best way to sell a coin collection

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Figuring_it_out
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best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Figuring_it_out » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:41 pm

my dad collected coins his entire life.
wheatleaf pennies, buffolo nickels, silver dimes. steel pennies, liberty dollars, double strikes. dateless coins, etc.

these were in a shoe box in his closet. the box is full!

what is the best way to go about selling these. no big hurry but i wont want to spend months of labor either?


what are the tax consequences of this collection if i get lucky and its worth say $10k? Are coin dealers required to report to the IRS?

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prudent
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by prudent » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:58 pm

To get an idea of what we're talking about, how did your dad acquire the coins? Was he buying them from coin dealers? Building a set? Were they all pulled out of change? How are they stored - are the coins in individual holders? What kind?

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Wiggums
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Wiggums » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:02 pm

IRS Form 1099-B reporting regulations. The IRS proposed regulations in the early 1980s to require coin dealers to report certain purchases from non-corporate sellers. It took nine years for the IRS to finally pin down reporting thresholds. During this time, significant lobbying by ICTA succeeded in eliminating reporting requirements for small transactions (see IRS Revenue Procedure 92-103).

The final regulations come from the perspective of requiring brokers to report stock and commodity transactions, where the broker facilitates a transaction between a seller and buyer but does not take title to the assets. The IRS expanded the definition of a broker to include coin dealers, even those buying and selling from their own inventory and not acting as a broker. However, in establishing regulations from this angle, the result for coin and bullion dealers was that the reporting requirements covered extremely few items, and then only in sizable quantities—only items (of sufficient quantity) that could be potentially deliverable to fulfill commodity contracts on existing or approved exchanges.

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Kenkat
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Kenkat » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm

The easiest way to sell a collection is to take it to a few coin stores or dealers and ask for an offer. This will net you the lowest price however as it’s a lot of work to go through a collection and any offers will assume the lowest value - i.e., no key dates or rarities. Also, dealers are business people and looking to make a profit.

The best way to sell is to inventory the collection and sell on eBay with good photos and descriptions. You can also get an idea of selling price by looking at completed auctions. It’s some work though.

Some general valuation comments:

1) Quarters, dimes and half dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver and worth 11x face amount based on current silver prices. Half dollars 1965-1970 are 40% silver and worth about 4x face amount currently. Nickels 1942-1945 with a big mint mark over the dome on the back of the coin are part silver and worth $1 each or so.
2) Silver dollars 1930’s and earlier are also silver and carry a premium - $15-20 and up, the older the better
3) Any coins in certified plastic holders such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc. are probably worth researching value of
4) Any coins in albums can be sold like that. You can probably make more breaking it apart but might not be worth the time
5) Buffalo nickels or wheat pennies be sold in lots or rolls to save some time
6) Any coins in cardboard holders - aka 2x2 - may or may not be special, but might be worth checking. For example, if there’s a bunch a buffalo nickels loose and then one separated out, it might be worth checking out a little more
7) Double strikes may carry some premium, dateless not unless they are silver

If you want to look up any particular coin, here’s a good price reference:

http://www.numismedia.com/rarecoinprices/fmv.shtml

For grades, if it’s worn out looking, look at G or VG prices. For normal looking coins, look at VF prices. For really pristine coins, look at AU or low MS prices. This will give you a ballpark price idea. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean any of the coins - it is undesireable to collectors and greatly lowers value.

If you inherited the collection, the value would get stepped up and the cost basis would be the value at the time of death, which can greatly reduce or eliminate taxes due.

If you decide you are interested in keeping all or part of the collection, https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/ is a friendly coin forum with helpful people on it.

[Added 1965-1970 half dollars - thanks suemarkp!]
Last edited by Kenkat on Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nissanzx1
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Nissanzx1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:31 pm

eBay with detailed photos and descriptions and 10 day listings. Brace yourself for a 1099K. This will be work, lots of work.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by PoppyA » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:40 pm

In my town we have a coin show a few times a year. They always bring in a guy who can rate coins for free. It is only a verbal opinion, but it lets me know if I need to put more work into selling the coin. I would contact coin show promoters in your area and see if they offer the same service,

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:59 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (coins).
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Bobby206 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:03 pm

Ebay is really pretty easy for selling most coins. You'll miss something but it's pretty easy. You can sell them in lots of like coins. Smaller the lot the higher per coin price you typically get but more hassle.

