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BellaOnline's Coin Collecting Editor

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What Are My Coins Worth?


When one is just starting in coin collecting, often the first question is: What is the value of the coin?: and the answer is that the coin will cost as much as you are willing to pay for it and the amount can vary considerably. For instance, a coin dealers offer can be much less than a coin collector that certainly wants your coin badly to add in his collection.

The following are factors that can influence the true value of a coin.

1.Grade or condition of the coin. Your coin will be worth or valued more when it is in good condition. When in a perfect or unblemished mint condition, an uncirculated coin will be worth many times more than a similar coin that has been in circulation.

2.The rarity of a coin is the principal basis for a coins value. Generally, the rarer that a coin is found to be, the higher it is priced. Do keep in mind that rarity has very little influence on the coins age. Chinese coins are a thousand years old normally sell for about ten dollars since there are so many of them; while a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel can sell for up to or over a million dollars because only five specimens are known to be in existence.

3.Bullion value. A coin's precious metal content can determine its value. A platinum, silver or gold coin will not, in general sell for less than the coins value when melted.

4.Demand There are coins that are greatly in demand; sought after by many collectors, and if that a particular coin is in great demand the price will be even higher. Even comparatively plentiful coins can mandate higher value when they are popular with coin collectors.

For instance, 1916 D dimes are much more abundant than the 1798 dimes yet in spite of this, 1916 D dimes sell for so much more because there are many more individuals collecting 20th century dimes than 1700 dimes.

Heres how you can determine the approximate value of your coin:

1. Properly, accurately, and correctly recognize and classify your coin, and know the to place value on that coin. You can do this successfully by examining your coin in a catalogue or online with the coin price guide; this will give you an idea of the going rate and price of your particular coin and you can determine the approximate value of your coin.

Everyday coin values are changing; so you need to use a coin price guide that is updated on a daily basis to obtain the current coin value. Look at online sites that offer step by step guidance on how to recognize your coin the proper way.

2. Grade your coin based on your thorough observation and examination of its current condition.

3. Consult coin catalogues for a list of retail prices in or estimates of your coins retail value. A Guide Book of United States Coins, popularly known as "The Red Book" to coin dealers and collectors, provides information on retail coin prices for US coins and is available in libraries, coin shops and bookstores. The Standard Catalog of World Coins (in volumes) is a guide commonly used by coin dealers and collectors as well, to provide information on world coins and is available in many public libraries.

You can also check current coin prices by basing it on the actual dealer coin price found in magazines and newspapers or online auctions such as Amazon, Coin World, eBay or Teletrade.

Always keep in mind that you are not collecting coins primarily for money; you collect for enjoyment and self gratification, and profit is to be last consideration. The plain fact that a certain coin does not have a large monetary value, does not necessarily suggest that it is no longer interesting or fascinating or that it must not be included in your collection.

Each coin will have a certain interest in itself, regardless of the condition that it is in and regardless of its monetary value. There will always be a certain characteristic that will draw you to that particular coin; so when it does, then you should have it in your collection.

Most coin collectors will look for only a specific kind of coin that will make their collection more valuable and interesting to buyers. Others are collecting for sentimentality and are looking more at the coins uniqueness.

Series collectors are those looking for a series of coins that mark every year and every design change made in that coin.

Type collectors are those people who are looking to get one of each coin where there were/are changes made.

Ancient coin collectors are those people looking for coins spanning the years 650 BC 450 AD. This is the time when coins were invented and there were silver, gold and bronze versions made. It also marks the time when Roman emperors were the rulers and most of them feature famous Roman emperors, Roman towns, or gods.

Token collectors are those who are looking for different kinds of tokens that were used in exchange for real money when there was a lack of coins. These tokens were used as local currency even if the government had not given permission for them to be used.

Coins are also graded. A coins grading depends on its condition and the price of the coin will rely heavily on that grade. It is important for a coin collector to know how to grade a coin to make sure that he is not swindled by individuals looking for a quick profit.

Uncirculated coins are those coins that are not showing any wear and tear or to referred to as in mint condition. A mint state (MS) grading depends on a coins luster, contact marks, hair lines and overall appeal. A coin can have a grade ranging from MS-60 (dull luster) to a flawless MS-70. Although MS-70 is considered unobtainable, a grade of MS-65 and higher will make a coins price shoot up.

Circulated coins are more forgiving, they do not take into consideration the amount of scratches and dirt a coin has gathered along the years. Grades for circulated coins will vary. AU (about uncirculated), EF (extremely fine), VF (very fine), F (fine), VG (very good), G (good), AG (about good), F-2 (fair) and P (poor) are used as indication of how much a coin is worth.

These grades are dependent on a circulated coins luster, visible wear, design elements and visibility of letters and numerals. Unlike uncirculated coins grades, these grades do not dramatically lower a coins value. This is wonderful for people who are looking just to complete a collection and do not care about a coins mint condition.

Pricing of a coin will usually be determined by a coins supply and demand. Very low supply and very high demand will make a coins price higher; however, high supplies of the coins will depreciate a coins value.

Demand is usually established by coin dealers where they take into consideration the number of people wanting to buy or sell the coins. Once a coin becomes difficult to find, coin dealers will usually make its price higher so that people are inclined to sell extra copies of their coins.

Grading and pricing a coin usually takes a lot of experience to master. Although there are several tips and guidelines to look for in grading a coin, only professional dealers have the final say on how much a coin is worth. It does not hurt to know this grading is done and why your coin was graded differently from what you thought.

Coin collecting is not really about investment, it should be a fun and thrilling hobby. While the overall goal of a coin collector is to complete a set of coins, learning what to look for in a coin is important to make sure that no one can take advantage of your need to complete a particular set.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Gary Eggleston. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gary Eggleston. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Gary Eggleston for details.

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