How to Sell Your Inherited Coin Collection

INSIDE: In this guide, you’ll learn how to sell a coin collection you inherited for maximum profit. It’s all depending on how much time and patience you have, of course :)

Morning guys!

Been getting a lot of emails about how to liquidate coin collections lately, so thought I’d finally put out a piece on it in case it helps anyone else out there too :)

In a PERFECT world, whoever inherits these blessings would continue building out the collection and passing it down through the generations!, however we all know it’s not the most sexiest of hobbies these days, so if you have to get rid of them for whatever reason, here are the best ways to do so.

Feel free to send over any other questions/ideas you might have and I’ll continue to update this over time so it becomes a nice resource!

5 Tips for How to Sell a Coin Collection

Here are my best tips for how to sell a coin collection, ranked in order of getting the most profit for them, but also proportionate to the amount of *time* you want to spend too ;)

Hope this helps!

#1) Value and sell the coins yourself!

This is by far the hardest and most time consuming method there is for how to sell a coin collection, but profit-wise you’ll get much more bang for your buck taking the time and selling them one-by-one yourself (not to mention learning a ton in the process!). And while it might be tricky at first, the advent of the internet and books over the years have made the process as painless as possible once you get going.

Just start yourself a spreadsheet, grab a copy of the “Bible” of coin guide books – The Official Red Book®, A Guide Book of United States Coins – and then start inventorying each and every coin along with the estimated value so you have a good sense of what you have on your hands!

red book coin collecting 2020

You’ll learn quick which types/years of coins are literally worth pennies and which to spend more time on to better gauge values.

The Red Book lists almost all U.S. coins ever minted since our country was born, but it’s the *details* to pay attention to like the year and “mint mark” of each coin, as well as the estimated “grade” of them (i.e. their condition) which can be the difference between a $1.00 coin or a $10,000 coin. Although unless you’ve inherited your collection from Scrooge McDuck, chances are the one in your hand is the $1.00 one ;)

(Here’s a good book on *grading* coins too if you really want to get your hands dirty: Grading Coins by Photographs: An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor. I use both this and the Red Book in conjunction for valuing all my coins.)

Other ways to quickly value a coin is to pull up or once you have your inventory and see what others are buying and selling them for. Though again it’s the details that can make all the difference in the world…

Once you know what you have in the collection, it’s then about finding the *best ways* to hawk them! Which can be done using any of the methods listed below, or in combination of the good ol’ fashion way of listing them methodically online (Ebay, Craigslist, Facebook groups, auction sites/houses that specialize in coins, etc).

It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s the method that will bring you the most money and skills! And not too bad if we’re talking smaller collections! :)

**Note: valuing U.S. coins and currency is MUCH easier than valuing *foreign* coins, so if that’s what’s in your collection I’d recommend going with one of the below options unless you’re super interested and/or curious about them yourself. Sites like Ebay and NGC can also point you in the right direction to see if you have a treasure on your hands or not…

#2) Take them to a local coin club

Next on the list of tips for how to sell a coin collection would be taking the collection to the nearest coin club in your area who can much easier – and faster – tell you what you have on your hands. as well as guide you through the process without having to worry about being ripped off!

People like myself who spend their free time attending these clubs LOVE learning and helping others in the hobby, and not only could we help you value the coins (often for free, or for a small donation to the club), but more often than not we can also help sell them through our internal auctions or other means of distribution as well (like direct purchases from members or through our network of trusted dealers).

This route won’t get you an offer or valuation right away, but it’s one of the best ways trust-wise to pass your collection to someone who knows what they’re doing – and enjoys it! – in the process. Just do a quick search online to find the nearest club in your area, and then reach out to the president of it who can best advise you on how they can help.

Better yet, bring your collection to the next meeting for all the members to gawk at! Maybe you’ll make a friend or two in the process ;)

UPDATE: here’s a good place to find local clubs in your area –> This directory is maintained by the American Numismatic Association and you can search for your city or state to see all the ones listed (if your city doesn’t show any, go right to the state as often times there’s only one club covering multiple cities and might only be listed under one city)

#3) Take them to a local coin shop/dealer

If you want to know how to sell a coin collection quickly and easily, this is how to do it.

While the clubs will spend more time pouring over the coins, and often for free, taking them to a dealer will usually get you an offer right on the spot – but at a hefty discount for doing so. Since after all, dealers are in the BUSINESS of flipping coins! Most however are pretty trustworthy and will tell you how they value/price coins (usually depending on how fast they can flip them and/or how common they are), and it can also be nice to just sell them all at once and be done with it.