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Figuring_it_out
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Figuring_it_out » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:28 pm

prudent wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:58 pm
To get an idea of what we're talking about, how did your dad acquire the coins? Was he buying them from coin dealers? Building a set? Were they all pulled out of change? How are they stored - are the coins in individual holders? What kind?
These were acquired from his pockets over his life. hf he saw it in circulation he took it out.

These are loose coins not set. Some rolled and some in manila bags. All circulated some heavily but a few oddballs in there none the less.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Figuring_it_out » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:35 pm

Thanks for the great information. I will be looking this up.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:41 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm
The easiest way to sell a collection is to take it to a few coin stores or dealers and ask for an offer. This will net you the lowest price however as it’s a lot of work to go through a collection and any offers will assume the lowest value - i.e., no key dates or rarities. Also, dealers are business people and looking to make a profit.

The best way to sell is to inventory the collection and sell on eBay with good photos and descriptions. You can also get an idea of selling price by looking at completed auctions. It’s some work though.

Some general valuation comments:

1) Quarters, dimes and half dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver and worth 11x face amount based on current silver prices. Nickels 1942-1945 with a big mint mark over the dome on the back of the coin are part silver and worth $1 each or so.
2) Silver dollars 1930’s and earlier are also silver and carry a premium - $15-20 and up, the older the better
3) Any coins in certified plastic holders such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc. are probably worth researching value of
4) Any coins in albums can be sold like that. You can probably make more breaking it apart but might not be worth the time
5) Buffalo nickels or wheat pennies be sold in lots or rolls to save some time
6) Any coins in cardboard holders - aka 2x2 - may or may not be special, but might be worth checking. For example, if there’s a bunch a buffalo nickels loose and then one separated out, it might be worth checking out a little more
7) Double strikes may carry some premium, dateless not unless they are silver

If you want to look up any particular coin, here’s a good price reference:

http://www.numismedia.com/rarecoinprices/fmv.shtml

For grades, if it’s worn out looking, look at G or VG prices. For normal looking coins, look at VF prices. For really pristine coins, look at AU or low MS prices. This will give you a ballpark price idea. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean any of the coins - it is undesireable to collectors and greatly lowers value.

If you inherited the collection, the value would get stepped up and the cost basis would be the value at the time of death, which can greatly reduce or eliminate taxes due.

If you decide you are interested in keeping all or part of the collection, https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/ is a friendly coin forum with helpful people on it.
If a set is pretty comprehensive, I thought that you would make more by selling the whole set, along with the story of the collector behind it. Is there any truth to this belief?

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by phxjcc » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:15 pm

Lookup Littleton Coin Company.

Contact them, tell them what you have.

Follow instructions.

End of problem.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by suemarkp » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:13 pm

You may do OK on Craigslist and its much easier than E-Bay (you'll trade shipping costs for rendezvous costs). I've bought quite a few coins on craigslist. The more info you have (work you do), the more money people will pay. You need to have some sense as to what the coins are worth. You could buy the Blue Book of coin values, as it is closer to reality than the red book (retail price, which no one pays) but most people won't even pay that (I've received 35% to 100% of blue book with the coin store being the 35 percenter).

I'd segregate all the silver (1964 and older dimes/quarters/halves are 90% silver; 1965-1970 halves are only 40% silver so keep those separate from the others). The next level of sorting would be by type (barber halves, liberty walking halves, franklin halves, kennedy halves). For silver, people value half dollars more than the others (except true silver dollars which are even better), so you may get a slight premium for them. The barber halves/quarters/dimes are all worth more as are standing liberty quarters (dateless ones only very slightly more than silver price).

Then I'd go through each type of coin (e.g. indian cent, lincoln cent, buffalo nickel, ...) and separate them and at least count how many you have. Then look in the book for the coins with higher value. Those may have been segregated which may save time looking through every coin. Typically, you don't find any rarities if these are picks from change, so maybe just focus on the silver.

Most Jefferson nickels are not worth anything over 5 cents except the war nickels with the large mint mark on the reverse above the dome. Those are 35% silver and worth about 85 cents.

Dateless buffalo nickels are worth about 10 cents. Most of the ones dated 1921 and prior are worth separating, especially the D and S mint marks.
I would at least separate wheat cents from the others, and possibly all pre-1982 pennies from the other. They have 2 cents of copper in them.

