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How to know the value of an Ancient Coin without fear of making a mistake?

Determining the Value of an Ancient Coin is very difficult, unless you know the correct process. FREE FULL GUIDE and TUTOR

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valor de una Moneda Antigua

Thousands of people around the world know that antique coins can be very valuable objects for collectors. The most valuable coins reach figures of several thousand dollars or euros, depending on the country where they are found.

Therefore, it is normal that many people are interested in knowing the  value of antique coins .

This is especially true for people who are new to numismatics (coin collecting) or who have an antique coin they want to sell.

In this guide we will see what you should take into account to  know the value and price of an antique coin .

That is, we will review the fundamental elements that give value to a piece of this type, and then I will share with you an easy (but not so fast) method to know how much an antique coin can cost according to the market.

How do you know if an old coin has value?

To know if an antique coin has value you have to follow an appraisal or valuation process that must be carried out by an expert or connoisseur in the field.

However, the first thing you should know is that each piece or coin has a specific value.

That is, when you appraise a coin what you do is identify how much value that specific coin, that specimen, has, and not a type of coin. In other words, just because the 1764 dollar has a value of $7 million, it doesn’t mean that all the dollars from this period are worth the same.

So…

When you are looking for the  value of an old coin , what interests you is how much a particular coin is worth, which you may want to buy or sell.

Anyway, you should not be discouraged, although each piece has a certain value, generally old coins with similar characteristics can be worth similar prices.

In order to know what a coin is worth, the numismatic expert reviews and values a series of elements that I will comment on later in this article. According to the information available and the opinion of the expert, the coin is given a value that can range from a  few dollars or euros to several hundred thousand .

Why is it important to know the value of collectible coins?

Knowing the  value of an antique coin  is very important when you want to do business with it; whether you want to buy it, sell it or simply have it as a vehicle for capital investment.

In fact, it is quite common for some people to see antiques of different types, including coins, as a way to invest their money.

In the case of antique coins, it is important to get advice from professionals before investing or buying the pieces available, as it is a market that can vary for or against you. In addition, there are many old counterfeit coins that can fool more than one.

On the other hand, it is important that you know that the  price or value of an antique coin  is always approximate . It is never a fixed value, since it depends on many factors inherent to the piece, and on external market conditions.

Elements that give value to a collectible coin

To know the value of an old coin you have to consider a series of requirements and factors that I comment below.

But first, I clarify that  these factors are not homogeneous and have the same weight in all cases . In some coins an element can be decisive and in other situations the value of the old coin will be given by another characteristic that stands out.

That said, let’s see what determines the value of an antique coin:

Materials and process of coining

The minting process and the materials in which the coin was created are very relevant to the value of the coin.

As for the materials, it is logical to think that an antique gold coin has a higher value than an antique silver or copper coin. In many cases the metal of the coin plays a determining role in its value, as long as they have the right type of metal and the right levels of metal purity.

On the other hand, a coin created with the wedge-struck technique can have a very different value than one that was minted with the mill system, the flying press or other more modern methods.

For example,  dinars were minted by a totally handmade technique that makes it almost impossible for two to exist exactly the same . Aspects such as the angle of the movable stamp, the cospel or the force of the hammering exercised varied from one coinage to another, making each dinar a truly unique work of art .

Origin and date of the ancient coin

The origin of the coin and its  date of manufacture  are other elements that have a great impact on the price and value that these have in the market.

For example, old Spanish, American and Mexican coins are in great demand by collectors. However, not all but some pieces from specific periods and dates. We can say that the particular history of the antique coin is an element that can give a lot of value to the piece.

The date the coin was minted can usually be found on one of its faces, as well as information about the Mint responsible for this particular coinage. The more information of this type is accessible and verifiable, the more possibilities exist to know the real value of an old coin.

State of conservation of the old coin

The  state of conservation  is a determining factor to know the value that the old coins have. A well-preserved coin is worth more than one that is not.

A well-preserved coin is worth more, especially if it is not dirty, stained, beaten or worn out by time and circulation. Needless to say, old coins that have not circulated, or circulated very little, are worth more than others with signs of deterioration.

For this reason,  two coins of the same type can have very different prices  according to the degree of conservation. The cost of two equal coins, but different levels of conservation can range from 20 euros or dollars to hundreds of thousands.

NOTE: Now, you may be tempted to clean your coins thinking that they are worth more, but you should be careful with this thought. In fact, many coins lose their value completely when subjected to cleaning processes. So before polishing your old coin, consult a specialist; lest instead of improving the value of the piece you are eliminating it altogether.

On many antique coins, stains and blows are part of their history and, therefore, elements that add value.

Depending on where you are, the state of conservation of a coin can be determined by private numismatic certification agencies, as it happens in the United States; or according to the well-known nomenclature, as it happens in Europe.

In the following table you can see the different states of conservation.

PROOF (Prueba)
FDC (Wedding Flower)
MS (Mint Sets)

It is a manufacturing method, and not a degree of preservation. Coining is done in a special way, with specially treated wedges. The process of coining this type of pieces is much slower and more precise than usual, in which, at least, the same piece is struck two or more times. The result is a coin of great beauty, with a mirror background and matte reliefs. Generally made for collectors and generally intended for official sets and purses.

BU (Brillant uncirculated
UNC (Unciculated)
SC (Uncirculated)

Coin as it comes out of the mint, which has never circulated and which conserves its original luster, although in some older coins the luster can lose its shine, especially those of copper and silver, in which a patina of blackish or bluish shine appears. Due to the process of coining, packing, transport, etc., it may present slight blows, scratches or rubbing, having been in contact with other pieces. BU is usually distinguished from UNC and SC, with the first term being given to those coming from official portfolios.

