Getting A Coin Appraisal: Tips For Finding The Value Of Your Coins

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I get many inquiries on coin appraisal from the countless readers here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins, and I’m always glad to answer the many coin questions received every day in the comments. Please keep them coming, everyone!

Now, as for learning more about the value of your coins, you’ve come to the right place.

coin appraisal

I specialize in 20th century coins, but have dedicated much of my numismatic research time to many other areas of coin collecting — including 19th century coins and gold coins, as well as modern examples of coinage coming out of the United States Mint today.

 

Coin Appraisal: Things To Keep In Mind

Are you wondering the value of a specific coin?

Whether you get your coin appraised by a coin dealer of you post a question here at The Fun Times Guide, keep in mind these 3 things:

  1. Values are a rough estimateCoin values can fluctuate greatly from day to day, especially when you’re talking about silver and gold coins. Therefore, any valuation you get may not be accurate say, 6 months from now.
  2. A word about coin insurance – If you’re trying to get a coin appraisal done so you can properly insure your collection, be sure to ask if you can buy replacement coverage, so should a terrible event occur that results in the damage of your coins, you will have enough money to completely cover your losses.
  3. Coin appraisals vary – Based on who is appraising your coins, you may get different answers as to the value of your coins. This could be due to differences in the judgment of your coins’ conditions, various coin value methodologies, or other factors. Get a few coin appraisals and then take the average of those coin values to get an idea on the fair value of your coins.

 

Coin Values Depend On Many Factors

Now, getting the value of your coins here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins is a good place to start — because you can upload pictures of your coins (or describe the state of your coins if you can’t upload photos). And if I don’t know the value of your coins right off the bat, I’ll flex my coin research muscles to find the right answer for you.

Of course, a lot more goes into determining the value of your coin than just looking it up on a coin value guide. Yes, coin value guides can help, and doing some coin grading to determine the amount of wear yours have can help further still. But, even armed with a coin value guide and the knowledge of your coin’s wear-based grade, you may not have enough information to get a proper determination of your coin’s value.

That’s because the info in most coin values guides doesn’t really apply to all coins, as these value guides usually assume the coin being evaluated to be in good condition, outside of wear alone; that is, no discernible signs of cleaning, no major nicks and scratches, and appropriate color or toning on the coin, for example.

In the real world, you and I know that coins don’t often arrive in our hands in the greatest of conditions, so it’s always best to describe any flaws your coin may have when determining a coin’s value if asking about the price of your coins online. And, that’s – again – where uploading images of your coins here will help in getting a better idea of your coin’s value if you can’t get a sight-seen coin appraisal from your local coin dealer.

To find reputable coin dealers who will provide a coin appraisal, check out the coin dealer search engine made available by the American Numismatic Association.

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68 thoughts on “Getting A Coin Appraisal: Tips For Finding The Value Of Your Coins”

  1. Hi, I have 3 rolls of supposedly uncirculated 1946D, 1947S, 1955D quarters and one roll of 1955S pennies. I inherited these and I have no idea of their value

    Reply
  2. Hello there, I had found many coins some from Canada, Vietnam and some that I believe are from Japan. But the few coins that stood out to me were the 1/2 penny, the wheat penny, the pence and most of all a John Kennedy coin that I believe is gold. It is in the original box that is marked 2—49. Could you possibly tell me some price estimates?

    Reply
    • Hi, Nicole –

      As or the Kennedy half dollar, it was actually gold plated by an individual or company outside of the US Mint and unfortunately is not worth more than perhaps $3 to $5.

      As for the Lincoln wheat cent, pence, and half penny, would you please provide years if possible? Thanks!

      Reply
    • Hi, Dimestore! We replied to your question on Facebook. Thanks again for checking us out here at The Fun Times Guide.

      Reply
  3. Hi Joshua,

    I have a 1964 PCGS 50C MS Kennedy Sample 6706.00/12345678 – It hasn’t ever been opened, but the back seems to be yellowing.

    Reply
    • Hi, Michael –

      It’s very possible the yellow toning may has already been occurring prior to the coins encapsulation. Even if the tint had not been as evident at that point, the chemical process could have carried on during its time in the slab. It is for that reason that coin buyers should never pay a said price for a coin based on its slab grade alone. Only a sight-seen evaluation and a judgement call made on looking at a piece in hand is a good way to determine how much to pay for a certain coin.

