What is it worth?

When cleaning out a home or even a drawer, you may find a handful, an envelope or a tin of old or foreign coins. Are they garbage or do they have value? Are they something you should keep as  memento or “gift” to a family member? Questions -Decisions _ Questions that so many people get bogged down with.

Take a small box and set them aside until you have time to look at them. Using a magnifying glass and a good light look at each coin and see what you actually have. In the midst of numerous ordinary coins you may have a valuable one. Go online and google the coin and you will be amazed at the information that is available. You can also take a picture of both sides of specific or questionable coins and email them to a reputable dealer.

Yes, this takes time. So much information is available today and the “Hunt” can be interesting when you have the time and are not under time constraints or pressure.  When we started business in 1996 we took coins, magnifying glasses and cataloged each coin we had. In (recent) coin books we searched for the specific coins and learned what to look for. We learned about condition of coins, number in circulation, composition of the coins. At the time many people had extensive coin collections and there was a market for coins. Now few people are interested in coins and the coin needs to be a rare collectible or solid silver or gold to bring much money. We spent 30 to 40 hours on a small coin collection, got an idea of its value, then went to a coin dealer. We knew the dealer needed to make some money off the transaction but we didn’t want him ripping off our clients. We did find some excellent, honest people and have learned much from them.

Stamps, jewelry, pocket watches, sports cards, comics, first edition books all went through the very same process. When we were ready to get a price for a client, we had a general idea of what the offer should be. Again few people are now collecting many items.

Now THE REST OF THE STORY.  We always check every envelop and every bag and box. In one garbage bag we found chicken bones and lots of sterling silver. In one drawer we found several 2 inch by 2 inch envelopes. They looked empty but we still had a peek. They had fine gold coins the size and thickness of a ladies’ thumb in them. The value $5700.  The client was in the room and delighted beyond words!

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