In a previous article I wrote about coin folders and gave some suggestions on how to collect coins using them.
But maybe you found or inherited a folder that’s already complete, or you just completed your own.
How much is it worth?
This varies quite a bit by several things, most importantly:
#2 The condition (grade) of the coins in the folders Most people cannot afford to collect uncirculated coins except of the most recent coins issued by the U.S. Mint, so we will not cover those here.
A Few Things You Should Know About Complete Sets
Completed folders of coins that are still in circulation are relatively inexpensive even in uncirculated condition; you can expect to buy them for around 4 to 10 times their total face value, and to sell them to a dealer for considerably less than that.
Even a popular series like the Lincoln pennies with memorial reverses (1959 to present) goes for $20-$30 these days; Jefferson Nickels buck the trend somewhat with a circulated set at $40, an uncirculated set around $100 and an uncirculated set with all proofs at $250.
If your sets have proof coins, this will make their value higher, but most recent proof coins still go for around $1.
However, coin values change dramatically for most of the coins that are no longer in circulation.
Complete Sets Of Coins Currently In Circulation
Below, I offer some approximate values based on the current coin market for a number of completed coin sets in Circulated (“Good or Better”) condition, Uncirculated (near-perfect/no wear) condition, and Uncirculated with Proofs — in which case, all of the Proof coins of that type are also included (some folders have spaces for these and some do not).
This is what you can expect to pay for these sets via online auctions; coin stores or coin show dealers will probably ask 25-50% more. Many dealers do buy recent sets but the demand is not strong, so they would offer somewhat less than the prices here.
Lincoln Cents (with Memorial reverse, 1959-Present): Uncirculated $20-$30; Uncirculated with Proofs $200
Jefferson Nickels (1938-Present): Circulated – $40; Uncirculated – $70-100; Uncirculated with Proofs – $250-$300
Roosevelt Dimes (1965-Present): Uncirculated – $45-$65
Washington Quarters (1965-Present): Uncirculated – $40-$50
Kennedy Half Dollars (1964-Present): Uncirculated – $110; Uncirculated with Proofs – $150+
Sacagawea Dollars (2000-Present): Uncirculated (22 coins) – $40; Uncirculated with Proofs (33 coins) – $140-$190
Complete Sets Of Coins No Longer In Circulation
Now, for the really exciting coins — the ones that are no longer in circulation.
Below, I offer some approximate values based on the current coin market for a number of completed coin sets in Circulated condition, (‘Good or Better,’ which most circulated coins are) with a few values for Uncirculated sets that might be attainable to the average collector.
The first price is ‘Retail,’ or what you might expect to pay for the set from a professional coin dealer; and the second price in parentheses is ‘Wholesale,’ or the price the average dealer would pay for the completed set.
Please note that these prices are only averages and will fluctuate not only by the supply and demand of the market but also each dealer’s own preferences.
Also keep in mind that the following is not for sets with proof coins; older proof coins are rare and extremely expensive (for instance, Mercury Dime proofs average $150 or more apiece).
And the following prices are not for sets with proof coins; older proof coins are rare and extremely expensive (for instance, Mercury Dime proofs average $150 or more apiece); it also doesn’t include major varieties/errors such as the 1955/5 doubled die Lincoln cent.
Lincoln Cents (with wheat backs, 1909-1958) $1600 ($1225)
Buffalo Nickels (1913-1938): $1900 ($1450)
Mercury Dimes (1916-1945): $1450 ($1100) – Most of the value of this set is in the 1916-D, which is extremely rare.
Silver Roosevelt Dimes (1946-1964): Circulated – $75 to $100 ($60); Uncirculated – $175 to $200 ($125); Uncirculated with Proofs – $225 to $250 ($175)
Silver Washington Quarters (1932-1964): $700 ($500)
Standing Liberty Quarters (1916-1930): $1575 ($1200) – This does not include the 1916, which starts around $3,500 since only 52,000 of it were minted!
Franklin Half Dollars (1948-1963): Uncirculated – $725 ($550)
Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947): $1500 ($1150)
As you can see, if you have a complete set of one of the above series you have something quite special indeed! If you have a set not listed here, please let us know and we may cover it in the future.
I’ve been a coin collector and a rare book and collectible dealer for over 15 years. My primary areas of interest are U.S. silver coins and older paper currency.