Richard L. writes: As time has gone by I have been buying coins graded by PCGS and had the following questions…
1. Are there any guidelines I should follow in order to determine whether I’m paying a fair or too high a price for a coin?
2. When going to sell a coin, any tips on how to determine a coins value?
3. Any tips on how to get as much as possible when selling a coin?
The reason I’m asking these questions is because I’m finding prices vary wildly. Even when consulting recently purchased grey and blue sheets, prices vary wildly as well, thus adding to my confusion… Help me Doc!
Check sources such as Coin World. They run a price “Trends” section in their weekly newspaper. They don’t list all coins every week but they rotate through all U.S. coins and even some foreign coins over the course of several weeks. The listing is a general survey of retail prices. Wholesale, or what a dealer would be willing to pay if he has a ready client, is about 20% lower.
Not all coins are equal even in the same grade and packaged by the same grading service. Sometimes coins with no patina are stronger sellers and at other times, attractively toned coins are more in demand. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but everyone hates ugly coins, even if PCGS grades it MS65.
If a dealer has many examples of a common coin he may not purchase more unless he buys it at a discounted price. He hedges on the price because he may have to keep that item for a long time before he can sell it. Tying up capital is costly. Attractive, rare and in demand coins may bring more than listed prices because of their scarcity and their easy salability. Try to remember that coin dealers are running a business and are not required to “redeem” your coins.
If you want to make money collecting coins then you will have to invest in a considerable amount of numismatic education but that’s what makes it interesting and fun. It helps if you know about your hobby. You’ll find that the people who make out the best are those that learn what and how to collect, buy and sell.