Author Topic: Help getting a rough value for a coin collection  (Read 2881 times)

weston

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Help getting a rough value for a coin collection
« on: November 14, 2014, 10:19:25 AM »
For a 10 year period approximately 50 years ago my father's hobby was coin collecting. He left his collection to my sister and I, but neither of us ever got an appraisal. At this point I'm just interested in getting a rough idea of the value in order to decide whether or not I want to spend the time and money to track down and retain an expert to give me a more accurate appraisal.

Anybody out there know of a legitimate (and fairly accurate) site that would allow me to spend a leisurely weekend  entering the description and condition of the coins in the collection in order to determine whether I should take the inquiry further? If not, any other ideas as to how to get a rough (but free) valuation of the collection?


Threshkin

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Re: Help getting a rough value for a coin collection
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 10:36:25 AM »
Weston,

If you have the collection in your possession the easiest way might be to take it in to a local coin shop and ask them.  Even if they don't want to do a full appraisal they should be able to give you a rough estimate. 

Another option is to check with some of the bigger firms selling coins on EBay.  They always need product to resell and care about their reputation so are less likely to rip you off. 

In either case you are only going to get wholesale prices so don't be surprised if the value is less, much less than you might hope.

darkhorse

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Re: Help getting a rough value for a coin collection
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 10:44:01 AM »
I had the same situation. Received a huge collection from my grandfather in 1994. Get a 2014 Red Book of coin values ($13.45 on Amazon). Good reference for pricing and figuring out what things are. Search completed listings on eBay. Check out PCGS for full retail, graded coin values.

To accurately value each coin, you need to know the grade. This is easy if the coin has been officially graded by a service (it will be enclosed in a tamper-proof plastic case). If not, it's up to you or an appraiser to determine this. The coin grade can affect the value dramatically. There are general grading guides (Red Book), but accurate grading is accomplished by someone that's been looking at coins for a long time. Usually, inherited coin collections are pretty extensive. Mine was, so an extensive appraisal was cost prohibitive.

Over the last 13 years, I've been selling off this collection on eBay. You can sell individual coins and rolls for retail or very close to it. The beauty of eBay is that if you are a reputable seller and take honest, non-enhanced high res pictures of the coins, the buyer determines the grade. While I have a decent grading sense now, I never list the grade of the coin in the description. Let the coin speak for itself.

Personally, I would stay away from coin dealers. In my experience, they really try to peel your collection. Obviously, they need to buy to make money, but there are a lot of unsavory dealers around.

If you want to maximize the value, use eBay. You have to take really high res detail pics. If you have the time (and that's a big if) this is the way to do it.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 10:54:16 AM by darkhorse »

julez916

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Re: Help getting a rough value for a coin collection
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 11:35:26 AM »
I agree with darkhorse. I spent a few years collecting coins as a kid. The last time I was at my parents house, I found most of my coin collection and did a few cursory searches on eBay, mostly of coins that I had bought for myself at the local coin shop (most at about $15-20 a piece), as well as some of the late 19th/early 20th century silver dollars my grandmother passed along to me. Some of the silver dollars were worth an impressive amount each (around $80, if I remember correctly), and most of the ones I had bought for myself had nearly doubled in value. Just knowing that made me reluctant to sell off the whole thing to a dealer because I know they wouldn't give me even close to what I could get for the coins individually. I guess it depends on how much time you are willing to invest, though. Since your dad was building his collection for ten years, I'd imagine that you could sell it off slowly and end up with a good sum of money. The only reason I'd go with a dealer would be having neither the time to do it myself, nor the space to store the coins long term.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Help getting a rough value for a coin collection
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 11:42:06 AM »
US dimes/quarters/halves from 1964 and earlier are made of 90% silver. Even if the coins are in terrible condition the metal alone is worth a bit more than 10x face value. Coins in nicer condition can be worth significantly more than this.

forestbound

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Re: Help getting a rough value for a coin collection
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 03:16:23 PM »
US dimes/quarters/halves from 1964 and earlier are made of 90% silver. Even if the coins are in terrible condition the metal alone is worth a bit more than 10x face value. Coins in nicer condition can be worth significantly more than this.

Thanks for this. I too have a coin collection that was gifted to me. The were rolls of silver coins, mostly nickels and dimes, saved by my parents. My five brothers and sisters also received part of this collection. FOUR of my brothers and sisters ran to the first place to sell them as quick as possible. One went to a gold/silver buyer that advertised that they buy any gold or silver. That brother was very excited about getting $600+, a couple brothers waited a bit longer and got $1,600 from a coin shop. My sister and I both held on to ours. Neither one of us "needs" the money and we see it as an investment. I'll hold on to it, and sell in the next "crash" closer to FIRE... and yes I believe there will be one.