The Value of Your Coin Collection: More Than Pocket Change?

Your coin collection value could be worth more than pocket change—especially if it contains currencies from the 18th or 19th century. But what gives collectible coins their value? Here’s what to consider.

Material: Silver and gold coins—mostly minted before the Great Depression—have a higher value than their copper and bronze counterparts. 

Grade: Also known as a condition, the grade is key to the aesthetic of the coin. Appraisers and collectors place a higher price on undamaged and uncirculated coins. Like any antique, dents, scratches, corrosion, and carbon spots can lower the grade of the coin.

Pro Tip: Cleaning a coin does not increase its grade. It’s best to leave it in its original condition.

Age: Age isn’t always a telltale indicator of value. While older coins typically sell for more, they usually have other desirable traits. A newer, more rare coin may be more valuable than an older coin that’s easy to find.

Rarity: The rarity of the coin is the driving factor for demand and a high price tag. Rare coins are often a result of limited minting.

How do I know if my coin collection is valuable?

Gather information about each coin. Start with the date, monetary denomination, color/material, and a brief description. Next use a coin values chart to assess the worth.

I think I have a valuable coin. Now what?

Make sure to follow these steps before selling:

  1. Don’t clean the coin(s).
  2. Sort your coins and take inventory.
  3. Keep coins together. If one of your coins is particularly valuable, keep it in a safe deposit box until you sell it.
  4. Find a certified coin seller. Pawn shops and generic buyers won’t give you the best price.

Whether you’re a coin connoisseur or new to the hobby, make sure to do your research. You may be surprised at your coin collection’s value!

Did your coins come from a piggy bank? Learn how to find the value of antique coin banks.

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