Coin Valuations

Antique gold and silver coins.

Have you ever wondered how much an old coin might be worth? Perhaps it's a coin you've stumbled across at home or something unusual you spotted at a sale? Or maybe you are a coin collector and need a quick valuation to check the status of your finds. This article guides you through coins and how to appraise them. Value My Stuff has renowned experts who can assist you in appraising your coins.

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Rare Coins & How To Identify Coins

Collectors of all types love rare examples, but few more than coin collectors. Unlike other metal items, however, coins don't usually feature maker's marks (although some ancient coins can be placed with surprising accuracy), so design and material are key.

Key features include colour, weight, size, shape, design, dates, and other inscriptions. The more information you can gather, the better – this helps identify a coin and might help you check out a fake.

Age is, of course, important to rarity, but it isn't all-important. Coins were made to withstand years of circulation and, in many cases, centuries. As a result, even ancient coins are found regularly in Eurasia – the Portable Antiquities Scheme in the UK alone has recorded almost 1.5 million finds since it began in 1998, of which half a million are coins. That's 25,000 coins per year on one database! The importance of age can lie in the context of the lifetime of the coin, especially in modern cases like the earliest US Dollar.

Similarly, unique designs or inscriptions on a coin type can also be significant. You need to be somewhat clued up for these factors, so an expert opinion is always advisable. With this in mind, a coin with particular historical significance might be detailed online, so it is often worth an internet search.

For coins already known to be valuable, provenance can be essential. Like a painting, rare coins are sometimes exhibited, sold at major auction houses, or owned by renowned collectors. Any documentation or history can bolster the case for a coin's authenticity – particularly important given the quality of many modern fakes, often originating in China.

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How To Value Coins

As with all types of items, the value is a result of supply and demand. In terms of valuable coins, the supply is often lower than the demand. Some coins are, of course, more desirable than others, but what factors set the coin's value?

The Rarity of the Coin
First and foremost – rarity. That's the most crucial factor as a super rare, or even a one-of-a-kind) coin can sell for enormous amounts at auction since such an auction is more of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. On the contrary, if the supply is high, buyers may not need to buy it as they could wait for better (lower in price) opportunities.

The Condition of the Coin
Another factor is the coin's condition, which can be clarified by looking at the grade – if a third-party company has graded the coin (read more about grading further down in the article). Even if it's the same coin for the same year, the value could differ significantly if the coin is in mint condition or imperfect condition. 

The Content, Design, and Strike of the Coin
Some coins have unique content attached to them, which can be positive for their value. One example is if the coin was minted before 1929 (when The Great Depression started). Other factors are design and strike, which are somewhat subjective as some collectors would appreciate a specific type of design while others would appreciate a completely different design. Strike is a term that describes the minting and stamping of the coin.

Error Coins
Lastly, there's an exception to the rules. Occasionally, collectors find coins labelled as error coins, meaning coins that were manufactured incorrectly and later got into the hands of people as the manufacturer didn't realise that the coin had an error. These errors can be unique, such as one side of the coin being struck twice while the other side is entirely untouched. Another example is that a coin is minted upside down on one of the sides. These errors increase the coin's value; sometimes, it gives an incredibly high premium.

For comprehensive insights into the art of coin valuation, we invite you to peruse our expert-authored guide, available on the following blog post "How To Value Coins".

How To Value Coins

Written by Alexander Bitar
Have you ever wondered how much an old coin might be worth? Perhaps it's a coin you've stumbled across at home or something unusual you spotted at a sale? Or maybe you are a coin collector and need a quick valuation to check the status of your finds. This article guides you through coins and how to value them. Value My Stuff has renowned experts who can assist you in valuing your coins.

The Market For Valuable Coins

2021 was a record-setting year for coin prices, and the market worth continues to show trends growing. In 2021, the largest auction houses sold over $500 million worth of rare US coins and currency. According to market analysts, tiny auction houses and private sales elevate the coin market sales in the US to $5 billion or more. Still, of course, the data from private markets is never complete, so it is impossible to calculate the sales for an entire coin market.

Follow these easy steps to value your coins!

Top 10 Most Expensive Coins Ever Sold

1) $18,900,000 – 1933 Double Eagle, USA.

2) $12,000,000 – 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, USA.

3) $9,360,000 – 1787 Brasher Doubloon, EB on Wing, Privately Minted.

4) $8,400,000 – 1822 Half Eagle, USA.

5) $7,680,000 – 1804 1 Dollar, USA.

6) $7,395,000 – 1787 Brasher Doubloon, EB on Breast, Privately Minted.

7) $7,200,000 – 1861, Paquet Liberty Head double eagle, USA.

8) $6,900,000 – 1903, Fengtien Tael, China.

9) $6,600,000 – 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, USA.

10) $6,030,000 – 723, Umayyad Gold Dinar, Umayyad Caliphate.

Coin Grading (Third-Party Grading)

A significant consideration before making a purchase is Third-Party grading. This is the process of authentication and guaranteeing a coin's official grade. Once this has been done, the coin is "slabbed", essentially encapsulating the coin in a plastic case, protecting it from further wear while eliminating all doubt as to the condition and value of the coin. Some of the most reputable TPG companies for coins are:
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS)

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGS)

Independent Coin Grades (ICG)

Collectors universally accept the grading system for coins and summarise by the following levels:
Mint State (MS), A coin in exceptional condition, showing no signs of wear and having full, original lustre; 100% of the design is visible with no wear.

Extremely Fine (XF), A coin with only the slightest wear, often with full mint lustre and sharp, well-defined design details; 85-95% of the design is visible.

Very Fine (VF), A coin with moderate wear and some detail remaining. Typically, wear is visible on the highest points of the design; 70-85% of the design is visible.

Fine (F), A coin with moderate wear, where major design elements are still distinguishable; 50-70% of the design is visible.

Very Good (VG), A coin with moderate to heavy wear but with some clear design elements; 30-50% of the design is visible.

Good (G), A coin with significant wear but still identifiable as to its type; 10-30% of the design is visible.

How To Sell Coins?

Nowadays, there are somewhat limited alternatives to selling valuable coins. The very first thing one should consider is to value the coin. Otherwise, it's easy to sell the coins below their value. After a professional valuation, it's time to seek ways to sell. The far easiest alternative is online auctions. There are a couple of established coin auctioneers, such as Heritage Auctions. You could also do it yourself on platforms such as Ebay or Catawiki. A couple of decades ago, it was common to find coin shops, but the number of them has decreased significantly in recent years.

How To Get Coins Valued Online?

Only a professional can provide accurate and up-to-date value for your coins by using their experience and expertise to eliminate as many chances for misstep and error as possible. Luckily, here at Value My Stuff, experts in the field can provide professional appraisal services so that you can take the necessary steps to discover how much your coins are worth today! Start Your Coin Appraisal Here!

Our Coin Experts

Our coins expert has been interested in this subject since childhood and, from 1990 to 2005, worked as auctioneer and cataloguer for two of London's foremost numismatic auctioneers, Glendining and Baldwin's. With his primary specialty in commemorative coins, he has a deep knowledge of his subject and market and will be able to advise you on the value of your coins.

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