Selling coins and bullion can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a daunting task if you aren’t familiar with what you are selling. There are a few things to consider when looking at your collection.
One big thing that can be tricky to figure out is the numismatic vs commodity value of your coins. Numismatic value is the collectible value of your coins— influenced by rarity, year of production, condition, mint mark, and popularity. Commodity value is the value derived directly from the metal in your coins, in most cases the silver and gold. Some coins, like a 2013 American Gold Eagle, have a value just slightly over their commodity value. Other coins, like a 1/20 ounce 1998 Chinese gold panda, have a numismatic value far beyond it’s commodity value. See the example below:
Using gold at $1332.00USD:
1998 1/20 gold Chinese panda 2013 1 oz gold American eagle
Gold content: .05 oz troy ($66.50) 1.0 oz troy ($1332.00)
Numismatic value: $1100-1700 $1362.00
So, if you had sold your 1998 1/20 Chinese panda for melt value you would have received $66.50–a realized loss of at least $$1033.50 Your 2013 gold American eagle is a better sell at melt value at $1332, a loss of only $30.
What this example shows is that it is extremely important to do your research and make sure you have a ballpark idea as to what your coins are worth. Using a trusted dealer is also a plus, but even dealers make mistakes and things get by them, so it’s good to know what you have before taking your valuables anywhere. It might take an extra hour or two of research, or $20-$30 dollars in a good book, but I see the upside of knowing what you have being well worth the time and money.
If you are in the Northern Virginia area, we at Alexandria Gold and Silver give free quotes on coin collections and bullion. Feel free to call ahead and grab an appointment slot:
We have years of experience and a great track record. See for yourself and check out our reviews from all our Northern Virginia customers and beyond.