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What Are My Coins Worth?

Determining Coin Value

A coin's worth is determined by whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but coins are just like anything else that you purchase.

The price is set by supply and demand.


To get a good idea of your coin's worth consider the following:
U.S. Mintmark S
U.S. Mintmark P
  • First, identify the coin.

    What country issued the coin? What is the mintmark (if any), the date and the face value? Was there more than one design used that year, if so which one is it?

    This first step can usually be determined fairly easily.

  • Second, determine that the coin is authentic. There are counterfeits and alterations of many coins. If this is a valuable coin the buyer may insist upon an expert's opinion.

  • Third, what grade is the coin?

  • Fourth, has it been cleaned or damaged in any way? Coin collectors prefer coins that have not been cleaned or polished in any way.

Once you have completed these steps you can use this information to locate your coin in a coin price guide for a good idea of the coin's worth.

Some of these price guides will publish a wholesale price and a retail price. The wholesale price is a price from one dealer to another. The retail price is the price a dealer uses to sell coins to a collector.

Actual prices won't be exact, they may be a little higher or lower than those published. However, if a dealer is buying a coin from a collector, he will usually pay less then wholesale, so bear that in mind.

Recommended Price Guides:

  • The Standard Catalog of World Coins by Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler. Five volumes, each covering a different century from 1601 to the present. Each identifies and lists prices for coins from around the world.

  • A Guide Book of United States Coins also known as "The Red Book", which is published annually. This is a commonly used retail price guide, and it also includes a wealth of other useful information.

  • More frequently published retail prices for U.S. coins are available in trade papers or coin magazines like Coin Values, Coin Prices and Coinage.

  • In most dealer to dealer transactions, the Coin Dealer Newsletter is the principal price guide. It is commonly known as the "Greysheet". Coin Dealer Newsletter also publishes the "Greensheet", which covers paper money and the "Bluesheet", which lists sight unseen prices for certified coins.

  • When buying U.S. coins from the public, "A Handbook of United States Coins", commonly known as the "Blue Book", is another guide dealers sometimes consult.

  • Numismatic News publishes prices for all 3 levels of coin prices (dealer buy, bid and retail).

You can also find some price guides Online. Just be sure that the particular site you are using is regularly updated.

I have found that the sites listed here are accurate and updated on a regular basis.

Online Price Guides.......

  • Highly recommended: At Coin Values Discovery you can just follow the links to the different coin series to find grading images to compare with your coins and judge their condition. Then check the value charts to discover their full value.
  • Numismedia: You can view the fair market value of coins for free, or you have the option to subscribe.

  • Professional Coin Grading Service Daily Price Guide: Free pricing information for all United States coins.

Be aware that it is difficult to break even or make a profit by selling too soon after purchasing a coin or coins.

As stated above, the dealer will sell the coin to a collector at retail price, but he will buy it from the collector at wholesale price.

The reason he does this is because he is in business to make a profit so he must buy it cheap enough so that he can sell it again and make a profit.

Here is the thing to remember:

While it is important to know what your coin is worth, you should buy coins because you like them and intend to keep them.

They may eventually go up in value, and they probably will, but not immediately.

If your only reason for buying them is a quick profit, then you are not really a coin collector, you are considered to be an investor.

For some great deals on Coins and Coin Collecting Supplies visit my friends at Jake's Marketplace, Inc. They have a very comprehensive selection to choose from and give great discounts!

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