What kind of coin is that

Determine & determine the coin value

How to find out the value of a coin

You have inherited a coin collection or found a "treasure chest" full of coins in the attic and you are a layperson in the field of numismatics. Now you are wondering what the value of the good pieces might be.

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Determining the value of a rare coin or an entire coin collection is often more difficult than expected. So the most important thing in advance: take your time! Don't rush anything!

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The well-known wisdom applies: the value of something is the price that someone else is willing to pay for it. In the case of coins, like postage stamps, antiques, works of art or other collecting areas, there are price fluctuations caused by supply and demand. A coin that was worth € 50 five years ago could be worth double today. The new German 2-euro commemorative coin, for example, is very promising and is a good introduction to building a coin collection. You can find out all the important details about this modern collector's item here.

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The first steps


The first question that should be clarified and that can already provide some clues: Who did the coins come from? If a globetrotter has brought and kept euro coins from many different countries, they will most likely not be valuable pieces. In all probability, extensive research would hardly be worthwhile. If, on the other hand, the previous owner was a long-time coin collector or he invested money in coins, then take a closer look. Even if the origin of a coin collection is completely unknown, one or the other more valuable piece can be hidden in it.

If you have already decided that the chances of finding more valuable coins in your collection are slim, save the coins as nice memorabilia and leave them at that. Otherwise the research begins now.

Given the large number of coins minted worldwide over centuries and millennia, not all pieces are of course really valuable. However, gold and silver coins always have at least the value of the precious metal they contain.

Various options for valuation

The Internet and the relevant search engines such as Google are providing initial indications. When searching, enter everything that can be read on the coin to be valued. You get a large number of hits and find initial clues. Often these are sales prices that cannot be achieved in a private sale, or only to a small percentage.

Online auction houses such as eBay also provide good research results. Coin catalogs and specialist journals, some of which can also be viewed online, are also helpful. But the devil is often in the details. Even two coins that are very similar or even identical at first glance can have very different values. There comes a question:

What is important with coins and what is their value? 

Determining the value of coins is very complex and different criteria can be decisive for each coin. In general terms and without claiming to be complete, the most important key points are rarity (edition), age, state of preservation and current collector demand.

Rarity should be interpreted in terms of how many coins of a particular type are still available today. For example, a coin minted in large numbers a hundred years ago, whose holdings were significantly decimated by wars or similar events, may be rarer today than a modern post-war coin with a small issue, which has been almost completely preserved.

Some old coins are valuable because the number of pieces still available today is very small, but not just because of their age. It always depends on the combination of several factors. An old coin in an above-average state of preservation is logically more valuable than a coin in circulation that has been used as a means of payment over a long period of time. Damaged or heavily worn coins are often hardly salable, with the exception of the precious metal coins already mentioned, which always retain their material value.

Another aspect is the demand for collectors. For German coins this is quite high, for coins from "exotic" countries it can be significantly smaller.

The better the classification in each individual criterion, the higher the value. A rare and old coin from a sought-after collecting area in excellent condition could achieve strong demand and thus a higher value.

The journey to the expert

The most technically well-founded information about the value of your coins is provided by a sworn expert who precisely determines the value and condition of the pieces. You can get the names and addresses of such experts from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Local coin dealers are also competent. It is best to be tactically clever here. Don't ask, "What are my coins worth?" The dealer may charge an appraisal fee. It would be more clever to mention that you may intend to sell the coins and get an offer. If you are interested, the specialist dealer will give you a purchase price. That doesn't oblige you to anything. Leaving the store and getting a second opinion can't be wrong.

For extensive and high-priced collections, such as gold coins, you can definitely consider visiting a renowned auction house. There are also knowledgeable experts there who will take time for you and provide detailed advice.

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