You’ve seen an old coin and you’re wondering if it’s valuable and worth a lot of money. Maybe it is, maybe it is not. How do you know? There are several factors that affect the value of a coin such as rarity, demand bullion price, and quality. But how can you check for these factors? Find out with these five simple tips.
Look For Mint Marks And Mistakes
Machine-minted coins often contain mint errors. There could be a letter or a number missing, or a double stamp, in which the coin is stamped twice at the mint. These are extremely rare, making the coins extremely valuable. Another thing to look for is mint marks or where the coin was originally minted; this affects its value most of the time. Most U.S. coins have these marks on the obverse, but some older coins have them on the reverse.
Research The Demand Of The Coin
A much easier way to check for the value of a coin is to do research and find coins similar to the ones that you have and see what they are selling for in online magazines, websites, or auctions. The value of a coin is greatly influenced by the current market demand for it. As the demand for a coin increases, so does its value.
Check For The Coin’s Grade
A coin’s grade (or quality) is an essential part of determining its value and price. To determine a coin’s grade, numismatists consider five main components:
- Luster: This refers to how light bounces off the surface of a coin. As the coin's surface wears away, the luster fades.
- Color: The natural hue of the metal and the iridescent colorization in the design are important in determining its value.
- Detracting marks: These come from improper handling or packaging.
- Cleaning marks: Cleaning marks can occur when a coin’s surface is damaged by the process of cleaning, rubbing, or polishing.
- Outer Appearance: This attributes to the various flaws that affect the appearance of the coin such as lack of carbon streaks, striking defects, and vinyl damage.
Get Expert Opinion
Receiving a certified appraisal from a coin dealer is another way to evaluate your coins. There are many dealers qualified to give you an estimate of the value of your coin in the highly specialized world of numismatics. Find a local coin dealer and get their professional opinion!
Evaluating your coins as a beginner might seem like a tricky and hard task. But by taking the above steps into consideration, and practicing them, with time you’ll become the best coin evaluator out there! Head to The Franklin Mint to check out our wide range of collectible coins.