      Reply
  4. I HAVE AN INDIAN COIN SEEMS TO BE RS 2.
    YEAR 2007.
    BUT THERE IS NOWHERE WRITTEN RS 2. I CAN ASSUME THAT BY SIZE.
    ITS MAY BE ULTRA RAIR COIN.

    THERE ARE SAME PICTURE IN BOTH SIDE,OBVERSE & REVERSE.THAT IS ASHOKSTAMBHA.
    PLEASE GIVE ME IDEA ABOUT ITS PRICE.PLEASE.BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER FIND THIS TYPE OF ERROR COIN BEFORE…. ANYWHERE.

    Reply
  5. I have a ten dollar bill from 1988a when you look at the back of the bill you can see the front bleed through as miss print I think. Is it worth anything. Also have 1953a five with red ink instead of green

    Reply
  6. I was looking at your sight and thought you look like a pretty straight up guy; I have been looking through mostly pennies because they are cheap to get and collect. However, I am not so much into the collecting, does anyone buy them? I have some that might be, and definitely are valuable. I cannot find anyone that buys them. I have ones that are better quality then ones I have seen graded as ms 66-67; are more crisp if you know what I mean, and were not cleaned. I also have a number of them that some fool polished, some I had to clean to see them, and some quite rare; so I have read. How do I make a couple bucks off them? I find the enjoyment in the search and the find. I do have numerous versions of 1970 S DDO’s including one I believe to be #1, and 1972 Lincoln/Kennedy DDO in pristine condition. It still has the glue on the back from the card. wish it had the card.

    Reply
    • Hello, Ken –

      Thank you for your kind comments and your question. Yes, pennies do have a very large collector market, and many are bought for very high premiums. High-grade mint state Lincoln cents are very popular among collectors and investors. Based on the date and exact state of your coins, I recommend having the coins that you know have not been cleaned submitted to a third-party coin grader to see how high they grade and then sell them either to a coin dealer or on eBay.

      Here’s some more info about third-party coin grading: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

      If you need any more assistance, please feel free to ask!

      Reply
  7. Hello, Joe –

    You have a 1943 Lincoln steel cent, which is worth about 20 cents in the grade that your coin appears to be.

    Thanks for your question!

    Reply
  8. I have 1986 silver liberty $1 eagle dollar, half dollar 1776-1976 and 1964, silver pennies 1943,dimes of 1951,56,60….nickel1945,43,57 what would they be worth?

    Reply
  9. Hi there- I recently came across what I believe to be a Type II D Buffalo Nickle. No date, well worn, and there is a mint mark that I can’t distinguish. Any idea of its value? I’d sure appreciate your advice. Michelle

    Reply
  10. I have a 1849 $1 Gold coin……it looks to be in fantastic shape….perhaps unciculated even …..how would I go about getting this coin graded, etc.?

    Reply
    • Hello, Kevin —

      It sounds like you have a beautiful coin on your hands. If you’re interested in getting it certified by a third-party coin grading company, the easiest major service to use would be the American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS): https://www.anacs.com/contentPages/FAQSubmitting.aspx

      The other two major services, the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation require you to either be a member of their clubs or submit coins through authorized coin dealers.

      I discuss more about third-party coin grading companies in this article: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

      Reply
  11. I have a 1999 $10 liberty gold coin. In perfect condition and i was wondering if u could tell me how much its worth.

    Reply
    • Hi, Britany —

      A 1999 1/4-ounce $10 Liberty gold coin is presently worth around $330 given current gold bullion value.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, David!

      Very close indeed! It appears, at worst, to be an AU-55 or AU-58; it’s possible it would grade low-end Mint State based on what a 5x-10x magnification inspection reveals concerning wear on the high points of the coin (Lincoln’s cheek, fine hairlines, etc.).

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, David —

      The pitted ones (it would appear from these photos the 1882 and 1905) are worth 50 cents to $1 each while the others are worth close to $1.50 to $3).

      They will be worth LESS if cleaned.

      Thank you for your question!
      Josh

      Reply
  12. Hi Josh, not a big collector but recently came across TWO of the 1895 Morgan silver dollars. Appear to be Philly w/o a mintmark. I realize the rarity of these so I thought I’d start inquiring to see if they seemed to be real and if so what would the value be. Thanks for any help you can offer!

    Reply
    • Very interesting, Cody —

      These will definitely need a sight-seen evaluation because they will have to be inspected under 5-10X magnification, compared with verified authentic specimens of the coins (photos), weighed, and metallurgically tested.