I've seen people post "misc coin" ads on craigslist with pictures of ziplock bags of coins. I'm going to assume the worst for those (worst possible dates and conditions) and won't offer much. The ultimate package is a complete list of dates and rough conditions of every coin you're selling (but I still don't trust people's grading skills so I want to see a photo of important ones). Really, most of the coins dated 1910 or prior may be worth a little more. But you have to sort through them all to separate them out.

Littleton is going to give you pennies on the dollar.
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by 123 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:17 am

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm
...Some general valuation comments:

1) Quarters, dimes and half dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver and worth 11x face amount based on current silver prices. Nickels 1942-1945 with a big mint mark over the dome on the back of the coin are part silver and worth $1 each or so.
2) Silver dollars 1930’s and earlier are also silver and carry a premium - $15-20 and up, the older the better
3) Any coins in certified plastic holders such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc. are probably worth researching value of
4) Any coins in albums can be sold like that. You can probably make more breaking it apart but might not be worth the time
5) Buffalo nickels or wheat pennies be sold in lots or rolls to save some time
6) Any coins in cardboard holders - aka 2x2 - may or may not be special, but might be worth checking. For example, if there’s a bunch a buffalo nickels loose and then one separated out, it might be worth checking out a little more
7) Double strikes may carry some premium, dateless not unless they are silver

If you want to look up any particular coin, here’s a good price reference:

http://www.numismedia.com/rarecoinprices/fmv.shtml

For grades, if it’s worn out looking, look at G or VG prices. For normal looking coins, look at VF prices. For really pristine coins, look at AU or low MS prices. This will give you a ballpark price idea. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean any of the coins - it is undesireable to collectors and greatly lowers value...
Many thanks to Kenkat for this narrative. We have a similar situation and this "Big picture" narrative inspires us to start digging through the inherited box we've had in the closet far too long.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Kenkat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:47 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:41 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm
The easiest way to sell a collection is to take it to a few coin stores or dealers and ask for an offer. This will net you the lowest price however as it’s a lot of work to go through a collection and any offers will assume the lowest value - i.e., no key dates or rarities. Also, dealers are business people and looking to make a profit.

The best way to sell is to inventory the collection and sell on eBay with good photos and descriptions. You can also get an idea of selling price by looking at completed auctions. It’s some work though.

Some general valuation comments:

1) Quarters, dimes and half dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver and worth 11x face amount based on current silver prices. Nickels 1942-1945 with a big mint mark over the dome on the back of the coin are part silver and worth $1 each or so.
2) Silver dollars 1930’s and earlier are also silver and carry a premium - $15-20 and up, the older the better
3) Any coins in certified plastic holders such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc. are probably worth researching value of
4) Any coins in albums can be sold like that. You can probably make more breaking it apart but might not be worth the time
5) Buffalo nickels or wheat pennies be sold in lots or rolls to save some time
6) Any coins in cardboard holders - aka 2x2 - may or may not be special, but might be worth checking. For example, if there’s a bunch a buffalo nickels loose and then one separated out, it might be worth checking out a little more
7) Double strikes may carry some premium, dateless not unless they are silver

If you want to look up any particular coin, here’s a good price reference:

http://www.numismedia.com/rarecoinprices/fmv.shtml

For grades, if it’s worn out looking, look at G or VG prices. For normal looking coins, look at VF prices. For really pristine coins, look at AU or low MS prices. This will give you a ballpark price idea. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean any of the coins - it is undesireable to collectors and greatly lowers value.

If you inherited the collection, the value would get stepped up and the cost basis would be the value at the time of death, which can greatly reduce or eliminate taxes due.

If you decide you are interested in keeping all or part of the collection, https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/ is a friendly coin forum with helpful people on it.
If a set is pretty comprehensive, I thought that you would make more by selling the whole set, along with the story of the collector behind it. Is there any truth to this belief?
This has not been my experience. Most collectors are already trying to build sets, so buying a set involves ending up with duplicates of your own set. I also don’t find it all that satisfying buying a set because it is not mine; it’s the other collector’s set with their ideas of how they wanted it to look. You end up just sticking it in the safe, on a shelf, in the safe deposit box, etc. I will sometimes buy a set if I think it’s a really good deal or if I am trying to get a jumpstart on a set I want to start, but I am typically looking for a bargain when I do that.

