How to Sell an Estate Coin Collection

Coin collecting is a hobby that many people have enjoyed for a long time. There are thousands of amateur collectors and experts who dedicate their life, or at least their free time, to building their collection. But what do you do when you find yourself with a collection of coins, and you know nothing about them? When someone passes away, they might leave part of their estate to you as a kind and generous gesture. However, although you appreciate the thought, it’s likely you have no idea where to begin with sorting, let alone selling, a collection of coins. You might have the rest of the estate to organize too, and a series of unidentifiable coins probably isn’t helping. If you have an estate collection you need to sell, try some of these tips to do it the right way.

Do Some Research

Although you can take your coins straight to someone for valuation, it’s a good idea to do some research yourself. Of course, you can’t become an expert just from reading one book, but you can make sure you know a little something. You need to protect yourself from being taken for a ride by an unscrupulous dealer, so do your best not to let anyone get away with ripping you off. Find some reference guides and read some information online to help you begin to identify some of the coins, even if only on a basic level.

Organize the Collection

If you’ve inherited the coins from an avid collector, the chances are that they’re in pretty good order. They might be stored neatly in cases or perhaps in an album to preserve them. But you still need to take a look at what you have and see if you need to separate them out. Some could be valuable, while others have only a sentimental value. The first thing to remember is not to clean the coins. You might think they need to be shiny and look new, but you could damage them by cleaning them. If you don’t know where to start, refer to your research to determine what is likely to be valuable and what isn’t. If the coins aren’t already stored neatly, put them into tubes, folders or other storage to categorize them.

How to Sell Them

Now comes the difficult part, where you need to be on the ball. If there are no directions in the will or among the collection that says how the collection should be handled, you can look for any buyer. There are a few options for selling them, including silver and gold coin dealers, auction houses and online sites such as eBay. Coin dealers are useful for selling large collections, as well as individual coins that are rare or valuable. You might choose an auction service for especially large collections or expensive coins. If you choose to use eBay and similar sites, be wary of listing fees and other associated costs.

You may feel at a loss when you inherit a coin collection, but many collectors are fastidious about organizing and preserving them. You’re likely to find it easier to sell than you first think.
Kai Schreiber

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