This is where knowing the estimated value of the coins *ahead of time* though would come in handy so you can gauge how fairly or not they’re treating you! They also tend to eyeball collections and not dissect each and every one, so if you knew there were a handful of coins that require more special attention, you could bring it up to them to make sure they’re not lost in the shuffle.

And FYI: the more modern the coins are (outside of those containing silver/gold, which we’ll get to in a bit) the less odds you’re going to get rich off them as the industry is saturated with ’em.

Still, reaching out to a dealer will give you a quick idea of how much you can get on the spot, as well as if you’re holding anything super valuable or rare – again provided they take the time to search for them. (Often times you can also schedule an appointment to drop off the coins to allow them enough time to really pour over them – which can be another option to consider if you’re not in a rush and you feel like you can trust them)

#4) Take them to a local coin SHOW

If you think taking coins to a dealer or club with multiple members is helpful, just think about taking them to a place where 100+ dealers are – and all under one roof! Haha… This is essentially what coin shows are, and it’s another great choice for how to sell a coin collection quickly and easily.

At these shows, all types of transactions are going on from buying to selling to flipping to trading. So if one dealer low balls you for your collection, you can easily just go right to their neighbor and get the next available offer ;)

The downside to this is that the shows only come around once or twice a year and the dealers don’t always have the time to value a collection right on the spot, however they typically have experts in all kinds of different coin (and currency) fields, so no matter what you’re trying to offload there will be someone there that can tell you exactly what you have and if it’s valuable.

I tend to sell more of the common/less valuable stuff to other collectors or club/dealer friends, and then save the Big Boys to shop around the shows where you have a better shot of getting top dollar, as well as *authenticating* a coin and learning more about them from an expert in the field.

(FYI there are also 3rd party grading services you can submit coins to who will grade and authenticate them for you at a small cost (usually $30-$40), but unless you think you really have something good on your hands it’s probably not worth the effort… Although at coin shows some of these services will set up a booth so you can get them done right on the spot without the hassle of mailing them in which is usually required… Two of the more popular grading services are PCGS and NGC)

#5) Hit up a pawn shop/jewelry store with those “we buy gold and silver” signs in the front window

I hate to list this one here as it’s usually a last resort, but it *is* an option when it comes to tips on how to sell a coin collection, and again just really depends on how fast you want them gone and what you’re willing to receive for the honor ;)

Most silver-looking coins made before 1964 (except for nickels) are comprised of the precious metal silver, just like many gold-looking coins from the 19th and early 20th century are made of precious gold, so regardless of the *collector* value of these coins you will always find a place that will pay you a % of “melt” value for them on the spot. (I.e. the value of silver or gold in weight of each piece, based on the market’s value that day which fluctuates much like the stock market. Currently silver is at $15.04 an ounce, whereas gold is going for $1,288.85/oz)

So for example, if you have some old silver dollars from the early 1900’s they might be worth $30 or $40 to a collector, however they also contain precious *silver* too (quite literally) making it worth something on that fact alone. If you sell these to another collector or dealer you might get $25-$35 for them, however if you hawk them to a pawn shop or jewelry store you’re more than likely getting about $11 a piece for the silver contents. Unless it happens to be a more rarer coin, and they also happen to know about it and/or tell you about it ;)

So still a way to liquidate your collection, but I’d exhaust all the top ways first for a better shot of getting the best pay out… And dealers will also pay for the silver/coin contents too btw for the more common/beat up coins referred to as “junk silver”, and typically more of a % of the “melt” value.

And those are the main options you’re looking at! I’m sure I forgot a bunch of other nuggets as well, but I’ll continue to update this post as time goes on so hit me up with any other questions/tips/ideas you might have so we can make this a valuable resource for people :)

And if none of this above looks appealing to you and you still feel stuck with your collection, send me a note directly and I’ll see what I can do about personally helping you out.

I’ve liquidated a handful of collections over the years for family and friends – ranging from a few coins to collections worth north of $5,000 – and I’m always happy to help inventory/buy/sell/provide opinions on them for people :) Nothing’s more exciting to a collector than going through an old box of coins looking for treasures!! Especially if you tell us it’s been sitting in an attic for over 100 years! Haha…

Hope this helps!

Back tomorrow with our regular personal finance chit-chatting…

PS: For more coin insight, check out my hardly-updated-but-still-pretty-awesome blog on coin collecting here: Maybe it’ll get you interested in the fun before you cash out?! :)


Here are more updates about how to sell a coin collection since the initial publishing of this post:

#1. You can typically get *more* selling your coins if you do them individually than in lots or trying to sell the entire collection all at once. Of course you might not want to spend the time doing it, but it’s something to consider. Or at least plucking out the super good gems and selling those outside the collection to maximize profits.