There are also others such as dealers who will buy sets looking to break them apart and resell the individual coins - which is work and so they also are looking for a deal so they can make money on the transaction.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Calico » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:54 am

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:47 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:41 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm
The easiest way to sell a collection is to take it to a few coin stores or dealers and ask for an offer. This will net you the lowest price however as it’s a lot of work to go through a collection and any offers will assume the lowest value - i.e., no key dates or rarities. Also, dealers are business people and looking to make a profit.

The best way to sell is to inventory the collection and sell on eBay with good photos and descriptions. You can also get an idea of selling price by looking at completed auctions. It’s some work though.

Some general valuation comments:

1) Quarters, dimes and half dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver and worth 11x face amount based on current silver prices. Nickels 1942-1945 with a big mint mark over the dome on the back of the coin are part silver and worth $1 each or so.
2) Silver dollars 1930’s and earlier are also silver and carry a premium - $15-20 and up, the older the better
3) Any coins in certified plastic holders such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc. are probably worth researching value of
4) Any coins in albums can be sold like that. You can probably make more breaking it apart but might not be worth the time
5) Buffalo nickels or wheat pennies be sold in lots or rolls to save some time
6) Any coins in cardboard holders - aka 2x2 - may or may not be special, but might be worth checking. For example, if there’s a bunch a buffalo nickels loose and then one separated out, it might be worth checking out a little more
7) Double strikes may carry some premium, dateless not unless they are silver

If you want to look up any particular coin, here’s a good price reference:

http://www.numismedia.com/rarecoinprices/fmv.shtml

For grades, if it’s worn out looking, look at G or VG prices. For normal looking coins, look at VF prices. For really pristine coins, look at AU or low MS prices. This will give you a ballpark price idea. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean any of the coins - it is undesireable to collectors and greatly lowers value.

If you inherited the collection, the value would get stepped up and the cost basis would be the value at the time of death, which can greatly reduce or eliminate taxes due.

If you decide you are interested in keeping all or part of the collection, https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/ is a friendly coin forum with helpful people on it.
If a set is pretty comprehensive, I thought that you would make more by selling the whole set, along with the story of the collector behind it. Is there any truth to this belief?
This has not been my experience. Most collectors are already trying to build sets, so buying a set involves ending up with duplicates of your own set. I also don’t find it all that satisfying buying a set because it is not mine; it’s the other collector’s set with their ideas of how they wanted it to look. You end up just sticking it in the safe, on a shelf, in the safe deposit box, etc. I will sometimes buy a set if I think it’s a really good deal or if I am trying to get a jumpstart on a set I want to start, but I am typically looking for a bargain when I do that.

There are also others such as dealers who will buy sets looking to break them apart and resell the individual coins - which is work and so they also are looking for a deal so they can make money on the transaction.
I just wanted to say that I agree with this assessment. I am a new coin collector though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Anyway, half the fun of collecting coins is finding the ones I like. I don't want a whole set already built, that just takes the fun out of it for me. I like going to a coin show knowing I am looking for "a 1923s Peace Dollar" and then hunting around all the tables to find as many as I can and picking my favorite to add to my collection.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:01 am

Separate out any coins you think have significant value. Go see a coin dealer or two and ask them what they think. Likely, some will be of some extra value and some won't. I have a great dealer who tells me like it is. Some of my coins, he said "spend them" since their value was nothing more than face.

I have sold to my bullion dealer and also on craigslist plus some to my scrap dealer. I sell electronic scrap and the place I sell to has an attached precious metal and coin dealer and their price was better than the bullion dealer.

With craigslist, I limit the total I sell in a transaction to about $300 and keep it all of one type of coin......so maybe dimes the first sale, quarters the next.

Personally, I stay away from eBay. Can you spot the scammers? Do you delve into the history of bidders to be sure they don't have 1000 reviews from the same 4 fake buyers in Taiwan (which happens all the time). Look up the term "brushing". My bullion dealer sells a ton on eBay and tells me that 10% of his sales end up being a total loss. Cost of doing business. But if you can't recognize the scam buyers and end up selling 50% of your coins to one of these guys, it's a 50% loss for you.

