Buying and selling coins has long been a hobby for some and a business for others, but with the current activity in the precious metals market, many more individuals are finding that selling coins is not only interesting, but profitable as well. People are remembering old coins they received as an inheritance or gift, and wondering how they can take advantage of the coins’ stored value and use it for something else.
In fact, back in ancient times, way before bank accounts and ATMs, gold and other precious metals were one of the most common ways to store wealth. But before grabbing your coins and making vacation plans, there are few facts you need to know about how buying and selling coins works. Read on for information on how to safely sell your coins for the highest amount possible.
Know Your Stuff
Nothing takes the place of being familiar with the coins you own. This can be easier said than done, but it’s worthwhile to do homework and learn about your coins. Find out the year your coins were minted, their country of origin, how many of each specific coin was issued, and any special or unusual markings that could differentiate rare versions of a coin from wider-issued coins of the same type, minted in the same year.
Many coins sell for far more than the value of their materials because they are at least somewhat rare. If your coins are worth more because of their rarity, you should know this to prevent unscrupulous buyers from paying you less than your coins are worth. Use online coin guides or the annually published coin price books for guidance on pricing.
Do Some Research
Research coin dealers you are thinking of working with, looking first at their information on the Better Business Bureau website. If a dealer has had complaints filed, see how they resolved the complaints.
Additionally, review any online customer comments and testimonials you can find. It’s true that there are many reputable dealers out there, but it also doesn’t take long to check up on a dealer, and in the end a few minutes of your time might wind up saving you a whole lot of money.
Go Shopping
Don’t limit yourself to the first buyer or dealer you find. Look for dealers that have their rates posted online — these generally pay the highest prices. Look also for dealers that will give you a price guarantee, meaning that if you find a higher price elsewhere, the dealer will match it. This is helpful if you find better prices online but need the money right away and can walk into a dealer’s shop.
Harness the Power of the Web
If you can’t find a coin buyer’s store to do business with in person, consider selling your coins online. In most cases, this is the same as dealing in person, as long as your coins are shipped with a tracking number and your package is insured.
Go to an Auction
Auctions are another outlet that can help you sell your coins. On the positive side, some online auction sites attract millions of visitors that could potentially be interested in your coins. Be careful of auction sites like eBay though, especially if you do not know much about your coins. The fees for auction sites can be pretty high, and you might unknowingly settle for a price that is way too low if you don’t know what your coins are worth.
With an auction, you also run the risk that the right buyer won’t be looking on eBay for your coins at the time you have them listed. So, you may need to re-list your auction a few times over several weeks, to find a buyer and get the price you want.
Extra cash is always a good thing, and let’s face it, with the current strength of the gold and silver markets, now is the best time to sell your gold and silver coins. Approach the transaction confidently, and make sure you do some homework on your coins and various dealers.


This article was written by Donald Turner, an avid finance writer online, on behalf of State Tax Advisors. If you’re looking to sell your coins and are concerned about Sales Tax Compliance, make sure to check them out for more information and to make sure it’s done right.