November 13th, 2013

It never hurts to have your coins appraised

By MintState

Scouring through coin-related articles on the web, I ran across this piece about appraisals that caught my interest. Though the coins referenced are well outside of my price range (and probably that of most collectors in general), it does raise an issue that all collectors should think about. While it may seem like an easy process, numismatists at every level should take careful consideration when it comes to valuing their collections.

As noted by the author, the most common practice is simply to reference online or print price guides when valuing their pieces. But just how reliable can that be? In some cases, those guides can be dated and unreliable. That’s why there are instances when it makes sense to have a coin dealer or professional appraiser give you a second opinion on the value of your collection.

For one, it pays to have a collection appraised for insurance purposes. By having an expert assign a value, you will likely have an easier time dealing with an insurance company when it comes time to process a claim if you suffer a loss (fire, theft, etc.). While it is still a good idea for collectors to catalog their collection, consider having a third-party appraiser help put a dollar value on the lot.

In addition, many collectors out there simply pick up the hobby for fun. As such, they may not know about the value of rarities – or whether they even have one in their possession. It never hurts to have an expert let you know just what you own and what it is worth. While this author discusses the importance of valuing pieces to ensure that you’re not overpaying or undercharging for a coin, he notes that such deviations aren’t as considerable when you’re talking about commonly collected coins (as opposed to the big-dollar rarities). Still, that doesn’t mean collectors should ignore the issue.

On that note, it is a good idea to have your collection appraised anytime you consider selling a piece, or the entire lot as a whole. Even small deviations in price can add up if you’re thinking about liquidating an entire assemblage. In fact, if you owned 100 coins you were hoping to sell and on average undervalued each piece by $10, you’d be leaving upward of $1,000 on the table at the time of the transaction. In my world, that’s real money that I wouldn’t want to part with if I was selling!

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