Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to clean coins?
Short answer, don’t clean coins! Any kind of cleaning can cause abrasions, some so small it can only be seen by a magnifier. When a coin is cleaned, it may take a big loss in value. Consult with a professional or ask a certification company to preserve it properly.
What is bid and ask price?
Bid Price: The suggested industry price a dealer buys a product or precious metal.
Ask Price: The suggested industry price a dealer sells a product or precious metal.
Why are the coin prices online much higher than the offer I received for the same coin?
- There are many factors used to determine an offer: Grade, color, toning, market demand, recent auctions, bid/ask prices, strike, surface, selling fees, overhead costs, etc.
- When looking online, be sure the coin has the same date, mintmark and is of similar condition as your coin.
- Most coins offered at high prices are Mint State or Proof coins and/or are authenticated genuine by a third party grading service (i.e.: NGC, PCGS). Mint State and Proof coins have been meticulously preserved since the day of production by the mint.
- Other coins online can be listed at astronomical prices to drive demand, be listed with a best offer or for a multitude of other reasons. Think of it as ‘clickbait’ for the coin collector – it’s more of an advertisement for the seller.
- Coins from pocket change are likely circulated coins and not worth as much as a Mint State or Proof coin.
- There are a lot of overhead charges for selling a coin. Some places charge up to 25% to sell online or at auction! Be sure to check with the selling company and deduct any fees from the total sale price.
- If you feel you have been offered an unfair price, obtain a quote from several companies.
I heard a particular coin is worth a fortune. I think I have that coin. How much would you pay?
In all likelihood, most coins are not going to be worth a fortune like the one you heard about. Think of it like winning the lottery, unfortunately, it won’t to happen for everyone. For more accuracy on price, look at the SOLD price items on eBay. Be sure to look at an ungraded coin in similar condition with the same date and mintmark. This can provide a more realistic idea of what you may be offered (don’t forget to subtract the site’s listing fees).
- Example: A 1909-S VDB Lincoln Wheat Cent can range from about $25.00 dollars in poor, uncertified condition sold to a dealer in person, to nearly $80,000.00 if in pristine condition, certified authentic by PCGS or NGC in MS67 RD, sold in auction during a high demand market.
How do I know if I am getting a fair deal when buying a coin?
Buy from a reputable company. They will be a member of ICTA (Industry Council for Tangible Assets), PNG (Professional Numismatic Guild) and/or the ANA (American Numismatic Association). These companies keep each member up to a high-level standard of expertise, professionalism and reliability.