#2. Be sure to ask all your FRIENDS and FAMILY members if anyone is a collector!! That could be another excellent route to unload them faster, while also bringing joy into their lives… Especially if you end up making it an early Xmas present ;) (Conversely, if you’re a collector *yourself*, be sure to remind everyone you know that you collect!! That way when *they* come across any collections, they’ll know exactly who to tap first. And believe me – you’ll be the only one they know and will get first dibs, haha…)

*** For those interested in learning more about the hobby or joining it! ***

While this guide is mainly for helping people know how to sell a coin collections, I’ve started getting a lot of requests for info on great resources and ideas on starting collections whether for themselves or others (like kids), so I thought I’d add a section here for anyone looking to go down that path as well… Which of course is my preference because it’s a super fun hobby!! :)

Here are a handful of ways to get started in the hobby:

#1) Pick up a few coin boards and try plugging all the holes from pocket change! You learn a TON by doing that alone, and it’s super fun and easy too (until you get to the last remaining slots and go crazy trying to find them, haha…)

#2) Pick up a copy of the “Red Book – which will run you maybe $12 or so, but will give you ALLL you need to know about what coins are worth, and what to look for, and a bunch of back history on the hobby as well. Makes for excellent light reading :) (Another book that helped me a lot in the beginning was also Coin Collecting For Dummies)

#3) Join your local coin club! They usually meet once a month, and it’s fun to be around others (in real life!) who share similar interests and are full of *knowledge* you can tap. They only cost $15-$30/year to join, and typically host coin auctions for their members where you can pick up new coins for your collection relatively cheap too. Plus – every meeting there’s usually a presentation of some sort to learn from! It’s very fun, I promise! :)

#4) Follow some coin blogs! There aren’t too many in the space, but here are a couple I enjoy:

#5) Lastly, if you think you’ll enjoy it enough to stick around, join the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and you’ll get all kinds of resources for learning and enjoying the hobby. Including an excellent monthly magazine to your door every month which covers coin news, trends, and other in-depth research.

#6) Oh, and there are plenty of other magazines out there too on coins that are great, such as Coins and Coin World, but the ANA’s is my personal favorite.

Lots of easy ways to get started! I hope you go for it!

// Links above to books are affiliate links through Amazon

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  1. Jacq April 16, 2019 at 7:45 AM

    I tried to start option #1 and the sheer number of random pennies and nickels got overwhelming. Any suggestions for that part?
    Also some coins are tarnished in a way that makes the year and mint hard to make out. Suggestions?
    I know there are some wheat leaf pennies mixed in somewhere. When mom took some to a dealer he had a machine that could sort them out by weight, which was really cool. I think it’s a double inherited problem, because my grandpa collected coins, and then so did my dad (still alive), but not actively collecting. He gave my siblings and I some coins a few years ago. I think my grandpa just put pennies aside planning to look for wheat leafs later, and then so did dad. Now there are like ziplock bags worth of mostly normal pennies but no one wants to spend them just in case, and sorting through has become daunting.

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:23 PM

      Sounds like a good project for a kid! :)

      ($5.00 to whoever can sort all of these coins for me!! Haha…)

      But on a more serious note, it’s probably worth just memorizing a few of the good dates to look for and then throwing the rest back in circulation or at the bank… (or keeping only the wheaties and hawking them as a lot to someone as people do pay a few pennies each for them)

      Here are some of the dates and mint marks to watch for, and they’re mostly all older wheat backs and “error” coins:

      1983 – with doubling of the letters on the back
      1972 – with doubling letters on the front
      1955 wheat back – with doubling letters on the back (these are worth over $1,000!)
      1944 wheat back – with a “D” mint mark over a light “S” mint mark
      1931 wheat back – with “S” mint mark
      1922 wheat back – with no “D” mint mark
      1917 wheat back – with doubling of the date on the front
      1914 wheat back – with “D” mint mark
      1909 wheat back – with “S” mint mark *and* initials “V.D.B.” on the lower back (these are worth hundreds and highly sought after!)

  2. Minimal Millionaire Mom April 16, 2019 at 8:06 AM

    Thanks for this! My son is in Boy Scouts and thinking of working on the Coin Collector merit badge. I have a whole shoe box full of coins from my grandpa for him to work with. I just didn’t know how to get him started.

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:24 PM


      That’s a perfect way to get someone learning and interested in them – please do urge him to go for it!! :) Even if he ends up not liking it at least he gave it a try! (And of course would make his grandpa super happy in the process, haha… whether he’s dead or alive!)

      1. Minimal Millionaire Mom April 17, 2019 at 10:57 AM

        Thanks! My grandpa would be proud. He passed when I was in middle school (many moons ago). I can still picture him sitting at the dining room table with his magnifying glass, coins and organizers. One of the coolest coin that I remember him showing me was one from the World Fair held in Chicago.

