Did you just inherit a collection of rare coins? If so, congratulations. You could have a very valuable asset in your possession, especially if the collection includes real silver coins.
The problem is, you can run into a lot of pitfalls – not to mention dishonest people – when you try to determine what the collection is worth. Especially if your coins contain precious metal like silver or gold. Here are some guidelines to follow.
Don’t Go to a Coin Dealer and Accept His or Her Offer for Your Coins
If you do, you could accept a low-ball offer, or a dishonest one. Instead, have a qualified rare-coin appraiser look at your collection. You can find one through the American Society of Appraisers at 800-ASA-VALU or through the American Numismatic Society at 212-571-4470. The appraiser should not be a dealer – that’s a conflict of interest – and if he or she offers to buy your collection or several coins from it, you should consider that a “red flag” and seek advice elsewhere.
After Having Your Collection Appraised, Make Some Decisions
Once you have an expert, impartial opinion of what your collection is worth, you are in a position to make some smart choices.
- If you have some coins that are especially valuable, i.e., $500, $1,000 or more, consider selling them through a well-respected auction gallery like Sotheby’s in New York, at 212-606-7000. When you speak with auction houses, ask about the prices they have gotten for similar coins that they have auctioned in the past.
- If you have some less valuable coins that should command prices in the range of $20 to $100 or a little more, you can take them to a coin dealer and see whether he or she makes you an honest offer for them. You can also look for similar coins on eBay, review their selling prices, and sell your coins there.
- If you have coins that are relatively low in value – most often, these are coins that have low collectible value but which still contain quantities of silver – consider sending them to a qualified silver refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners so you can get paid for the silver that they contain. Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.
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