Archived Q&A and Reviews
I need to sell my grandmother's set of collectible coins, and I could use some advice on how to do it. Most of them are Franklin mint collectibles from the 1970s. Most were in mint condition, but they recently survived a fire. They are still in their original cases, but some are a bit smokey. Any suggestions for a novice on how to get a good price for the coins? anon
First off, just Google ''Franklin Mint coins'' to get information. Also check on eBay to see what others are asking for same/similar. Ellen
Hi, Most coins issued by the Franklin Mint (as is the case with most private mints) have no real numismatic value, though there may be exceptions here and there. So unfortunately I have to say that it will be hard to get much money for most of your collection.
Coins issued by the US mint have a much greater potential market, but the amount you can get for them will depend enormously on the exact dates, mintmarks and conditions. As a first start for valuing them, you may want to pick up a recent Redbook -- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Guide_Book_of_United_States_Coins -- although note that the prices in it are generally 30-50% higher than what coin dealers will pay. Also try to have a couple different dealers appraise them, but many dealers have a bad rep for lowball offers to novices.
It's certainly possible that there are some collectors specializing in Franklin Mint stuff who are willing to pay a premium for it. I think that the best bet for reaching them would be eBay. I wouldn't recommend Craigslist as it has a bad reputation for people getting robbed as a result of posting their contact info or when meeting up with respondents.
I haven't used eBay for selling, myself, but for listing coins there the most important things to do are 1) have realistic expectations for the prices they can get, and 2) post very high-resolution, clear photos of both sides of the coins, so that prospective buyers can see what they're getting ... there are an awful lot of counterfeits for sale there. All the usual suggestions for avoiding fraud apply, I won't go into detail.
You might get additional useful advice by posting on the cointalk.com forum ... again, good pictures of the coins will be very helpful. Good luck!
Important: Do ***not*** under any circumstances try to make your coins look nicer by cleaning or polishing them! The market value of coins with their original surfaces, even if smoky or dirty, is much greater than for coins that have been cleaned, polished, or otherwise have had their surfaces altered unless the work has been done by an expert conservator. Coin collector
I have a whole box full of old coins -- some realy old, like 100 years or more, and some from 1920, 30, 40, etc -- old dimes and strange nickles, some in great shape and some pretty chewed up -- does any of this likely have any value? How do I find out without getting scammed (and without spending hours pouring through dull books about old money) -- I am afraid to sell them to a coin shop or something because if they really are worth something, and the clerk can tell I am clueless (I don't hide it well, ever) won't they undervalue them? Can anyone suggest what to do? Thanks! curious about coins
I have sold coins at Albany Coin Exchange on Solano and Fort Knox on Park in Alameda.
My coins were more easily evaluated (silver content only, not condition), but those were the two businesses I felt most comfortable in and gave me the best price.
There is a place on Bancroft near Oxford - the guy probably knows his stuff, but will talk your ear off (and specializes in stamps). There's another coin dealer on Park in Alameda who doesn't buy much of my type of coins (told me straight out ''I don't pay the best price for that stuff'') - more stuff along your lines. He was always very helpful on the phone.
I would recommend getting opinions/evaluations from several dealers. After sifting through the various advice, you'll be able to figure out the real deal.
And you do need to do your own research too - but ask the dealers where they suggest you start - they'll haul out their latest price guides and show you where they get their reference, or print a page from a website where they follow the market, if they're honest and helpful. Ellen
I'm thinking about giving an 8 year old a coin collecting kit and perhaps book on the subject for an upcoming Birthday. Does anyone have any good advice on where to shop for such items, and/or actual recommendations on brands to buy or stay away from? I have checked the archives and don't see any info on the topic. P.S. - I've done the requisite Google Search and the info and options are a tad overwhelming, so input is much appreciated! Loving Auntie
A good start might be collecting the state quarters and nickels. You can buy the coin books at Borders and you can even buy the uncirculated quarters at Littleton Coin Co (google it). They also have other coins, and if you want, they will send you monthly coins to keep or return. Silver dollars, old coins etc We did this for my 7 yr old! kathy
I don't know about books, but I think it's fun to pick out coins to give to kids. Both my son and two of my nephews like collecting coins, so I have checked out a couple local coin dealers. I don't love Northern California Coin Exchange on Grand Ave in Oakland -- they're okay, but they don't seem really excited about dealing with kids. On the other hand, I had a great experience at Oakland Coin and Jewelry at 1725 Broadway in downtown Oakland. It's a slightly weird place, in that it's a pawn shop as well as a coin dealer, and so there's a steady parade of people coming in to hock their stuff. BUT, the owners seem to genuinely love kids, and when I came in with my 7 year old the owner spent a lot of time just showing him different things and answering his questions and generally making it a fun excursion. I made a mental note that this was a business I would patronize again because the people there were so kind and friendly and seemed really interested in the hobby. I bet if you called them and asked them about putting together a kit, they would have some ideas. Nelly