        1. J. Money April 17, 2019 at 4:57 PM

          How cool!! Love that image of him! I hope that’s how my kids and grandsons one day remember me too, haha…

  3. Suz April 16, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    I inherited 1/3 of my father’s extensive coin and paper currency collection. I traveled to coin shows with him as a child and picked up the hobby as well as a result. I’ve added to my own collection over the years, so I was thrilled to have part of his. I have worked with different shops who help me to locate items I’m searching for and let me just say that some have more integrity than others when buying and selling, so definitely get offers from more than one. I have also seen offers differ, depending on whether one is selling an entire collections as a lot versus selling items individually.
    My sister and brother are not into the hobby and their pieces have likely not seen the light of day since it was divided out. If they were ever in the market to liquidate, I know I’d be the first person they’d approach to offer me first dibs. :) So I might suggest mentioning the desire to sell a coin collection to family and friends since you might have a numismatic in your circle that you don’t know exists….. since we don’t tend to announce it, except in certain forums!

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:27 PM

      YES!! You’re so right – that’s an excellent tip, thank you :)

      And perhaps it’s worth hinting to your brother and sister about your desires to purchase them from them *before* they do ever go on the market?? Haha… That would be nice to have the collection reunited again and in good hands!!

  4. A A Rod April 16, 2019 at 10:22 AM

    I have been a coin collector for 30plus years. It helps too that I have been in banking for the last 15yrs so I come across a good amount of foreign coins and have amassed a bunch. I probably have a pound or so worth of various silver coins but it is by no means something I am relying on for retirement. I probably have $300 worth of Canadian coins that I hope to some day repatriate back to Canada one day. I’ll probably clean out every vending machine in a minor city with all those coins or Free Parking on an entire city block for a decade.

    But it begs the question of what to do with all those foreign coins that have little to no value? I’ve divided them in to two containers. Magnetic (those that will stick to a magnet) and non-magnetic. Why? I don’t know. I don’t know what else to do with them.

    I guess I could sort them by brass and copper content and melt them down for bullet jackets and shell casings?

    Any other ideas for cupronickel coins? Cuz I have an F ton.

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:42 PM


      1) The magnetizing does help nix the ones that aren’t silver at least! So that can be helpful! :)

      2) If they’re *older* coins, like 1960s and earlier, they’re probably worth googling or checking out ebay/NGC as mentioned above to see if you have anything valuable and/or made of silver, but if they’re mostly modern then yeah – not going to make you rich anytime soon. However…

      3) There are a TON of “world” collectors who are trying to get one coin from every country – current or dating back through the milleniums – so you could easily find a buyer for them if you just wanted to unload in buckets or something… (making sure to pluck out the silver ones or anything else valuable in them first). This would be an excellent thing to bring up to a president of a coin club who could either connect you with the world collectors in the group or help you auction them off.

      I do the same thing you do though w/ the modern one and countries I have a good shot of visiting again one day :) I have little jars for Canada, Mexico, the UK, and then a stash of Euros… Could buy you a few good meals over time! Haha…

      Btw – you have one of my dream jobs to do one day!!! I bet you see all kinds of juicy stuff being deposited by people!

  5. DNN April 16, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    To talk about selling stuff, I do have some brand-new untouched comic books from 1990 and the 1990s, and others in good condition from 80s and 70s am looking to sell online. I’ve been toying with the idea of possibly considering selling these specialty limited-edition Wolverine comic books, Punisher, X-Men, and other comic books specifically targeting “Arab billionaires in the UAE.” I’ve been looking at one site so far for trying to sell the comic books [Arab billionaires in the UAE], but I haven’t acted on it yet. Any recommendations or suggestions?

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:46 PM

      Nope! Don’t know jack about comic books I’m afraid, but I’d bet there are just as many comic shops or conventions for them as they are coins? So maybe similar rules would apply?

  6. Bryant Sherred April 16, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    I have a host of wheat pennies ranging from 1909,1920’s 1930’s 1940’s,1950’s,1969

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:48 PM


      that 1909 one alone is worth something – especially if it has V.D.B. on the lower back AND “S” mint mark!

      here are others to look for as well that are worth a pretty penny (pun intended ;))

      – 1955 with doubling letters on the back (these are worth over $1,000!)
      – 1944 with a “D” mint mark over a light “S” mint mark
      – 1931 with “S” mint mark
      – 1922 with no “D” mint mark
      – 1917 with doubling of the date on the front
      – 1914 with “D” mint mark
      – 1909 with “S” mint mark *and* initials “V.D.B.” on the lower back

  7. Stephanie April 16, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    A few years ago I mentioned to Mr J$ that I had inherited 100 silver dollars. Not knowing a thing, he gave me ideas about their value and how to sell, if interested. I never would have realized their worth! I decided to save them as I also inherited some O-L-D coins including pieces of eight. Yup, I’m the very proud owner of 7 of them and those will stay in a safe place until I can dedicate real quality time to finding them a good home. Unbeknownst to me, my family has been collecting for generations! Thanks J$; between you telling me about silver dollars and how to figure my very archaic Pension into my net worth, I am making my way to solid financial footing.

