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What is My Coin Worth?

Question: What is my coin worth.

Answer. Perhaps the most common question in all of the industry and perhaps the most complex.  There are several factors that determine the value, value being the key word, of the coin.  They are listed here not necessarily in order:

Condition of the coin 

By condition, we mean the appearance of the coin.  Is it in perfect shape or worn to the point that it is nearly unidentifiable?  This is known as the grade.  Coins are graded on a scale of 1-70 for coins meant for circulation.    See Grading for full descriptions.

Scarcity 

By scarcity, we mean how rare or scare is the coin?  This is not to be confused with mintage as some coins that had large mintages could be scare or could be scare in a certain condition.  All US coins have an actual mintage meaning of number produced.  Some older coins have an estimate due to poor record keeping or lost records in the early days of coin production.

Mintage 

As described above, total mintage of a coin can also have impact on price.  In most cases, a coin with a low mintage will have a higher value than those with a higher mintage.  This is of course not always true as demand for a coin also can impact value.

Demand

The demand for a coin is probably the item that creates value more than anything.  As demand for a coin goes up, then so does value.  Many key or semi-key coins in excellent condition often times, but not always, sell for more than retail listed prices

Generally speaking then, a coin is worth only what someone else will pay for it.  Many folks who think they have a valuable coin become disenchanted when they take it to a dealer.  Unless it is high in demand, many dealers will often snub their nose at the coin(s) or will offer far less than what the collector was expecting.  Looking up the value of your coin(s) in Coin Prices, Coins or other trade publications give collectors a false sense of the value of their collection.  These prices are often retail prices, meaning, this is what you might expect to pay for a coin from a dealer.  Remember, a dealer need to buy your coin and then try to sell it for a profit.  The dealer has alot expenses to cover.  Coin Dealers are just like any other busines in that they have to buy items at a price where they think they can turn around and sell it for more.  That being said, dealers will offer far less money for a coin than what is published in these magazines.

 

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