My coins sound a lot like what you have. Lots of junk silver with a few things that have value but are likely low quantity (war nickles and such). For a data point, I sold about $20 face in wheat cents for a penny and a half each. Rolls of 43 steels for 2 cents each. Also be aware, dealers don't want to deal in onsies/twosies. So I've got 4 war nickles, a bunch of indian head pennies and liberty dimes(?) from the late 1800's that they didn't even want because I didn't have enough of them. That's probably the stuff you want to sell to craigslist buyers.

Good luck. Silver has been steadily declining for 5 years. I'd say to get rid of it sooner rather than later.
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Nowizard » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:10 am

If they are in a shoe box, they are probably circulated coins unless they are encased in plastic or other exterior coverings. If that is the case, the pre-1965 dimes, quarter, halves have silver value that will exceed the face value, and other items are likely to be worth very little unless they happen to be rare dates. A dealer most likely offers on the "lot" for the latter, not mentioning whether there are rare dates or even looking at them at that point. Silver dollars, of course, also have bullion value at least. I would go to a dealer but not necessarily sell. If you have mint or proof sets, they go for little or nothing since there are so many out there. Dealers buy them and sell in bulk to the TV guys who sell for a profit to casual collectors. Again, there may be select dates with greater value. If you go to a dealer and purchase a coin newsletter with prices, it will give you an idea of value if you want to look at coins, but don't be deceived into thinking a dealer would offer the published prices but expect 50% or less. It is difficult to sell a coin or stamp collection without feeling you may have not obtained full value unless you are knowledgeable and up-to-date on valuations.

Tim

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:59 am

Calico wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:54 am
Kenkat wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:47 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:41 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm
The easiest way to sell a collection is to take it to a few coin stores or dealers and ask for an offer. This will net you the lowest price however as it’s a lot of work to go through a collection and any offers will assume the lowest value - i.e., no key dates or rarities. Also, dealers are business people and looking to make a profit.

The best way to sell is to inventory the collection and sell on eBay with good photos and descriptions. You can also get an idea of selling price by looking at completed auctions. It’s some work though.

Some general valuation comments:

1) Quarters, dimes and half dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver and worth 11x face amount based on current silver prices. Nickels 1942-1945 with a big mint mark over the dome on the back of the coin are part silver and worth $1 each or so.
2) Silver dollars 1930’s and earlier are also silver and carry a premium - $15-20 and up, the older the better
3) Any coins in certified plastic holders such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc. are probably worth researching value of
4) Any coins in albums can be sold like that. You can probably make more breaking it apart but might not be worth the time
5) Buffalo nickels or wheat pennies be sold in lots or rolls to save some time
6) Any coins in cardboard holders - aka 2x2 - may or may not be special, but might be worth checking. For example, if there’s a bunch a buffalo nickels loose and then one separated out, it might be worth checking out a little more
7) Double strikes may carry some premium, dateless not unless they are silver

If you want to look up any particular coin, here’s a good price reference:

http://www.numismedia.com/rarecoinprices/fmv.shtml

For grades, if it’s worn out looking, look at G or VG prices. For normal looking coins, look at VF prices. For really pristine coins, look at AU or low MS prices. This will give you a ballpark price idea. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean any of the coins - it is undesireable to collectors and greatly lowers value.

If you inherited the collection, the value would get stepped up and the cost basis would be the value at the time of death, which can greatly reduce or eliminate taxes due.

If you decide you are interested in keeping all or part of the collection, https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/ is a friendly coin forum with helpful people on it.
If a set is pretty comprehensive, I thought that you would make more by selling the whole set, along with the story of the collector behind it. Is there any truth to this belief?
This has not been my experience. Most collectors are already trying to build sets, so buying a set involves ending up with duplicates of your own set. I also don’t find it all that satisfying buying a set because it is not mine; it’s the other collector’s set with their ideas of how they wanted it to look. You end up just sticking it in the safe, on a shelf, in the safe deposit box, etc. I will sometimes buy a set if I think it’s a really good deal or if I am trying to get a jumpstart on a set I want to start, but I am typically looking for a bargain when I do that.

There are also others such as dealers who will buy sets looking to break them apart and resell the individual coins - which is work and so they also are looking for a deal so they can make money on the transaction.
I just wanted to say that I agree with this assessment. I am a new coin collector though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Anyway, half the fun of collecting coins is finding the ones I like. I don't want a whole set already built, that just takes the fun out of it for me. I like going to a coin show knowing I am looking for "a 1923s Peace Dollar" and then hunting around all the tables to find as many as I can and picking my favorite to add to my collection.
Make sense. Thanks for the clarification.