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:50 PM


      So glad to hear!!

      And I want to be one of the first people notified when you’re ready to house some of those pieces of eight, haha… I have yet to add any to my collection and they are sooo pretty!!

      (Do you happen to have any of the actual *pieces* that people used to cut from the coins, or just the coins in entirety? Cuz those are even cooler!)

  8. Jim @ Route To Retire April 16, 2019 at 1:53 PM

    Thanks for this, J! I’m literally right in the middle of getting rid of all my collectibles (ya gotta clean house when you’re moving out of the country!). I was planning on taking my old coin collection to a dealer, but I followed your link and found a nearby coin club that I’m going to head to tomorrow. Thanks!!

    — Jim

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 4:52 PM

      So glad to hear, man!!

      You’ll have to let me know how it goes when you’re done :)

      Super curious to see what they find in it too!

      1. Jim @ Route To Retire April 18, 2019 at 3:18 PM

        Well, that was super interesting. I thought there would be just a handful of people there, but I would bet there were 75 people at this coin club meeting. It was like FinCon where we all nerd out on finance except they were nerding out on coins, which isn’t my thing! ;-)

        I talked to one guy and he looked over some of my stuff (but not all of it). I learned some things and why some of my coins are basically worthless and why some are worth more. I’m definitely not getting rich off of it, but there were some that he was thinking could be worth some decent money.

        I bet I could have just sold him my whole collection and been done with it, but suddenly everyone got real quiet for an auction they were doing… 175 items on it. No way I was sticking around for all that, so I bolted.

        Wanna buy a shoebox of coins?! :-P

        — Jim

        1. J. Money April 19, 2019 at 3:02 PM

          Haha…. sounds about right!

          Shooting you over an email now to see what we can work out ;)

          Impressed you followed through! And so quickly!

  9. Carolyn April 16, 2019 at 4:13 PM

    I’m hoping that was a typo, don’t think there’s too many ’69 wheats around… with that said, I love my pennies too. I sort wheats, and latter coppers from post 82s…I also sort the 82s by weighing them.

    1. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 5:03 PM

      Hardcore! :)

      If only you were legally allowed to melt them so you could sell all that copper! Haha…

      (And you’re right about that 1969 – if it’s indeed a wheatie then either you’re sitting on a gold mine or someone got crafty with their metal work ;))

  10. Wayne Faulkner April 16, 2019 at 4:16 PM

    Great site an advice for a new collector or old guy like me. Looking for Canadian coins, have some nice Morgan’s for sale or trade. Cheers from Nova Scotia Wayne

  11. J. Money April 16, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    Oh cool, glad you enjoyed!

    What type of Canadian coins do you collect?

    I have a few older ones, like an 1865 20 cents from Newfoundland, but most I tend to auction off or trade to friends… Happy to keep my eyes open for you though?

    Are any of your Morgans toned prettily? It seems I mainly gravitate towards those vs the shiny uncirculated ones ;) A whole other topic for coin collecting/selling!

  12. Lester April 16, 2019 at 5:30 PM

    Hi.. A few years ago my father told that he have a philippine coin that made us america.. And i’ve heard about this coin is worth of a $? And till now i am finding who wants to buy my father coin?

  13. Granny P. Collector April 16, 2019 at 8:56 PM

    Ptersonal collector—interested in passing on to kids—need any practical advice for modest collection…Thank you!
    Publications? Blogs? Other sources?

    1. J. Money April 17, 2019 at 7:07 AM


      I hope you can get them into it!! Maybe try taking them to coins shows with you?? That seems to be a big hit with kids and family since there are soooo many different things to see, as well as events specifically designed or kids :) (or anyone new to the hobby for that matter!)

      Another thing that gets people interested are trying to complete collections/series from modern change they come across. So a great gift would be to pick up some coin boards and challenge them to plug all the holes from pocket change! You learn a TON by doing that alone, and it’s super fun and easy too until you get to the last remaining slots and go crazy trying to find them, haha…

      Lastly, some resources per your request:

      Coin Collectors Blog – a blog I enjoy reading
      – Coin Update – another great blog – my own blog!
      Coin World Magazine – a great magazine
      Coins Magazine – another great one!
      The Numismatist – my *favorite* magazine, produced by the American Numismatic Association which is our hobby’s association and which goes out to all members monthly. Highly advise joining, whether for yourself or your kids!

