Appraising Rare Coins

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Appraising Rare Coins

Rare coins are one of those things that everyone thinks about occasionally, but doesn’t necessarily know how to approach. Most of us have had that one relative that was interested in collecting coins. It can be a bit hard to tell what is worth something and what isn’t in a collection that spans ages as there are relatively few obviously valuable coins. The ones that exist tend to be of ancient make and fairly obvious. Most rare coins are actually comparatively mundane and somewhat based on the general rarity of that particular minting, any errors, and other factors that conspire to make them harder to acquire. Anyone can sort through a stash of coins though. All it takes is a willingness to do a little research and to sort through all the coins. Though you might also want to include a pair of gloves if you want to avoid the scent of coins on your hands and to protect the coins themselves.

Be Informed
Appraising rare coins is almost entirely about information. Museum worthy coins aren’t where the bulk of rare coin trading comes in. It is typically centered around national currencies and the various changes they’ve gone through over the years. As a result, there are frequently national and international books designed specifically to tell you the approximate worth of a given national coin from a given year. These are invaluable if you’re hoping to find rare coins in a large collection. Years are typically one of the best indicators when it comes to figuring out how much a coin is worth. This is due to shifts in what was used to make the coin or even particular events in a given year that make the coin just that much rarer than its siblings. It is easy enough to find an appropriate guide to use if you make the time to acquire one.

There Are Defects and Then There Are Defects
Rare coins are often a way to preserve an amusing quirk of history such as the year being printed wrong on a circulating coin or a national figure facing the wrong way. These are all considered desirable as they often are a source of the coin’s actual value to collectors. Sometimes there were even clear defects in the process of minting the coinage that left an obvious mark on them. You want things like this, but what you don’t want are the kinds of coins a collector would consider defective. This includes coins that have been physically damaged in some way or tarnished beyond easy recognition. These coins are harder to actually interest a collector in. Stick to ensuring any coins you’re interested in have a decent visual clarity and remain undamaged. This will ensure you have a decent quality coin.

Getting Your Coin’s Worth
The last way to ensure that your rare coins get their proper value is to have others check your work. This helps to ensure you haven’t missed any clear issues with the coin or been suckered into acquiring a counterfeit coin. Largely all you need to do is research reputable companies that offer 3rd party grading for rare coins. They have the tools and experts to ensure that the coins are both authentic and meet requisite quality standards. This allows you to have a clear idea of the actual value of the coin outside of a book price. A reputable grading company’s authority will carry weight should you ever opt to sell a rare coin or a rare coin collection. It will make it easier to dispute any low offers by being able to highlight the quality of your coin.

Appraising rare coins is relatively easy as long as you have the tools to do it. Most of the primary tools are available to anyone looking to get into rare coins. The main issue is simply ensuring that the coins themselves are as undamaged and protected as possible to maintain their value. A 3rd party evaluation of a batch of coins also goes a long way towards ensuring their overall quality. So feel free to approach that pile of old coins at some point. You never know quite what you’ll find.

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