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Is my coin really a treasure?

By Fahani on the

In other posts we have talked about how some coins can acquire astronomical prices, however this week we are going to discuss about the contrary. We will try to clear up some doubts about one of the first questions that new coin collectors might come up with: How much are my coins? Am I rich with this new coin that I got at the bar and I have never seen before? We regret to tell you that most probably not and that its value is very often not bigger than the one written with a number on the face of the coin. Let’s see why.

Lingotes de oro

How can we know if the coin they are offering us is a bargain? Or if this new coin that just came to our hands is indeed a treasure? In the last few weeks a big excitement has come up in Spain about the value of some of the old pesetas destined for circulation due to some of several articles that started spreading among the spanish newspapers: “If you have one of thse coins you can sell it for 20.000 euros (ABC)”“Do you have any of these pesetas? (El Mundo)”“Do you have any peseta saved in the drawer? Look for it because it can be valued up to 20.000 euros (La Sexta)” or “Do you still have any peseta coin? Look for it because it can be valued up to 20.000 euros (Diario Sur)”.

All this is mostly due to the fact that the media are always trying to get those catchy articles that can get people’s attention and attract masses of readers. Firstly we should clear up that most of the coins that appear on those articles were not even circulated at any point, they were only commemorative coins or proof coins made by the FNMT (the spanish mint house), having a large cost even in the point they went on sale. For this reason it is usually very unlikely that these  coins end up in the hands of a non collector, not to mention the even lower possibilities of that happening today, much more years after the mintage.

As an example, one of the coins that appear in the list is the coin of 1 peseta of 1987 E-87. This coin was minted because of the III National Numismatic Exhibition and was distributed in sets, therefore it is very unlikely that any of them made it to circulation.

Regular Coin

1 Peseta
1 Peseta
Available: 56
From: 0.90 €
Buy it now

Coin E-87

1 peseta e 87

Even though the coin with the inscription E-87 has a numismatic value, due to the lack of pieces that were minted, the same does not apply for the regular version (only differing on this inscription) which holds not any added value. So watch out for the details, as a rule of thumb if your coin is circulated and got it on the streets the numismatic value is none existent.

Another good example would be the 100 pesetas coins of 1966. They are coins minted in silver and very common among the coin collectors mostly due to the fact that they have a very affordable price, around 9 euros.

100 Pesetas
100 Pesetas
Available: 1
From: 6.00 €
Buy it now

In this case, the high price of some of them, specially the one of 1969 is due to a small variant in the lower part of the second "9", which it would be straight instead of curved. This variant is very valued due to the low number of coins that were minted this way, which makes it hard to suddenly appear in some non collectors hands. This limited version of this coin can even get up to the value of 400 euros.

Finally, we leave you with the information regarding the 1975 5 pesetas coin minted with the reason of the 1982 World Cup. In this case, the high value of some of these coins it is due to an error in the minting process, in which a die was used with the date 1975 instead of 1980. Again, they are very limited and hard to find and very unlikely to suddenly appear in some random drawer among your grandpa coins.

Regular Coin


5 Pesetas Variante

On top of all the previous examples, in the hypothetical case of having one of the coins that appear in those hyped articles, its market value is noticeably lower than the one detailed in them and always that you can find them in a perfect condition, this means uncirculated, therefore same condition as the day they got out of the FNMT. In order to get an idea of how coin values drops with its condition you can checkout our coin grade guide from our help section.

After this explanation about hyped articles, we encourage you to go through the guide that we left here some time ago in which we were explaining the main characteristics that can make a circulating coin something with value for numismatics: Find out the price of your coin in 5 easy steps.

We hope we gave you an idea on how to estimate the possible value of a coin. As a summary we would say that the value is determined mainly by the rarity of the coin (number of pieces out there), the condition of the coin and finally the material used to mint the coin. However, as in every market, the value depends on how much are the buyers willing to pay for them.

We still encourage you to review your collections and put on sale those that you believe might have a special value for the rest of the collectors out there, or checkout the coins that are already on sale in our market in order to incorporate that treasure to your collection!! Most of them gain some value over time! Of course you can leave all your questions in the comments of this article or through the communication channels of the website.