It's likely that you've never particularly been that keen on numismatics, or coin collecting. Now that you've inherited a small coin collection, however, you need to learn a little bit about what you have before you try to sell it. Otherwise, you won't be able to get the best value for your money.
Where do you start? Read on for more information.
A Crash Course on Getting Your Inherited Coin Collection Ready to Sell
There are definitely some important "do's and don'ts" when it comes to dealing with your inherited coins:
- Do take an inventory of your collection. Organize them according to type and denomination, take photos and separate them into coin albums or holders that are designed for that purpose. That will help you keep track of what you have as you research.
- Don't rush this process. You need to do a little research before you sell your coins. There's bound to be a bit of haggling involved, and you can't effectively negotiate a price unless you have some idea of what your coins are worth on the resale market.
- Do remember that face value means nothing. Old coins can have value well beyond their marked worth or their metal content. A modern copper penny actually costs almost twice as much to mint as it's worth. Meanwhile, an uncirculated steel and zinc penny that was minted during World War II could be worth more than $5.
- Don't clean your coins. No matter how dirty they appear, cleaning your old coins will actually devalue them significantly. Coin dealers and coin collectors don't expect your coins to be bright and shiny, and any process you use to clean them will cause damage that will degrade their value.
Now that you've got your coins organized and ready to go, you need to do your research. With the internet at your fingertips, you can research all of the features that affect your coins' value, including the underlying metal content (whether they are silver, gold or something else), the grade (general condition) of each coin, its rarity, and the current market demand.
How to Actually Sell Your Coin Collection
Now that you have your coins sorted, graded and ready to go, you have to find someone to buy them, right? Skip the pawnshop. You will get, at best, bare metal value for your coins, which means you could be cheating yourself out of lots of dollars.
Instead, look for a coin shop or a rare coin dealer. A reliable dealer will help you better understand the value of your collection as a whole and whether you stand to gain the most from selling it "as-is" or by separating out a few select pieces for individual sale.
For more information, contact a coin shop near you.