      If you have the funds (probably $20 to $30), you should consider submitting the piece to one of the major third-party coin grading firms.

      Here’s more info about those companies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

      Good luck,
      Josh

      Reply
  13. Hi , I am hoping you could help me I recently found a 1985 p nickel that I believe is broad struck. It has a thin sharp ridge around it and one side is almost completely blank except for the letter “ontecell” on the back… I am trying to find out possible value but have my had any luck finding similar coins …i have pics of the coin if needed

    Reply
    • Hello, David —

      Unfortunately the obverse (head’s side) of the coin was machined down to nothing but a smooth surface. While the coin is technically damaged beyond being worth even face value, it probably had an interesting story. It was likely altered for use in jewelry or as a component in a work of art.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
    • You’re welcome, David! I wish it were a valuable error, but do keep checking your change. There really are valuable coins and error pieces floating around.

      All my best,
      Josh

      Reply
  14. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f29e8aa3b8aae4ad2a5c78de953e963a2109f45f9874f4c41785f6d129fc3de7.jpg Hello. I’ve been collecting pocket change, old, new, foreign, tokens, etc. for years. I have a box I keep special coins in that I believe may have value. I am continually looking for error coins and trying to find out how and where I can find a true value and if the errors are actual errors. I have purchased books on collecting and errors, but I’m referring more to possible errors I don’t find specifically listed in the U.S. mint book. What can I do to find out the best way to get a good price to sell these coins? There are many and I didn’t know if posting pictures was the best way? Can you please advise? The picture is hard to see and I can use a better camera. I was just using as an example. This AZ state quarter has smooth edging, weighs the same as a quarter.. same thickness. The front looks as though it was pressed more than once and as if the grease in dye was too much on printer to press correctly. I could be wrong and someone could have done this. I was really just trying to find out if something like this is or could be an error and if so, what do I do to find out?

    Reply
    • Hi, Robin —

      As for error coins, you’ve probably come to realize that they’re a different breed of coins when it comes to collecting them, pricing them, and selling them. Often, more unusual errors and varieties (those ASIDE from doubled dies, repunched mintmarks, etc.) are usually priced and traded on a case-by-case basis because they are often very unusual and appeal to a small (but very dedicated!) collector base. It would take an in-hand evaluation to know for sure, but it looks like you may have a die trial coin — a piece struck with lighter-than-usual pressure to test the die. If this is the case — and it’s not merely an altered or heavily worn coin — it would be worth $200 or more. It would be best to sell it to a coin dealer who regularly handles error coins.

      Want to get a second opinion on this coin? Consider sending photos to THE(!) error experts at CONECA: https://varietyvista.com/index.htm

      Here’s a searchable nationwide list of coin dealers (not a complete list): https://png.memberclicks.net/find-a-png-dealer

      And here’s advice on how to find a good coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/

      Cool find — good luck!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hello, Bradrick —

      GREAT catch… And I can see why you asked about this particular one. I DO see doubling on this penny, but it appears to be machine doubling. It does not match the diagnostics of a Class I 1969-S doubled die as seen here: https://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/Coin/Detail/2923

      Note the doubled die shows much more spread in the date and lettering. You can always hang on to this piece if you wish to get a second opinion, but I’m virtually 100% confident this isn’t any class of doubled die and is machine doubling.

      All best wishes,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hey, Mark —

      Just the fact you found a nice 1939 like this one is worthy in itself! As for those steps, I can tell you that the distinction for “Full Steps” (or simply “FS” as some of us say in the coin arena) is typically five or six complete steps showing. I’ll say I am NOT a professional grader, so my opinion should not be the last in this particular case, but while it looks like this may be NEARLY full steps, I’m not sure if a certification company would have an issue award because of the slight weakness under the second column from the right.

      Those are my two cents, anyway…
      -Josh

      Reply
      • Hi Josh,

        Thanks for the advice! The steps are all of the way across, faint in the lower middle but there. I can see that there is little to no wear on the steps though. The odd thing is the right side of the steps where it goes down and slants on a 45°. I have looked everywhere online and have not found that pattern. Anyway, I am going to send this one off for grading because I have seen a lot of the 1939 nickels graded FS and don’t look as good as this coin. Just trying to figure out whether NGC or PCGS will give the best grade. The pics do not do this coin justice. I almost discarded this coin because I thought it was a late coin, so clean and detailed. I’m so glad I took a second look and pulled this one from circulation!

        Any advice on which grading service to use would be great.

