Coin Resources

Here you will find some tips on collecting, rating & selling your coins. Our clients represent some of the best coin buyers on Long Island. Since we at New York Coin Buyers are concerned with helping you, the seller, with getting the most out of your coins - we have compiled this handy guide for getting the most money you can from selling your coins. Links to resources will be included at the bottom of this guide.

What Are Numismatic Coins?

The dictionary defines numismatics as "the study or collection of coins, tokens, and paper money and sometimes related objects (such as medals)." It also defines coins as, "a usually flat piece of metal issued by governmental authority as money." Thus the term "numismatic coins" narrows down to "the study or collection of flat pieces of metal issued by a recognized government as money".

Types of Coins That Collectors Collect

Collectible coins are the most commonly the types of coins that people put together into a logical set. These coins are usually no longer minted and have some historical value or provenance that interests the collector, or can be purely collectable coins cast from bullion (precious metals like silver, gold, platinum, etc). United States law United States Code Title 31 - Money and Finance, Subtitle IV - Money considers bullion coins minted by the United States Mint to be numismatic coins.

Numismatists group these coins into several major categories:

Finally, a popular area of coin collecting does not involve coins that were issued under the authority of a governmental agency and intended to be used as money. This area is known as exonumia and is the collection and studying of medals and tokens that were manufactured by private mints, foreign mints, or the United States Mint. They may have been used to commemorate a significant event, publicize a political cause, or used as barter for goods and services.

Why Are Coins Graded?

Coin grading is the process that describes the condition of your coin and is an important aspect of coin collecting. The ability to accurately "grade" your coins is an important skill to develop. Unfortunately, coin grading is not a scientific process that can be applied by different people and receive identical results. What one coin collector thinks is a beautiful coin may appear to another coin dealer as an unpleasant looking coin; or vice versa.

Coin grading tries to move beyond the subjectiveness of beauty by coin collectors and coin dealers agreeing upon definitions of coin grading adjectives that describe the preservation level of a particular coin. In other words, we may describe a coin as "poor" if it is so worn that it is barely recognizable. On the other hand, we may describe a coin as "extremely fine" if it has very little wear on it and almost all of its design details are still intact.

It is only human nature that people prefer to collect things that are better looking and of better quality. This affinity for quality is ever so true with coin collectors. We prefer a coin that is in excellent condition over one that is so worn it is barely recognizable. Therefore, coins that are in a better state of preservation and exhibit a lower level of wear-and-tear are more desirable than well-worn coins.

Myths and Falsehoods About Coin Collecting

Coin collecting can be a fun, exciting, and rewarding hobby. Unfortunately, there are some myths and falsehoods believed by some people:

What to Know About Selling Your Coins

You only get one chance to sell a coin collection. You want to be sure you do it the right way. While all of the advice below won't apply to your specific coins or situation, there should be some good information to help make selling your collection as stress free as possible.

Auction Houses Usually Give The Best Advice

This is probably the easiest advice we can give; No matter what, even if you 100% don't want to auction your coins, just reach out to a legitimate firm to get an opinion on what the coins would sell for. The oldest coin auction firm in the country is called Stacks Bowers.

Because of the large volume of sales that they do, they can quickly look at a group of coins and let you know what is junk, what is rare, and what is worth further inspection. They act on the behalf of consignors so you know exactly how much they are making. An auction house makes money by keeping a small percentage of what the coin sells for. That fee they make is usually just based on the size and value of the collection. Because they work on a flat fee that is disclosed ahead of time, you don't have to worry if they are making $10,000 while you got paid $200. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen with reputable auction houses; they have a vested interest in giving you the best information, so that they can have a chance to auction your coins for as much money as possible. They want to sell your coins for as much as possible so they make more money while you make more money.

Know That Very Few Coins Are Worth Getting Graded

Certification (aka grading) is an amazing service that has revolutionized the way rare coins are collected and marketed, but when to get a coin graded is a concept that many people just don't understand. Grading is a costly process that requires both time and knowledge. We don't want to get into too many details here other than to advise reading information about grading, and to talk to a coin expert or experts before making any grading decisions.

Know The Current Value Of Gold And Silver

For someone in the coin business this may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have never handled a coin before you may have no idea what an ounce of silver and gold are worth. Most common pre-1965 gold and silver coins are valued based on their precious metals content. Common silver coins usually end up trading at a multiple of their face value. Common gold coins in circulated condition are valued based on a percentage of the melt value of the current spot price of gold. Knowing the current market value of gold and silver will allow you to at least have a basic understanding of how and why some coins are valued the way they are.

Now that you have a better idea of what exactly is going on in the coin world, we would recommend reading a slightly more in depth article about how to sell your coins for top dollar.

Pick the Right Time for Selling Your Coins

Although the internet is blurring the traditional coin seasons, the two best times of the year for selling your coins are still around the FUN show in January, and at the summer ANA in July or August. This holds true for selling a coin yourself, on consignment, or through auction. You are likely to do better when people are in the mood to buy coins; not when they are preoccupied with summer vacation or preparing for the winter holidays.

Resource Links

Here, we have a compilation of coin buying & selling resources and information to help you with your coin buying & selling ventures. All the links in this list are the best sources of information we could find on the subject. All information listed on these sites is NOT under the control of New York Coin Buyers, so we cannot guarantee it's accuracy. New York Coin Buyers is NOT responsible, nor liable, for the accuracy of said information. If you have questions about the information they (the resource sites) provide, please direct them to the owners of the respective site you found the information on.