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Noble Knight
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Noble Knight » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:19 am

My grandmother & father had saved circulated coins over the years in a shoe box and after doing a bit of research I discovered most of it wasn't worth much (Some pennies were worth 5 cents, steel pennies 10 cents, $2 bills were worth 2 dollars, etc.) I determined which coins had silver content and took them to a local Precious metals buyer and got the silver spot price minus their take.

http://cointrackers.com/is-my-coin-silver.php

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by delamer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:49 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm
The easiest way to sell a collection is to take it to a few coin stores or dealers and ask for an offer. This will net you the lowest price however as it’s a lot of work to go through a collection and any offers will assume the lowest value - i.e., no key dates or rarities. Also, dealers are business people and looking to make a profit.

The best way to sell is to inventory the collection and sell on eBay with good photos and descriptions. You can also get an idea of selling price by looking at completed auctions. It’s some work though.

Some general valuation comments:

1) Quarters, dimes and half dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver and worth 11x face amount based on current silver prices. Half dollars 1965-1970 are 40% silver and worth about 4x face amount currently. Nickels 1942-1945 with a big mint mark over the dome on the back of the coin are part silver and worth $1 each or so.
2) Silver dollars 1930’s and earlier are also silver and carry a premium - $15-20 and up, the older the better
3) Any coins in certified plastic holders such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc. are probably worth researching value of
4) Any coins in albums can be sold like that. You can probably make more breaking it apart but might not be worth the time
5) Buffalo nickels or wheat pennies be sold in lots or rolls to save some time
6) Any coins in cardboard holders - aka 2x2 - may or may not be special, but might be worth checking. For example, if there’s a bunch a buffalo nickels loose and then one separated out, it might be worth checking out a little more
7) Double strikes may carry some premium, dateless not unless they are silver

If you want to look up any particular coin, here’s a good price reference:

http://www.numismedia.com/rarecoinprices/fmv.shtml

For grades, if it’s worn out looking, look at G or VG prices. For normal looking coins, look at VF prices. For really pristine coins, look at AU or low MS prices. This will give you a ballpark price idea. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean any of the coins - it is undesireable to collectors and greatly lowers value.

If you inherited the collection, the value would get stepped up and the cost basis would be the value at the time of death, which can greatly reduce or eliminate taxes due.

If you decide you are interested in keeping all or part of the collection, https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/ is a friendly coin forum with helpful people on it.

[Added 1965-1970 half dollars - thanks suemarkp!]
When you say “worth” in #1 & #2 above, who would the buyer be? A local coin shop dealer, on Ebay, etc.?

I have a bunch of older (early 20th century) silver dollars given to me as a kid that I want to sell. I am trying to balance convenience and return.

Thanks.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by suemarkp » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:10 pm

This is commonly called "junk silver" and you have a lot of selling choices. Most places pay 95% to 99% of silver spot for junk silver. You can sell to the online dealers if you have enough (they may want at least $100 face value to buy, but depends on their stocks). Some of those are Providentmetals, jmbullion, bgasc. There are many more, and Provident typically lists their current buy back price right on the web page.

You can sell to coin dealers, pawn shops, and buy silver/gold places. You can sell to individuals. Some will try to take advantage, so at least know what ballpark the price should be in.

Junk silver has a pretty tight selling price range, and coin condition doesn't really matter unless they are all totally worn slicks. But it varies hourly as silver goes up and down.

You can see the current value (based on silver content) by going here: http://www.coinflation.com/

Scroll down to the second section to find the "United States Circulated Silver Coin Values". Your offer should be close to this. Some also say "we pay $11X face" meaning that if you had 10 dimes or 4 quarters, they would pay $11. That would be very fair for current prices (silver spot is $15.28/oz and the silver value of 10 dimes or 4 quarters or 2 halves is the same at $11.05. Provident's buying price varies from $10.55 to $11.01 per face dollar depending on whether you have sorted them or not and coin type (half dollars are worth the most). Note that morgan and peace dollars go for a premium unless they are terribly worn and that is not reflected in the coinflation website (they are only showing you the metal value).

Also, the spot price seems to be different everywhere. I treat the price at kitco.com or conflation to be the true spot price. But many places seem to have a moving price that favors them. So check the current coinflation price on your phone just before you ask for an offer.
Mark | Kent, WA

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do NOT take it to a coin dealer

Post by Socrates » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:16 pm

they will offer you next to nothing and take advantage of you.