      Hope something here helps!

  14. Dee April 17, 2019 at 12:23 AM

    I’m new to collecting,about a yr. I have pennies starting with 1941. I have been to dealers in Indiana and they are not talking what I want to hear. I opened a site on eBay,no hits yet. Would just like to talk with anyone who enjoys coins like I do. I have learned a lot and would like to become a trader one day. Thanks for reading!

    1. J. Money April 17, 2019 at 7:14 AM


      Have you tried any of the online coin forums by chance? I don’t chat much in them so not sure which are the good ones, but that’s probably your best bet :)

      I’m sure there are also clubs dedicated to pennies or any other stuff you enjoy collecting which could also enhance your experience!

  15. Joe April 17, 2019 at 1:28 AM

    Hi J.

    I recently inherited a collection of old coins in Gold and Silver and newer coins in Silver and Platinum. I also have a lot of old U.S. Notes, Silver Certificates, Red Seals from the 1920’s and large numbers of consecutive Serial number Star notes. My problem is I am not sure what to do with all this. I could keep it or I could sell it to help pay for my daughters college education. A friend of mine suggested Ebay but there is a lot of fees with that. You offer some good suggestions but I was wondering what you meant when you suggested to sell each piece by itself. Were you suggesting Ebay to do this or some other source? Thank You, Joe

    1. J. Money April 17, 2019 at 7:20 AM

      Well that’s a hell of a collection! Haha… Thousands of dollars right there – gold and platinum are no joke!!

      I would 100% recommend reaching out to your closest coin club and having them advise for you, especially for a collection that large and valuable. They can help devise a plan for you and tell you the pros and cons of all the avenues as well (and which to maybe hold onto for investments/posterity too?).

      To answer your question though, yup – selling the more valuable coins one by one either online like ebay, or through the coin shows or dealers/etc. It does take more work, but it is better for long term profit for sure – especially if you’re trying to pay for a college education :)

      Something I didn’t expand on in the article is also the idea of handing them to an auction house that specializes in coins, whether online or physical. Typically these are used for more valuable items, but they could also be helpful for liquidating entire collections as well, and will list most items one-by-one or in lots that make more sense… So that could be a happy medium as well for you.

      Hope this helps! And all this applies to your paper money collection too btw :)

  16. Money Beagle April 17, 2019 at 9:06 AM

    Definitely going to bookmark this page and come back to it. I’ve got a couple ziploc bags full of coins. A few years ago I went through and kind of wrote everything down. Now I’ll have to check this against your quick list and maybe look into buying the book, if it looks promising.

    One other idea of course is just to keep them and pass them down to the next generation.

    1. J. Money April 17, 2019 at 10:02 AM

      Totally – the most preferred route! :)

      Happy to take a look at them too if you want to snap pics and email them over.

      Sometimes a quick glance can shed some good light one way or the other…

  17. Joe Lam April 17, 2019 at 5:01 PM

    Thank You for your reply as your advice is very much appreciated and respected. Sincerely, Joe

  18. Linda s g Robertson April 17, 2019 at 6:15 PM

    I have a lot of old coins don’t know wot to do with them

  19. Veronica Todaro April 17, 2019 at 10:28 PM

    As someone who once worked for a coin dealer, bringing them there is the last thing I would do. At least on Ebay the market is set by the bids, as long as you do some research first.

    1. J. Money April 18, 2019 at 6:26 AM

      Yup, very true about Ebay…

      What did you find that was so bad with the dealer you worked for though? Too low of prices or was it more ethics-related?

  20. Stephanie April 17, 2019 at 10:44 PM

    Well Mr J$, since you’ve given me such great advice should the moment come you will be #1 on my list to notify. Five are solid and the other two are “pieced”, for lack of a better term.
    Wow! So much interesting and valuable info in the posts; I’ll have to go back and read again. I never realized that old coins were #1-so valuable and #2-that they are crazy-marketable for some rather large cash. Maybe I better look through that ol pile of coins again. Thanks J$ and everyone.

    1. J. Money April 18, 2019 at 6:29 AM

      AHHH SO COOL!!!

      Yes – old U.S. and colonial coins are totally worth $$$!! You’ll have a nice pile on your hands when it’s time to depart with them :)

  21. Charlie Crawley I April 18, 2019 at 5:22 AM

    I have every penny from 1942 to 1962.

    Also I have Mercury dimes 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1924 1926 1927 1928 1928 1930
    1937 thru 1945.

    Thanks, and I’m looking to sell all of them.