        Also, here is a pic of a 1963 D uncirculated nickel I found. I think it’s going to be graded as well.. Take a look.

        Thanks,
        Mark https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72cfe6b30db4972e656a3256a55d38a6a04f8908bf95cb3aae3dfba8e645493c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9bf4d4ad70ee22fed4b602c959fe71847ce15ea9660d7411c584b546107fa14.jpg

        Reply
        • Hi, Mark —

          The last I heard, PCGS awarded Full Steps to nickels with either 5 OR 6 coins while NGC requires 6, so PCGS may give you a better chance at getting your 1939 nickel into an FS holder.

          In case you aren’t aware, 1960s Jefferson nickels with FS are extremely rare, especially above MS64 or so. If you ever think you’ve got a FS nickel from that era, it never hurts to submit it (if you’ve got the funds to do so and are pretty confident it really is FS). You might just have a very valuable coin on your hands.

          Wishing you the best,
          -Josh

          Reply
          • Hi Josh,

            Thank you for taking a look at these. It makes coin hunting worth it when you have a group of people to share your finds with.

            I was aware that full steps were hard to find on nickels older than 1980 because they really didn’t worry about that detail as the dies aged or even when they were new. I have proof sets from the 60’s that don’t have the detail on the steps that this 63 has. Also the newer nickels from the 90’s to current might have more detail but just don’t have the depth of the older Jefferson nickels.

            Anyway I appreciate the advice concerning PCGS vs NGC. I’ll definitely share my results from PCGS when I get them.

            Thanks,
            Mark

          • Good day, Mark —

            So glad to know you enjoy sharing your finds here. Equally as wonderful is having people who engage with comments, questions, and coin photos, so thank you for being a part of this community.

            Yes, PCGS and NGC definitely have differences on FS grading, so I hope you can score an FS with PCGS. Not that you necessarily can’t with NGC, but any softness in the step might be an issue at NGC. I know it has been in the past with other collectors.

            You’re right about the 1990s nickels having less definition than those from the 60s. If you look at auction results from years past, you’ll find that the 1970s and ’80s FS issues tend to be slightly more numerous. I don’t say “common” here, but more available.

            Looking forward to hearing how these coins fare,
            Josh

          • Thanks again Josh for your much appreciated expertise! I am sending 4 coins off for grading this morning to PCGS. Wish me luck!
            I included in my initial submission a 1961 penny that is absolutely beautiful, not a scratch on it. I only gently wiped it with a microfiber cloth to remove finger oils. Hope that doesn’t hurt my grade.

            Thanks,
            Mark

          • Hi Josh,

            So I finally got the grades on the 4 coins I sent in to PCGS. They are as follows:

            1. 1961 1C, RD, MS65RD, Very happy with this grade!!

            2. 1939 5C Reverse of 1940, AU58 , Thought this could have been better but hey not bad.. Right?

            3. 1963-D 5C, MS64, Not bad at all!

            4. 1970-D 5C, MS62, Not bad either!!

            All in all I think I did very well on my first submission. All of these coins except the penny were circulated and found in coin roll hunting. I can’t wait to get them back in my hands!

          • WOW! Mark, those are pretty good. I’m especially glad to see the 1961 cent do so well.

            Congratulations on an overall nice report — and thanks for updating us (I love when I get to hear the “results” of an in-hand inspection!)

            I hope you have many more great roll finds to come…

            Cheers,
            Josh

          • Hi Josh,

            Here are the PCGS official photos of my submissions. Well i thought i could attach them. They’re too large.

            Sorry,
            Mark

  15. Hi Since long time I got a silver quarter with serious error I will like to appraisal and eventually find buyer can you please help me. For internet auction they ask for some kind of official document if I understood correct no such agency in area where I live and I think I am the only person here collect coins. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5089f48ab85ae7c7d80f8c0d938ac36473b7afc7a7974a88a4e9ede91a27b453.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4909c80ea7a552f4391ca87a1be7e5f931dce2b9ebd72999bd95b38b02726730.jpg

    Reply
    • Hello, Srbastian!

      Well, there’s no question about it, this is definitely an off-center error. The date is incomplete, but it appears to read “198X.” This makes it a copper-nickel clad quarter. I’d call this maybe 25% off-center strike. A piece like yours could go for anywhere from $40USD to $50USD, though since the market is so finicky in the area of errors you might get legit offers notably lower or higher than that.

      Either way, cool find!

      Thanks for reaching out,
      Josh

      Reply

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