How to determine the value of an old coin?

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How do I find the value of old money? Are old coins valuable? ?

 When trying to determine the value of an old coin there are several different ways you can do this. You can go on the internet to see what this coin has sold for previously (EBay), or you can use one of the many books in publication. One of the most respected authorities on old coins is the Official Red Book. Old coin values can differ massively depending on the need of the buyer to acquire the coin.

The Red Book.

The Red Book has been in publication for over 60 years, and covers detailed information about all types of coins the world over. This publication does a great job of breaking down each coin by year, mint, errors, condition, and any other information vital to determining the value of a coin. The only thing it cannot control is public demand for the coin. This is a very good guide but it doesn’t mean someone will pay that for a coin.

Every collector should have a well written coin price guide by a respectable author/collector or curator of a collecting institution.  There are coin pricing guides covering all types of collecting. 

If a coin is not professionally graded

One reason it may not get that is the condition. If a coin is not professionally graded the condition is subject to the person looking at the coin. Think of it this way you are trading your automobile in at a dealership, so you go to several different dealerships and each one gives you a different appraisal figure for your trade. Why, everyone has his or her own opinion on the condition and its possible resale value. The same holds true with coins.

If you believe a coin has a lot of value and wish to sell, it’s highly recommended that you have it graded by a profession coin grading service. One grade level can mean thousands of dollars, for example let’s look at an 1882 O, silver dollar US and with the error of the O mint mark over the S mint mark. This coin graded as an MS64 may be worth 2,750.00 but as an MS65, it may be worth as much as 25,000.00 US that could be a costly error.

The value of old coins can bring on a selection of values, unlike rare coins that tend to bring extremely high values.

The age of a coin doesn’t mean it will be worth a lot of money.

Take for instance an ancient bronze Roman or Greek coins dating back as far as 200 B.C. you can buy one of these for as little as 2 dollars today. Why ?, because hoards of these have been discovered over the years. Old coin values will depend on a number of factors.

Because a coin is old, it must be valuable?

It’s one of the biggest misconception of people today. Well I am afraid to tell you that isn’t the case in most circumstances. Let’s look at the US minted 1909 Lincoln wheat penny even though the coin is over one hundred years old it may only be worth just a few pennies more than the face value. Now should that same penny bear the initials S.V.D. on the reverse you could be holding a coin worth thousands. This is a case where old versus rare, because only a few of these penny remain with the initials S.V.D they have become rare coins with high value.

However, there is a great advantage to this because anyone can own a piece of history for very little money. If you had an ancient coin in your hand think about how people over the thousands of years could have had that very same coin in their possession, perhaps Caesar or even someone like Alexander the great ! This is the magic of coin collecting that coin collectors understand and appreciate well.

It can be very difficult to place a value on an old coin, unless the coin is well known, but some things to consider when trying to place a value on an old coin is where it was minted, what kind of metal is it made from, how many where made and the year it was made. All these things can be used as a gauge to determine the value of the coin. The value of old canadian coins will differ greatly from old american coins value, as will the value of old foreign coins of course.

If you specialize or tend to have a favorite collectible type (Morgan Silver Dollars for example) then look for a specialist coin price guide in the search box above covering the type of coins you collect most like silver dollars, dimes, etc. Sometimes you can find a really good old coin price guide that is old, full of information, but out of date. These coin price guides can be very useful for doing research and for learning about collecting and valuations but will have little value helping you determine current values of your coins. A great coin price guide can easily be found in print and typical reviews of the works are easy to find.  However it is much more likely that you will find most current data on the specific coins you are researching by looking up any specific coin price on the web.

As I mentioned above, be cautious about using an old coin price guide. Coin price guides should be copy written with a relatively recent date.

Old American coin values are often hotly disputed but in general an old coin value is simply whatever the buyer is willing to pay of course !

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