Look up prices on Ebay. Sell individually or in small lots on Ebay for the more expensive coins.

The ones not as valuable you can sell in a larger lot.
“Don't waste your time looking back. You're not going that way.” ― Ragnar Lothbrok.

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Kenkat
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Kenkat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:55 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:49 pm
When you say “worth” in #1 & #2 above, who would the buyer be? A local coin shop dealer, on Ebay, etc.?

I have a bunch of older (early 20th century) silver dollars given to me as a kid that I want to sell. I am trying to balance convenience and return.

Thanks.
Ebay would net close to 100% of silver bullion value if not over depending on the coins - Peace Dollars (1921+) tend to carry a small premium; Morgan Dollars (1878-1904) even more, though 1921 Morgans are more like Peace Dollars. Some coin dealers will pay close to bullion value while others will lowball. Suemarkp gives other good options with online bullion dealers as well.
Last edited by Kenkat on Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: do NOT take it to a coin dealer

Post by Kenkat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:55 pm

Socrates wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:16 pm
they will offer you next to nothing and take advantage of you.

Look up prices on Ebay. Sell individually or in small lots on Ebay for the more expensive coins.

The ones not as valuable you can sell in a larger lot.
Agree that coin dealer will likely offer you 30-50% of true value. No work on your part though.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by delamer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:06 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:55 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:49 pm
When you say “worth” in #1 & #2 above, who would the buyer be? A local coin shop dealer, on Ebay, etc.?

I have a bunch of older (early 20th century) silver dollars given to me as a kid that I want to sell. I am trying to balance convenience and return.

Thanks.
Ebay would net close to 100% of silver bullion value if not over depending on the coins - Peace Dollars (1921+) tend to carry a small premium; Morgan Dollars (1878-1904) even more, though 1921 Morgans are more like Peace Dollars. Some coin dealers will pay close to bullion value while others will lowball. Suemarkp gives other good options with online bullion dealers as well.
So the value is in the silver content and not as collectibles?

That’s my confusion. If I contact an online bullion dealer, will I get just the silver value or will I get the premium?

I have several Morgan (earliest 1880) and several Peace dollars, 17 total.

Thanks again.

(The 1880 always makes me smile because no one in my family was even in the US back then.)

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by DrakeSRT » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:18 pm

Pick out a couple no date (worn) Buffalo nickels and spend them. They aren't worth much and You'll make somebody's day.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Kenkat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:42 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:06 pm
So the value is in the silver content and not as collectibles?

That’s my confusion. If I contact an online bullion dealer, will I get just the silver value or will I get the premium?

I have several Morgan (earliest 1880) and several Peace dollars, 17 total.

Thanks again.

(The 1880 always makes me smile because no one in my family was even in the US back then.)
It ultimately depends on the specific coin and the condition of it. The silver content is a floor in terms of value; it won’t be worth less than that but could be worth more. If you take modern Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters or Kennedy half dollars, they tend to be worth the silver value with a couple of exceptions such as 1932 quarters which are considered key dates due to low mintage. Even Franklin half dollars tend to sell for silver value - unless they are in uncirculated condition (i.e., they look new still), in which case they sell for a premium. Go back farther for example to Walking Liberty half dollars, you will see more coins that have collector value. Only really worn ones will go for silver value price.

Bullion dealers mainly deal in bullion; they do know buyers will pay more than silver value for Silver Dollars which are always popular, so they will have a buy price above the silver value price but would likely not account for coins in higher grade or uncirculated condition. Looking at your 1880 Morgan on eBay, very worn coins went for $18-20 each while high grade uncirculated one go for closer to $40. Peace dollars are similar in pricing.

My guess is that a online bullion dealer will have a buy price somewhere in the $15-17 range - which is a premium over silver value - but might not be the maximum price you could get if the coins happen to have collector value. If you have 17 silver dollars, you are probably talking $250-300 in value maybe?