    1. J. Money April 18, 2019 at 6:34 AM


      Here are the Mercury Dime years and mintmarks to watch for that’s worth the most:

      1916-D (worth hundreds to thousands!)

      And then any of them in mint state condition in the 1920’s and under too.

      (None of those pennies are worth much, unless you have any of the “error” ones, like the 1955 one that has *doubling* of letters on the front of it – a super sought after coin!)

  22. Mike Neville April 22, 2019 at 1:28 PM

    I have rolls of canadain pennies every year & doubles of canadain pennies from 1967 up to 2014 working on earlier & newer ones . Unserched just wondering if worth keeping

    1. J. Money April 23, 2019 at 6:01 AM

      Not too familiar with Canadian pennies, but a quick search online led me to these specific ones to look for:

      Particularly that first one that could be worth $400,000! (1936 “Dot” Penny).

      Outside of that, I’d probably look for people who collect them and who need certain dates to complete their collections :) You can also do a quick search on Ebay to see what they’re fetching too.

  23. Brandon April 25, 2019 at 9:40 PM

    Great read! Albeit reading the portion about hawking to a “We Buy Silver” shop made me cringe!

    Couple years ago I had an urge to buy a bunch of NGC Ultra Cameo coins, 69 & 70 — at the time they were only going for 4-5 bucks a piece.. I ended up with 17 of them.. I revisited ebay for the same coins I have and the value almost tripled.. Started placing bids similar to what I had previously and was out bid EVERY time. Makes me wish I had bought more while the going was good..

    However I also inherited some of my grandfathers collection.. Some goodies include:
    2 1880 Eagle dollars
    1 1922 Eagle
    1 1923 Eagle
    Complete set pennies 1919 – 1974
    Several of the 1943 steel pennies
    And the oldest penny is an 1899 S Indian head
    Jefferson nickels complete set 1938 – 1962
    At least 50 circulation Jefferson’s

    And i’ve been expanding slowly with my own contributions – I have several local banks saving me odd ball coins and I go once a week to collect :D

    I really enjoy having “things” to collect in the safe rather than bills.. Albeit I do have about 100 bucks in $2 bills because.. well why not.. haha

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 7:49 AM

      HAH! We need to get those puppies circulating again to remind everyone how awesome $2.00 bills are!! I’m always giving them out as tips and people love them :)

      Some great older coins you inherited there too – those are my favorites to collect as I’m not much of a modern or slabbed collector… Still don’t know why people get $5.00 coins graded and slabbed when it costs like 6x that to do so?! But it is all the rage these days, so what do I know ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  24. JAMES PORTER May 25, 2019 at 10:32 PM

    Coin dealers and individuals alike bring their silver coins to us to auction. We have been getting good prices here in Ellsworth, Ohio. So try an auction house near you so bidders can help get the price you want.

  25. Joe Winston June 18, 2019 at 8:25 PM

    I have 1982 D small date (3.1) and 1982 small date (2.5) also some error and ancient Greek coin the great Alexander III. I don’t know how to sell it, it’s very difficult to find coin collector club near me. I live in Jakarta, Indonesia -South East Asia, tks and regard Joe Winston

    1. J. Money June 19, 2019 at 5:34 AM

      Looks like it’s Ebay for you, then! :)

      I wouldn’t bother with the 1982 cents though – they’re basically worth face value.

      Those error and Greek coins might bring you something though! See what others are selling for already to help give you an idea (just pay REAL close attention to the condition of them as well as other details like, date, mint mark, etc…)

  26. Rachel June 24, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    My dad just passed away and left my brother and I a large box full of coins. Sadly, neither of us know the first thing about coins. Most were passed down to my dad from our grandfather and by the dates on some coins, possibly our great grandfather as well. There are a bunch of coins in individual sleeves (buffalo nickels), but majority are in paper rolls or just just literally thrown in the box. He also left some paper bills as well. I took on the task of going through everything and am SO overwhelmed just looking at this box that I keep putting it back in the closet! I’m really glad I found your page as you have some great advice. Here’s hoping I can now motivate myself to catalog everything without giving myself an ulcer ;-)

    1. J. Money June 24, 2019 at 10:39 AM

      Haha – good luck!!!

      If you want to, feel free to snap a few picks and email them over to me and I can tell you if you’re sitting on a gold mine or a bunch of stuff not worth spending too much time on ;) (budgetsaresexy at gmail dot com)

      Though from the sound of those dates it looks like you guys have something exciting going on over there!

  27. Paul July 27, 2019 at 10:51 AM

    Selamat sore Joe Winston!

