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Value and Sell an Estate Coin Collection and Keep Your Sanity


Becoming the executor of a loved one’s estate can feel like an overwhelming task. Real estate, cars, and other financial instruments are difficult to value and liquidate, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, a coin collection adds another intriguing dimension as an executor. If you’re wondering how to value and sell an estate coin collection, read how to do it and maintain at least a semblance of sanity.

What You Should Do with a Coin Collection as an Executor

If you find a coin collection as part of the estate, you basically have two options: keep the collection per the stipulations of a will or probate court or sell the coins. Sentimentality may play a pivotal role in this decision, but if you decide to sell, don’t go into the transaction blindly. Assessing and valuing the coins is tantamount to maximizing the amount of money you receive in return. Don’t make the mistake of failing to do your homework.

The Importance of Numismatic Value

As mentioned above, assessing and valuing coins is a crucial step in selling an estate coin collection. But to do that, you must first understand numismatic value. Numismatic value refers to the price you can readily receive on the open market as opposed to selling the coins as a form of precious metals or bullion.

The fair market value of coins is almost always determined by rarity, the condition of the coin, if the coin has been circulated, and the current supply and demand of the market. In bear markets for the coin trade, you may consider holding onto the coins until the demand recovers. In the meantime, you’ll want to learn how to get the best value.

How to Get the Best Value for an Estate Coin Collection

To get the best value for an estate coin collection, the organization is essential. If you’re lucky, the coin collection has already been arranged in coin albums or coin holders, especially if the owner was a long-time coin collector.

However, you may find jars or boxes of coins that may or may not contain value. In this case, you should employ a sophisticated and systematic approach to organization. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Separate coins from paper currency, as well as countries
  • Divide the coins by denomination, as well as type of precious metal
  • Further divide the coins by year or type (Indian Head penny vs. Lincoln Wheat penny, for example)
  • Keep the coins stored properly by using albums, plastic coin sleeves, or leaving the coins intact (if they’re already protected)

Most importantly, don’t clean the coins under any circumstances. Cleaning the coins can severely diminish their value, so even if they look dirty, avoid the urge to clean them.

Dealing With a Reputable Company

Once you have all of your coins organized and ready for an appraisal or sale, make sure you only go to a reputable company. Avoid pawn shops, jewelers, or any other shop that’s going to give you pennies on the dollar for your coins.

Instead, work with only reputable coin dealers or coin experts. These businesses can accurately assess the value of your coins while also giving you a fair price. So don’t let the gift from a loved one go for nothing. Use a credible and well-respected company, and reap the benefits of your hard work.

Numismatic experience matters!  We at London Coin Galleries of Newport Beach have been helping people value, sell, and buy estate coin collections for multiple decades.  As an Orange County dealer, we are also relied upon by estate sale companies to assist when a valuation is needed.  Skip the middle man and get the most for your estate coin collection, whether it’s a few coins or an entire collection, we can help.



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