Hope this makes sense.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Rwsawbones » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:47 pm

Do you know any coin collectors? There may be some value in some of the coins. Dealers like to buy all material at “generic”. prices. A collector can help. There is a book. Guide Book of US Coins” also known as the Red Book (for its cover). The 2020 edition is coming out soon. The book has high retail prices much above what you will be paid. One needs to be able to grade the condition of the coins. The book has some guidance on grading. Generally you will receive about 80% of the bullion value of junk silver. Low value non silver or gold containing coins are worth much less than Red Book prices to a dealer since labor involved is high compared with prices a dealer can realize on re-sells. The book “Collecting Coins in Retirement” by Tom Bilotta deals largely with disposing of coin collection.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:54 pm

Another place to look is Apmex. I like them as you can find prices online easily and sometimes find buy prices. You will need at least $1000 worth for them to buy. They will give you a junk silver buy price over the phone.

If these were pulled from circulated coins, they're very likely all junk silver.
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delamer
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by delamer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:00 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:42 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:06 pm
So the value is in the silver content and not as collectibles?

That’s my confusion. If I contact an online bullion dealer, will I get just the silver value or will I get the premium?

I have several Morgan (earliest 1880) and several Peace dollars, 17 total.

Thanks again.

(The 1880 always makes me smile because no one in my family was even in the US back then.)
It ultimately depends on the specific coin and the condition of it. The silver content is a floor in terms of value; it won’t be worth less than that but could be worth more. If you take modern Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters or Kennedy half dollars, they tend to be worth the silver value with a couple of exceptions such as 1932 quarters which are considered key dates due to low mintage. Even Franklin half dollars tend to sell for silver value - unless they are in uncirculated condition (i.e., they look new still), in which case they sell for a premium. Go back farther for example to Walking Liberty half dollars, you will see more coins that have collector value. Only really worn ones will go for silver value price.

Bullion dealers mainly deal in bullion; they do know buyers will pay more than silver value for Silver Dollars which are always popular, so they will have a buy price above the silver value price but would likely not account for coins in higher grade or uncirculated condition. Looking at your 1880 Morgan on eBay, very worn coins went for $18-20 each while high grade uncirculated one go for closer to $40. Peace dollars are similar in pricing.

My guess is that a online bullion dealer will have a buy price somewhere in the $15-17 range - which is a premium over silver value - but might not be the maximum price you could get if the coins happen to have collector value. If you have 17 silver dollars, you are probably talking $250-300 in value maybe?

Hope this makes sense.
Very helpful.

I am trying to balance getting fair value without spending too much time.

I recently sent some gold jewelry to an online refiner recommended by several posters on this forum, and I was pleased with the prices and turnaround time.

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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by Rob5TCP » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:18 pm


suemarkp
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by suemarkp » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:23 pm

Note that mint marks matter. On your 1880 Morgan, if it has the Carson City mint mark (CC), it is worth quite a bit ($100 to $200 depending on condition). It is is O, S, or no mint mark, it just another Morgan worth about $20 unless it is quite worn. You can get more on E-bay, but understand how things work (how much money you pay to e-bay, how shipping is handled, dishonest buyers, etc). I'd still recommend Craigslist over E-Bay if you photo every coin and try to sell them all at once. Cash deals, no fees, just a meetup somewhere.

You could even send me pictures of the fronts and backs and I'll look them up for you in the blue book and do a rough judge of grade. Not hard for 17 coins.

General note - for shipping coins, consider the USPS flat rate boxes unless you're shipping just a few coins. It is one of the best values for shipping heavy things -- bullets, coins, nuts/bolts, especially if it is compact.
Mark | Kent, WA

delamer
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Re: best way to sell a coin collection

Post by delamer » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:56 pm

suemarkp wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:23 pm
Note that mint marks matter. On your 1880 Morgan, if it has the Carson City mint mark (CC), it is worth quite a bit ($100 to $200 depending on condition). It is is O, S, or no mint mark, it just another Morgan worth about $20 unless it is quite worn. You can get more on E-bay, but understand how things work (how much money you pay to e-bay, how shipping is handled, dishonest buyers, etc). I'd still recommend Craigslist over E-Bay if you photo every coin and try to sell them all at once. Cash deals, no fees, just a meetup somewhere.

You could even send me pictures of the fronts and backs and I'll look them up for you in the blue book and do a rough judge of grade. Not hard for 17 coins.

General note - for shipping coins, consider the USPS flat rate boxes unless you're shipping just a few coins. It is one of the best values for shipping heavy things -- bullets, coins, nuts/bolts, especially if it is compact.
No mint mark on the 1880, unfortunately.

Thanks for the offer. I’ll be in touch if I decide to take you up on it.

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