How can I get a fair price for a coin collection?


Q. I have a lot of old coins like Buffalo nickels and dimes. How can I get a fair price for them?
— Collector

A. You should first educate yourself on coin collecting.

Start by looking for a catalog that lists the items in your collection.

Do not clean the coins first as this may reduce their value, said Jody D’Agostini, a certified financial planner with Equitable Advisors/The Falcon Financial Group in Morristown.

“It might help to separate the coins, and group them into sets based on design, dates, condition and quality,” she said. “Then you can catalog the collection.”

She said there are several reputable books that can help you get a ballpark value for your coins, suggesting “Guide Book of United States Coins” for a start.

“Then, when you get an appraisal, you will have some baseline for their value,” she said. “As in any collection, the coins are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.”

She said it’s common for the selling price to be significantly reduced from the listed price.

“You can either sell the coins directly to a dealer who deals in coins; go and sell them at an auction, or currently sell them online,” she said.

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This story was originally published on Feb. 19, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.