This week we bring you a new post with useful information for all those collectors that want to get some money out of that part of your coin collection that you don’t want any more or that you already had. This post is also for those that suddenly found coins saved in some drawer and that don’t know what to do with them.
When it comes to evaluate a coin we need to pay attention to some special characteristics: number of items that were minted that year, quality of the coin preservation or the presence of some special characteristic that could differentiate our coin (error or variant). However, this market, as well as the rest, is ruled by the laws of supply and demand. It doesn’t matter if we have a very special coin and extremely well preserved that if nobody wants it we won’t get anything out of it.
Following, we show you a few steps and advices in order to get a correct estimation about the market value of a coin. We hope you find it useful.
1. Coin Country And Year Of Issue Identification
The first part of the coin valuation process consists in the identification of the coin itself, this means, getting to know the coin we have in our hands and what are its main characteristics. This process may become something easy:
Or a whole challenge:
The first step consists in determining the country that issued the coin or currency. In most of them we will have directly written the name of the coin or currency, although in some of them it can be written in its own language, making the identification process a bit harder.
Worst case scenario we won’t even be able to identify the language. In those case it is recommended to check a coin catalog in order to try to find shields, emblems or identifying symbols of the different states.
Another very useful tool when it comes to identify a coin is the minting year. The first step is to identify the alphabet and calendar in which the year is written. Most of the world current coins use the Latin alphabet and the Gregorian calendar, which makes identifying the minting year a piece of cake. However this is not always the case, i.e. coins coming from Arab countries like Morocco include their minting date using the Islamic calendar, so we would have to convert it.
2. Identify The Coin Within The Country
Once we have the coin country and year of issue we can go to a catalogue in order to get to know the specific characteristics of the coin.
Due to the wide range of coins available in our website, a good technique in order to identify the coin is to use the coin search engine selecting to show the whole catalog of existing coins. Through the filters we can specify the information we have already obtained in order to reduce the number of results. Thanks to the images and the details included in the database the process of identification can be done in a very short amount of time.
A possible improvement over this is the use of the section for selling coins on our website, for which you will be required to be registered as user on the website. Thanks to which is possible to see at the same time the images and the information of the coins without the need to directly access each of them. If you need more information about the process of putting coins on sale you can found it in the help section of the website.
3. Look For Coin Variants And Errors
Once we know which exact coin we have in our hands, it is time to check if we were lucky enough to find some variant. The variants are small modifications over the original design that might be due to small design updates, new mint seal inclusion, variation on the position of the elements shown in the coin or even due to errors during the production process of them.
One of the aspects that can highly increment the value of a coin is the appearance of some error during the mintage process. There are collectors specialized in coins that show errors, considering those coins as exclusive and paying a very high value. Errors on the coins can be due to some different factors:
- Errors on the mintage process: There are quite a few causes that produce an incorrect coin mintage, here you have the main ones:
- Wrong blank: Minting a coin in the blank corresponding to another coin.
- Double mintage: The die is hit more than once and this causes the design to get moved.
- Die broken: Due to the violence of the minting hits, in the engraved face of the die part of the metal detaches producing an excess of metal in a specific zone of the coin.
- Die with paste: This is derived from the previous process, if the materials remind in the die when minting the next coin, it would be only engraved partially due to the die covered with the material from the previous coin.
- Weak mintage: The minting hit has not enough pressure and the metal do not flow completely through the holes of both dies, so some of the drawings are not properly formed and might disappear or have a less high.
- Not centred: Produced by a fail in the supply mechanism of the blanks in the mintage chamber leaving the blank not centred, between both dies, which produces a not centred or moved mintage.
- Human errors: This kind of errors are the most valued ones by collectors, since they are not due to problems during the production process of the coins, so the coins are in perfect condition but they include different elements than the original design. These errors are due to mistakes by the staff in charge of supervising the minting process.
4. Preservation State
Once we have perfectly identified our coin and we know its mintage the next step is to evaluate its preservation state. Obviously, it does not have the same value a coin that have never been circulating than another one that you can’t barely identify some of the details on the design.
In the website help section we included a small table with the different preservation states of the coins. The denomination of the categories varies between countries but there is almost a direct correspondence between all of them.
Coin Gradings Comparative
||AB (Assez Beau)
||GE (Gut erhalten)
||AG-3 to G-4
||SGE (Sehr gut erhalten)
||ZG (Zeer Goed)
||TB (Très Beau)
||MB (Molto Bello)
||TTB (Très Très Beau)
||SS (Sehr schön)
||ZF (Zeer Fraai)
||VF-20 to 30
||EF-40 to 45
||95% + some luster
||UNZ− (Fast unzirkuliert)
||AU-50 to 55
||100% + luster
||FDC (Fleur de Coin)
||MS-60 to 65
||100% + full luster
||FDC (Fleur de Coin)
||FDC (Fior di Conio)
||FDC (Flor de Cunho)
||MS-66 to 70
The evaluation of the preservation state of the coin is without a doubt the aspect that more controversy brings when evaluating the price of a coin, although there is a common regulation accepted about the categories, a certain coin can be in “Very fine” state for one collector while only in “Fine” state for another one. Establishing a proper evaluation of the state is a process that you can learn with years and practice, so don’t worry if, at the beginning, your evaluations do not match the ones from other collectors.
Our advice is to study the coins in detail, match your opinion with different collectors every time you can and if you are thinking to sell the coin in a website like ours include pictures that allow the buyer to make its own evaluation of the coin. Specially for the high value items.
5. Check The Real Market Value
Now we have all the information we know all about our coin, we know exactly what coin it is, how many of them were minted and what is its preservation state. It is time to find out how much you can get out of it.
As we said in the beginning, numismatics is not indifferent to the speculation market, so the coin price will depend on the supplies and demands. Our recommendation is to check the price on sale in our website as well as other websites with your coin on sale.
Once we have all the information it comes the point to decide what to do with the coin, trying our luck with a price that we consider interesting, putting it on sale with a bit lower than market price in order to sell it as soon as possible or just keep it and save it for a better future moment. This is basically now your decision.
If you finally decide to put the coin on sale you will only have to get registered on the web and proceed to put on sale the coin. This will only take you a couple of minutes and is totally free.
Finally, once you sell it don’t forget to package your coin properly in order to ship it and to pay attention on how it affects to the weight of the package to calculate the shipping costs. Specially if you are open to ship to any place in the world and you want to send them with insurance. In our website the calculation of those shipping costs is done automatically so you will only have to worry of the amount of money you want in exchange for your coin.
We hope you can sell your coins as soon as possible!!