Whether you have come across a bunch of old coins in the attic or you are not sure how much your coin collection is worth, it is useful to know how to price old coins. Before anything else, you need to identify the type, the rarity and the condition of your coins. Here are a few ways to help you price old coins before approaching coin buyers in Atlanta or anywhere else for that matter.
1. Handle old coins with care. One of the factors that determine how much a coin is worth is its overall quality. This is why it is crucial to handle coins as little as possible. Try not to use your bare hands to handle the coins as oil from your fingertips can easily transfer and leave marks on the coins. This is especially true if the coins are of a brilliant uncirculated grade. Instead, use coin tongs or cotton gloves and store the coins in plastic coin holders.
2. Find out the coin type. Pick up a coin book that is known as a trusted resource for coin experts, such as the “The Official Blue Book: A Handbook of U.S. Coins” or the latest coin dealer newsletter. Alternatively, you can also identify credible websites that provide valuable educational resources. Figure out the origin of the coin, its denomination, year, and mint mark. If necessary, use a magnifying glass or loupe to give you a clearer view of all the coin’s details.
3. Keep an eye out for variations in lettering or design. Sometimes irregularities in the design or lettering can add to the value of your coins. These are commonly referred to as mint errors or variety coins. For instance, double-die coins or die breaks are considered irregularities. Some double-die coins, such as the 1955 Lincoln cent double die coin, can be quite valuable.
4. Determine the condition of the coins. Each coin can be assigned a grade depending on its quality and condition. The higher the grade, the more valuable the coin. If a coin is practically brand new in appearance with no evidence of handling, it can be considered brilliant uncirculated. Conversely, if most of the details are blotted out or are illegible, it is likely to be graded in poor to fair condition.
In summary, prior to approaching coin buyers in Atlanta or anywhere else to sell your coins, it is useful to learn the ropes on how to price old coins. You can do this by handling your coins with care and identifying their origin, denomination, year, and mint mark. Be on the lookout for variations in lettering or design and assess coins’ condition, through research on your own, by consulting with a coin expert or by having them professionally graded.