How to sell your coins
By Lightw4re | Thursday, 23 July 2020
You have inherited of a collection, you no longer collect, you need money for essential life expenses, you want to sell a part of your collection to buy other numismatic products... Whatever the reason, this 3-steps guide was created to help you sell your coins and get the most out of them.
Step 1: Get an idea of the value of your coins
You don't have to be a specialist or numismatist to sell your coins (or banknotes), but consider acquiring some knowledge before you do. Even if most businessmen that run coins shops and even if most collectors are honest and fair, there are a few people that might try to take advantage of you if you aren't well-informed.
It's not always easy to get an overall idea of the total value of your coins, banknotes or tokens unless you are ready to put the time and effort into it. To get a second opinion, to obtain more knowledge or to get additional advices, you can ask a collector in real life (if you know one), post your questions to collectors on our discussion board, visit a coin show near you, buy numismatic books or go to your local numismatic store. Some stores, in exchange for a fee, can appraise your coins and other numismatic items.
The more you know, the less you have a chance to be ripped off.
Step 2: Inventory and cataloging
People who need cash fast from a coins collection will sell them all together. People who have time and want to get the most of their coins collection will sell most of their mid to high-end numismatic items individually. Making an inventory of your coins is the second most important step before selling. Most collectors separate their collection by denomination, type or year. However, when it comes to get rid of it, it's more efficient to divide it by rarity. This will help you to find the best dealer for each coin. Here's a general idea on how you can do this:
- Common: Low value, not hard to find in circulation, can be found anywhere including in a numismatic shop or online. Examples:
- Uncertified modern circulating coins, even if they look new or uncirculated. There are few exceptions that can be found on the coins price guide.
- Most cleaned, bent, very worn or damaged coins
- Most Royal Canadian Mint products including proof-like sets
- Uncommon: Small additional value, including silver coins and modern errors and varieties. Examples:
- Silver 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 dollar coins
- 1 cent 1985 - Pointed 5
- Young Queen Elizabeth 1-cent rolls and older
- Rare: Significant additional value. Examples:
- Certified coins
- Coins with an approximate value of $100 to $1,000
- Very rare: High-end coins. Examples:
- Unique or almost unique coin
- #1 in population reports
Note: This category is not limited to the following, but you can get an idea of some of the rarest coins on this top 10.
Step 3: Selling
Many selling options are available and some are more convenient depending on the rarity of the coins.
Local numismatic shop
Find a reputable numismatic shop and try to avoid stores that only Buy Gold and Silver, mostly if your coins are worth more than melt value. A brick-and-mortar store offers a unique experience and may provide valuable information when trying to get a collection appraised, but it is also expensive to open and operate depending on the size and location of the store (rent, licenses and permits, store equipment, insurance...). Stores owners need to make profit out of the collections they buy and they obviously pay less than the prices you see on their shelves.
Local numismatic shops might not buy your common coins at a very good price due to the fact that they likely got several copies of them or can acquire them for cheap already. It is a good place to sell rare and very rare coins since they know collectors and other dealers who might be looking for your specific coins.
Online auction or marketplace
Selling online is the best way to get rid of your common and uncommon coins. You can take advantage of our discussions board or take a look at websites like Ebay (there are fees when an item is sold) where there are plenty of buyers at the same place.
For rare and especially very rare coins, this is without a doubt one of the best place to sell. These auctions attract the most serious buyers. Here's some North American possibilities listed alphabetically:
- Colonial Acres
- Geoffrey Bell Auctions
- Heritage Auctions
- Stack's Bowers
- The Canadian Numismatic Company
If you go to a coin show, even if most transactions are between dealers, you can find several potential buyers at the same place and at the same time, which is a good way to sell your rare and very rare coins.
For common circulating coins and banknotes, like a nickel 50-cent coin or a commemorative circulated 1-dollar 1967 banknote, we suggest you to give them as tip or gratuity at your favorite restaurant or hotel, or give them to a young kid or a member of your family. This way, you introduce someone else to the hobby who might become a collector one day.
Finally, you can sell directly to a private collector near you.
Coinsandcanada.com doesn't buy nor sell numismatic products.
- Canadian coins
- Canadian banknotes
- Canadian tokens and medals
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