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Hello and Getting Started question

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Hi there, just found this forum and happy to have :)


Quick question: I have inherited a big mess of mostly European (and some US) coinage that I'd like to sell. There are no really cohesive sets. Dates range from mid 1800's to early 1980's. I'd like to sort these and make it easy for a local shop to help determine value or potentially purchase from me. So, how to start? Country/date/denomination? I'm guessing the older (pre 1950?) coins would be of highest value, I could separate them into two section based on that. Or perhaps everything pre 1900 in one group? Those are my guesses, I'd love some insight into how to proceed.


Another concern with just handing them over en masse to a shop for assessment is that I would have no real idea if there was a high value coin in the pile, and might get an offer that wouldn't reflect that particular coin. So, how to personally cull out any potentially higher value coins into a section I would be aware of. I hope that's not too broad a starter question. I'm located in the SF Bay Area, if anyone would like to recommend a resource local to me that would be appreciated as well. Thank you!

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Kind of a general estimate. The U.S. coins pre 1964 silver coins right off the bat at least a percentage of silver price. Best bet separate out the U.S. coins and do a search on ebay for prices. The European coins hopefully some one else will step in here. Since there aren't very many any you have questions about post a picture here. Since you are talking about lot of European you might try seeing if you could separate them in to groups and posting pictures here. Front and back. If you use something like http://photobucket.com/ it would work best to upload them there and post it here.

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Cheap people like me check the books out of the library and save the expense of buying them. Be sure to get the most recent edition available, and be aware the prices in there are retail and not wholesale. A figurative buying price might be fairly low for some of the foreign stuff and as much as 100% of the retail price for some high demand stuff from the USA.

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^ hey buddy, you're hijackin' my thread :) start a new one, eh?




Anyone have experience just handing over a whole mess of coins to a dealer or two and seeing what they offer you outright, rather than preparing extensively for the selling process yourself? I can indeed go coin by coin and in the end I suppose the market will either be in alignment with that or not..so given the flexibility of demand and what's been selling recently, how about just letting a professional who would also be a potential buyer do the legwork and make an offer? Good, bad, naive?

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Anyone have experience just handing over a whole mess of coins to a dealer or two and ... just letting a professional who would also be a potential buyer do the legwork ...


You get paid for your work, or the lack of it. If you identify and attribute your coins, put them up in flips and 2x2s, etc., and price them reasonably from a reliable source, and make an offer to sell at this price, you will get much more for your coins.


Dealers take risks and they minimize that with price. A few years back, I spoke to an ANA convention about counterfeits and passed some around. A couple of the dealers said that if they were buying a collection and flipping through boxes and folders of this and that and one of these was in there, they would be fooled until they examined each coins.


Also, realize that dealers have coins, lots and lots of coins. What do they need yours for? Buyers drive all markets. Buyers set all prices. Take the 1916-D Mercury Dime. It is the key to the series. In "Good" condition - worn so flat that it has no details, it is a $800-$1000 item. But without a buyer, it is just another coin. What should the dealer pay for it? How long will he own it before he sells it? What is the time value of money while he waits for a sale? That's for the best coin, a key date that is easy to sell. Wholesale might be $400 to $500.


For common stuff... the markets just do not support more of the same stuff in raw state. Graded, identified, priced, labeled, and holdered, a coin sells much better all the way around.


True story. At a recent convention, I sold "a bunch of coins" to a dealer. Every one it was obvious that in addition to the original information, I had added new catalog citations, changed prices, lowered grades, etc. It was all the difference in the world. I got a price that made me happy.


Then there's the insider cool guy price and the danger stranger price. You walk into a coin shop, are you fencing something you lifted from your girlfriend's dad? You know nothing about coins -- and you have no interest. You just want some money now. I see red lights. I hear sirens.

But you meet me at a coin show where you are a club member, you call the coins by name, "Saint" and "Roosie" and "Walker" and "Half Lib" you offer me "circ Mercs" and I know you for someone from my neighborhood. I'm not your Santa Claus, but you are not a problem to me, either.

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mmarotta, thank you. All of your point are well taken and appreciated, I'm new to this. Obviously :) You are who I would want to hand over my coins to, too bad you're not in the bay area! I do have them very well organized in sheets by country and date, and clearly need to do more preliminary evaluation before I attempt to sell them, but oh..it's kind of down the rabbit hole given how varied completed auction prices are etc. But, I can perhaps develop a rough ballpark and work from there. Know anyone in the bay area that would like to flip through my coin sheets?

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