Have you recently inherited or purchased an old or rare coin and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of coins. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your coin. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours. Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your coin? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.
Click the "Get Started" button below to set up a free account.
Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.
Receive a specialist's valuation by email in 24 to 48 hours.
Get help with the next steps, including consignment and sale.
Coins are monetary currency made of metal. The earliest known coin is the Baode copper shell from the Shang Dynasty, which was circulated more than 3,000 years ago in many places such as ancient Egypt and Greece. Coins have the advantage of convenient use, wear resistance, and long circulation life. In addition to their monetary function, coins also have a very high collection value. The appreciation and collection of coins began in the 14th century, when an active money market was developed. At that time, coin collecting was a hobby of the more privileged classes, which earned it the moniker "the king's hobby." The most famous collector of coins in the 14th century was Petrarch, an Italian poet and scholar. Other distinguished coin collectors include: Emperor Maximilian, Pope Boniface VIII of the Roman Empire, Ferdinand I, Louis XIV and Henry IV of France, and from Brandenburg, Elector Joachim II, who established the Berlin Coin Cabinet.
In the 20th century, coin collections became more organized and popular. Coin conferences, exhibitions, and a network of professional dealers emerged and developed. Identification and price guidelines became available, as well as a formal coin grading system.
Here are a few steps that you can take at home to determine the value of your coin collection:
The Liberty Head nickel was surrounded in controversy from its beginning. The first nickels produced in 1883 did not have the word ‘cents’ incised on them. Some people gold-plated them and tried to pass them off as five-dollar gold pieces. The mint quickly added the denominations to the reverse of the coin. Coin dealer B. Max Mehl of Fort Worth, Texas, spent a fortune on advertising to entice people to search their pocket change for valuable 1913 Liberty Head nickels. He offered to pay the princely sum of 50 dollars per coin. This created a lot of hype and demand and that has never diminished over the years. One was auctioned for more than $3.7 million in 2010.
Just like the 1916 doubled die obverse Buffalo nickel, this coin was also the result of sloppy workmanship at the United States Mint. It is obvious that there is a numeral 7 lurking underneath the last digit in the date. Most examples of this coin circulated for almost 15 years until Paul M. Lange of Rochester, New York offered an example for sale in an auction in March 1930. Therefore, uncirculated examples in pristine condition are few and far between and regularly fetch six-figure prices at auction.
There are a number of factors that numismatists (coin experts) consider when determining the value of a coin, including:
The aesthetics or eye appeal of the coin
Coloration of the coin
The luster of the coin
Damage the coin may have due to exposure to the elements or use.
Physical damage includes, but is not limited to:
Effects of improper cleaning
Strike - This is the term used to describe the process of stamping a coin with a design. A well-struck coin is one whose design elements have been brought out entirely without any errors or defects. Well-struck coins are usually more valuable than poorly struck coins though as mentioned earlier, certain strike errors may help increase the value of a coin.
Content - Some coins are more valuable than others purely because of their composition. Many coins minted before the Great Depression were minted from silver and gold, and these coins have proven to be much more valuable than their copper, bronze and steel counterparts.
Design - The design plays a significant role in the value of a coin. In fact, many numismatists consider the overall aesthetic value of a coin the most important determinant of value. For example, the Liberty Head “V” nickel and the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle are both coins that are valuable not only because of their rarity and age, but also because of the beauty of their designs. Examples of both coins have sold for over $1 million in the last ten years.
Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.