Skip to main content

Reassess your coins for cash boost

If you are like most collectors, you have been putting coins away for years. You also have a few regrets about coins that got away, or coins you never got around to purchasing.


Why not use the summer months to plan to change it up come the fall?

Resolve to buy that coin that you let get away. Figure out what the price is. Then go through your coins and identify the ones that no longer make sense for you to own, or that you have lost interest in. Find an equivalent value of these. Then plan on selling them to finance the purchase of the coin that got away.

Now unless the coins you plan to sell are simply valued according to their bullion content, you will have to work in the knowledge that the coins you sell will bring wholesale money while the coin you want to buy will have a retail price tag on it.

That might seem hugely unfair, but it is how coin dealers make a living. They cannot pay retail prices for coins sold to them and expect to make a profit when they turn around to sell them.

They have overhead to pay for, whether it is a table on a show bourse floor, a shop on Main St., or a discrete office.

These costs have to be covered. The gap between wholesale and retail is what does it. They have online listing fees to contend with as well.

In addition to raising the money to pay for something you have long desired to own, the process of identifying what to sell will acquaint you with the true state of the coin market for material in your collection.

If you are like I am, you have a lot of old Mint proof sets laying around. Their value is not impressive. Unless you happen to have found one of the sets with coins in it without the “S” mintmark, you have probably had a net loss if you have purchased all the clad sets annually from 1968 on. Ouch.

Turning them into something that you will value more will help take the sting out.

If you were a big fan of modern commemoratives when they were revived in 1982 but have lost interest along the way, the value of the gold coins from the early years might bring a smile to your face thanks to $1,250 gold.

Enough of these and you can buy something truly impressive. With enough gold, you might even be able to work out a trade with a dealer who might cut you a break on the wholesale-retail price differential.

This, of course, will depend on the dealer’s needs as well as your own. Only you can figure out the particulars, but then as a collector, you are used to blazing your own trail and making your own decisions.

After giving it some thought, you might be content to continue doing what you have done. Knowing this also is worth a great deal. A sense of accomplishment and satisfaction can come from any reassessment of your collecting approach. That is worth more than money. It is a validation of that long ago decision that you made to collect coins in the first place.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Download The Metal Mania Seminar with David Harper to learn more about the metals market.

• Purchase your copy of The Essential Guide to Investing in Precious Metals today to get started on making all the right investing decisions.