    I live in Indonesia as well, but not Jakarta. Unfortunately there are no active coin societies with regular meetings in Jakarta or elsewhere. However, there is a very ethical auction company based in Bandung dealing mainly in coins and paper money. The owner who I know personally has experience in Ancient Coins as well. You can send me an email to indostocks at gmail dot com for further information.

  28. Richard Donaldson July 30, 2019 at 8:56 PM

    Any value too purchase bags of coins from banks orany other sources? Thanks for the education.Marine Rick Donaldson.

    1. J. Money August 1, 2019 at 11:10 AM

      oh, sure – if you enjoy looking over coins you can certainly pick up bags of them at your bank and see if you find any gems :) most people focus on half dollars and look for silver ones, but you can sort through any denomination really and often times get lucky. The trick is then depositing all the coins back again and usually if you take it to the same bank they frown upon it. So you might need a good network of them if you’re going to try this route :) But people do enjoy it!

  29. Roger Manning August 31, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    I’ve inherited quite a few silver dollars and other coins. Some older pennies, nickels, half and silver dollars. Probably a couple of hundred. Is it possible for you to take a look t them and give me a value? Or perhaps purchase them?

    Thank you,
    Roger Manning

    1. J. Money August 31, 2019 at 10:54 PM

      Very cool! Someone must have really loved you! :)

      Let me shoot you an email and we can go from there…

      Happy to help out where I can and/or buy them if it makes sense.

  30. K. Mike September 12, 2019 at 8:54 PM

    Ive collected coins all my life. Basically I kept getting burned, but I’ve keep at it. If you inherit coins, this is what I’ve seen. The bank teller dumps the coins in her drawer in discust. People dump them down the coinstar. I remember grandpa gave me a well worn Buffalo nickle. As a kid I thought it was worth a million bucks because it was so old and worn. For me, Ill be crawling into the coin shop to cash in. Only to die of a heart attack for the money I get. I’ll chaulk it up to inflation. And wishing i never shined those silver coins that made them completely worthless. The queen shines her silver platters and they are now priceless. My last hope is my coins get melted down and made into a ship. A shiny ship! Lol

    1. J. Money September 13, 2019 at 7:21 AM

      Haha yeah – hard lesson to learn with cleaning coins!!

      Better to get it out of the way now with smaller ones though before you move to multi-million ones ;) I’d like to see you rock a colossal ship one day!!

  31. Norm April 13, 2020 at 2:04 PM

    Hello J$, I very much enjoyed reading your site and questions/answers. I’ve thought long and hard about what to do with my collections (started at age 12, now 74). I have 4 kids, 16 g-kids. It’s too much to give to just one person. Oldest g-kid is 16, and would just sell it not knowing if any have value. So your site spurred my current thought. As you suggested, pull out the best and sell piecemeal. Then take the rest OUT of their folders, mix them with a box of seconds, divide into 6-8 groups and send to the oldest g-kids with the empty folders. That way they learn about coins, mint marks, care, etc. These collections then become theirs. When they are established in their careers they can fill in the missing ones (I removed) through dealers if they want a complete collection.
    Q: Is there a site where I send photos of coins for grading? I’m thinking of my 1901-S half eagle.

    1. J. Money April 13, 2020 at 3:08 PM

      Excellent idea!! Love it! And hopefully at least one of those 16 g-kids continues on the hobby for us! We need as many new collectors as we can get! :)

      Grading – unfortunately you can’t just send in pics of the coins as they need the *coin* itself to properly grade it, however they do send it back to you in an encapsulated container w/ labels and I believe digital pics too. The two leading companies are NGC and PCGS:

      It can cost $30-$60 a pop though, so unless it’s a rare coin or is in exceptionally brilliant condition and the difference in grading substantially affects the value, it’s probably best to just try your own hand at grading them and/or taking them to a coin shop/club/show and getting a 2nd opinion. It def. gets tricky once you’re in the MS-60’s and a sigle digit off there could certainly be the difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

      Here’s a good page from NGC on that 1901-S $5 of yours:

      If you think it grades mint or below it’s probably safe to grade yourself, but once it hits MS-64 and up we’re talking $1,000-$24,000 instead of $500-$600 so if it’s  superb looking then def. worth ending in ;) Though FYI – if you ever send in your coins to the big auction houses to sell, like Heritage or Stacks, they’ll get them all professionally graded for you as part of the process since they know it brings in bigger $$$ that way…

      Goood luck! And great plan, again! :)

  32. Dave July 9, 2020 at 5:46 PM

    As with any coin collection sometimes it is the memories that make them the most value. there are some comes that I have told my kids to hold onto while the rest they can decide to keep or sell. As your article teaches there are many options in how you sell them, the main thing is when you do dont get taken advantage of and get a fair price and hold on to the few that even the money you might get isn’t worth letting go of that memory.


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