sign of light.” The first coin to have Arabic writing on it was the St. Gall silver Plappart, minted in 1424.
Back in the day, gold coins were actually used for commerce. People would pay for goods and services using gold coins, which are usually solid gold. Since gold is so soft, savvy traders could tell the purity of a particular coin by biting it.
Silver coins are perhaps the most ancient type of mass-produced coins in history. It has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks with their drachmas, which were very popular as trade coins back in the day. Ancient Persians (modern day Iraqis) also used silver for their coins, as did the British, whose pennies were made of silver prior to 1797.
Many coins are valued for their metal content, which are usually gold, silver, or platinum. These are called bullion coins. However, old coins are seldom just valued for its metal content. Some coins have numismatic value; that is, it has value to a collector or investors. This could be due to its condition, rarity, historical significance, design, or popularity.
A good example is the denarius coin, an antique silver coin used during the height of the power of the Roman empire. The silver content is pegged at $2, but its age and rarity makes it much more valuable. Another example is the 1943 Copper Wheat Penny, which if in mint condition is worth about $85,000. If you happen to have inherited a coin collection (or unearthed a jar of coins you unearth from the basement of your turn of the century house), you may just have some bit of metal lurking in there that is worth more than your car!
It is very important to find out the history of any gold coin you may have bought, inherited or found before you sell it. It just may be a 1933 Double Eagle piece, which is valued at $7.6 million because it is so rare. It has a face value of $20, with 33.431 grams of 90% gold, so its selling price is definitely not for its gold content. It may also be some rare coin worth far more than its weight in precious metal.
Selling antique coins
The first thing you should know that no one could give you definite answers until you bring in the coin in question for assessment. You can bring it to the local coin dealer for an appraisal, if there are any, or a pawnbroker. However, you should do your own research before putting it up for sale.
Old coins are particularly hard to evaluate. Many factors affect its value, but you can start with checking it denomination, mintmark, date, and any unusual features. You should also note the type of metal, whether it is gold, silver, or clad. It might help to make a sketch of it, or a rubbing that reveals details of the design on both sides can be a good way to identify it. Of course, it is easy enough to take and send a digital photo of it nowadays. These representations are important if you want to know the minting version of old coins you want to sell. A high-definition digital photo should be enough to get an accurate estimate of the value of your coin.
It is important that you have your coin valued even if you have no immediate intention of selling it. This can help you make an informed decision of whether you should sit on it and collect more of them, or if you should sell immediately. You can use coin price guides that quote the retail value of most coins, including many old ones, as a basis for your own selling price. These guides may vary from dealer to dealer, however, since they may have different markups. Note, however, that coin dealers will not offer you retail prices, but it should give you a good idea of what the market can take if you choose to sell it to a private buyer rather than a dealer.
If possible, sell your coins as a group. A set is more likely to sell better than allowing dealer to pick the most valuable ones in the set, leaving you with the less sellable ones. Always shop around before deciding on a buyer to make sure you get the best possible price, and only deal with reputable establishments.
However, if you find a coin dealer that knows the business and find trustworthy, it would be in your best interest to get on good terms with him or her. Dealers also have connections to coin collectors, so you are more likely to get a better price. You may even create a standing arrangement for any coins that come your way, so you don’t have to go through the whole process each time you have an old coin to sell.
Selling antique coins as a business require quite a bit of knowledge and practical understanding. If you are just selling a couple of antique coins for quick cash, you may do quite well with your local dealer or pawnshop. However, you should still do your research to make sure you get a fair price.