EBC (Excelente Bien Conservada)
XF ó EF (Extremely Fine)

Coin that has had very little circulation, with slight wear in areas of greater relief and loss of brightness, barely noticeable in some parts. Even the slightest detail can be distinguished with total clarity.

MBC (Muy Bien Conservada)
VF (Very Fine)

Although the coin has circulated, it shows an average wear and tear and its general appearance is still very good and attractive. The loss of original brilliance is appreciated. All important characteristics are visible. The areas of greater relief may be flattened and worn (fine hair details, ears, etc.).

BC (Bien Conservada)
VG (Very Good)

Both sides of the coin present the worn out designs; it is perfectly identifiable as far as the most important details are concerned, such as the major legends, while the minor ones appear only partially, or very blurred.

RC (Regular Conservación)
G (Good)

The currency is quite worn, although all the symbols and legends are recognized. Minor legends are not distinguished and the graphic tends to disappear.

MC (Mal Conservada)
P (Poor)

The currency is completely smooth; legends and date are hardly distinguishable. Practically not collectable.

Demand for antique currency by collectors

Antique coins are in  high demand by collectors , as I said before, but the types of coins that are best valued vary according to fashions or trends.

It means that the value of the antique coin is not necessarily related to being a rare or unusual coin. In fact, it is likely that the rarer the coin, the more difficult it is to determine its value and perform some kind of transaction with it.

Some  antique coins lose value because collectors no longer have an interest  in them.

Therefore, although the amount of the auctions is a good indicator of the value of an old coin, it is not definitive. That is, an antique coin auctioned for thousands of euros 10 years ago today may cost only a few hundred. Of course, the opposite can also happen.

Guarantees of currency authenticity

Finally, another important element in determining the value of an ancient coin is in  the hands of those who find it . Yes, as rare as it may seem, the value of an antique numismatic piece can vary according to who owns it.

This happens because some people, experts, or institutions can guarantee the authenticity of an antique coin, while others cannot.

In other words.

The value of an antique coin can also vary according to the person or institution that has it and puts it on sale. An antique coin with a certificate of authenticity is worth much more than one that does not yet have it.

These  certificates of authenticity  are more common in the United States, and not so much in Europe, where attempts have been made to introduce them without results.

Free method to determine the value of an old coins

Now that you know what the most important elements are in the  valuation of old coins , especially when it is done by experts, let’s analyze a method that could help you know how much value a piece has according to the market.

The  FREE method to know the value of an antique coin  is based primarily on comparing the piece you have with other similar ones.

Remember that we said before that each coin is unique and, therefore, valuations only work for specific pieces and not for the whole set. However, it is to be expected that similar pieces, taking into account the elements I described before, have more or less similar prices and value.

So let’s  go to the step by step  of how to know the value of an antique coin, also for FREE.

First step: Identify what kind of coins you have

In this step you need to know what kind of old currency you have and want value. Is it a denarius, a sestertium or a golden one? A Mexican real? A 1971 Silver Half Dollar? A 1949 peseta? A modern 2 euro coin?

Denario
Denario

In this case we have a dinar.

Second step: Search for the type of old currency in a database

At this point it is advisable to search in the numismatic auction aggregator  acsearch.info . If the type of currency does not exist then you should be suspicious, but if it does exist then possibly auctions of other old currencies of the same type were held at some point.

acsearch.info
acsearch.info

Here you are interested in identifying auctions where similar old coins were offered.

It is very important that you look at other pieces with similar characteristics and state of conservation.

If you pay for the license of this tool you can directly access the prices at which similar old coins were auctioned. With this information you can get an idea of the approximate value of your coin.

However, here we are trying to verify the value of a coin for free, so we will have to resort to other tools. But first, don’t forget to write down the auction number, the lot and the date.

Subasta, lote y fecha
Subasta, lote y fecha

Step 3: Identify the prices of the coins in the selected auctions

Now that you know where and  how old coins similar to yours were auctioned , it’s time to look at how much they ended up selling for.

For this we will use another very important tool within the numismatic world:  sixbid.com .

This site is not as friendly as the previous one to make searches, so you need to know the auction company and the lot number. This information was previously taken from  acsearch.info .

In sixbid you must go to the section  FULL AUCTIONS .

Subastas completadas
Subastas completadas

You look for the auctioneer above where it says Select Auctioneer, for example:  Áureo & Calicó SL .

Now you are going to look for the auction 319, which is the number we got from acsearch.info.

Subasta 319 en sixbid
Subasta 319 en sixbid

We look for the lot, the 9th in this case, and immediately we can see  how much money they paid for the old coins  in the auction. For this dinar a sum of 9,500.00 euros was paid, although the bidding started at 600.

Encontramos lote 9 de la subasta 319
Encontramos lote 9 de la subasta 319

Repeat the process with several similar currencies and this will give you a very close idea of the market value of the old currency you want to sell, or that you want to buy.

NOTE: The price you find at sixbid.com is not the final price, since you have to add the amount corresponding to the auction house’s commission. This commission can be around 18% of the value of the old currency.

How much is the currency you have in your possession worth?

Dear reader, now you are in a position to know how much an old coin can be worth, and from there you can decide what you want to do with it.

If you are a collector then you can know the total value of your collection, or if you want to sell it you will know more or less how much money you can get for an antique coin.

Before selling the coin I recommend you to read our guide “How to sell antique coins safely”.

I hope this article will be very helpful for you. If it was, then it might be useful for other people too and in that case I would appreciate very much sharing it in your social networks, or sending it to a friend.

I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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