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Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection

Of course, the dealers on this site told you to go to a dealer. Dealers are dealers to make a profit off your items. Have you seen TV shows such as "Pawn Stars" ? The client gets money right away, but usually the owner will double the price to resell it. He can take the time, or has the contacts to make the profit. Plus, he's being filmed so he has to be fair. In real life, it doesn't work that way. Let's say you walk into a coin store to sell an 1859 cent and you tell the guy, "I know nothing about it". The store owner takes a quick look, shows you a crappy list price sheet with only the date listed, and offers you $10. Except he did't tell you it's a double-punched 9 type #1 which is worth more than $100. He's under no obligation to tell you that. If you can invest the time, you can make that profit. Many valuable coin varieties of certain years may be overlooked because they do not interest the dealer, but may interest other collectors.

Lumping a pile together, as a dealer might do, will actually lower the amount a dealer will pay, compared to what you may be able to sell them for separately. Let's say you have a complete set of cents from 1920 to 1936, not in company graded slabs. The dealer is usually only interested in the 1922-3-4-5, the money makers, which are the harder ones to find. The others are chaff to go along with the wheat, and any offer will disregard them. But the others can still be worth $$$ depending on their grade. Even if they are in low grades, selling them in a separate group from the key date coins will make a few extra dollars. You must know what you have before you sell it.

What you may think is substantial may not be so if you are unknowledgeable about coins. They may also be worth much more. I have this little old Delft porcelain dutch shoe that I was going to put on ebay for a few dollars. I did some research online and found that it is from the most famous Dutch potter and is from 1963. New ones from a dealer are for sale at over $100.

First thing to do is buy a good coin catalogue, such as Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins. If you have a lot of new mint items and sets, get volume 2 for collector issues.

If the coins are not in "slabs", sealed packs which a company has made, and have grades marked, then you need to learn to grade coins yourself. It's not that hard on coins that have been in circulation. There are any number of places to check grades online. Look through listings on ebay, for one, but only the coins that are already graded by ICCS or CCCS. The mint state coins will be more difficult as tiny differences can add up to large differences in value. Coins graded by a company will usually sell for more than raw coins but whatever you do, don't send them ALL for grading. Usually, in a collection of ungraded coins amassed over many years, most will not be worth the extra expense, and will sell for just as much as if they were professionally graded. After doing some research, you should be able to tell which ones may benefit from company grading.

You will not get the values listed in any catalogue. Let's say you have a 1950 cent in Extra Fine condition. The catalogue lists it at $5. You'll be lucky to get 50 cents. However, a high grade silver dollar that is the best of it's kind may sell for more than the catalogue value.

Get a catalogue, a 10x loupe, and start that list.

Terry T, 3/30/2012
CCRS member since: 3/21/2002
Posts: 2353


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Postings in this thread

Appraising Grandfather's Collection (cauzway, 3/17/2012)
 Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection (Rick Simpson, 3/22/2012)
 Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection (Brian R. Smith, 3/23/2012)
  Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection (G.D., 3/23/2012)
 Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection (jmc, 3/25/2012)
  Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection (G.D., 3/26/2012)
 Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection (Terry T, 3/30/2012)
  Re: Appraising Grandfather's Collection (Dick, 4/10/2012)

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