Coin Collecting: Determine A Coin's Value

A coin's value basically relies on its condition, availability, and popularity. A guide to collection.

The lure of coin collecting continues to appeal to coin enthusiasts of all ages. Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby for so many reasons. When you begin to collect coins, you are stepping into the world of history and artistic design. You can invest as much or as little money into your coins as you like and can afford. Of course, one of the best points that can be made concerning coin collecting is that your coins are indeed an investment. They should not lose their value and may actually increase in value over the years.

Of course, if you are just beginning the hobby of coin collecting, you probably have a lot of questions. Many people only focus on one particular coin to collect, while others like to accumulate a variety of coins. It is strictly personal preference, but whatever coin or coins you collect, you will want to become familiar with judging the different values. Once you have become proficient in knowing the various grades of each coin, you will be more competent in buying and selling your coins.

Basically, the first rule of thumb you need to keep in mind is that a coin is generally worth the amount someone is willing to pay you to acquire it. There are plenty of wonderful coin collecting books on the market that will help you determine the value of your coins. You can use these values as a guideline for buying and selling. You do need to understand how these books and the experts who have written them actually determine the value of a coin, however.



A coin's value basically relies on its condition, availability, and popularity. In other words, a coin that is in good condition, hard to find, and desired by many collectors will have a higher value than a coin that is in poorer condition, easy to find, and generally unwanted by collectors. There are specific grade levels that indicate the preservation of the coin. The appearance of a coin encompasses several factors. Does the coin show much wear? Does it have scratches or cuts on its surface? Is its surface smooth? If it is in mint condition, does it have sharp detail, and is it lustrous to look at?

The standard coin grading system used by coin collectors today was created by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) in 1977. Coins are assigned a letter or letters and a specific number. The numbers range from 1 to 70, with the number 1 being the lowest quality. The letters are as follows: MS (Mint State), AU (About Uncirculated), EF (Extremely Fine), VF (Very Fine), F (Fine), VG (Very Good), G (Good), and About Good (AG).

Basically, a perfect uncirculated coin in mint condition, or mint state, would most likely have a number of MS-70. An MS-65 coin would be greatly desired by collectors but would have one very minor scratch, nick or other blemish. About unciruclated coins are generally as appealing to look at as a mint state coin, but they will show slight wear from being handled by a few people.

The difference between an extremely fine coin and a very fine coin simply comes down to the fact that the very fine coin looks slightly more worn. As you move on down the scale to very good, good, and about good, you will see that the coins diminish in value and appearance until they aren't worth any more than their actual face value.

Obviously, some coins are more popular than others. Because of this, a certain coin will always be worth more than another coin simply because of the demand for that particular coin. Of course, rarer coins are typically more in demand that those coins that were minted in large numbers. Once you enter into the world of coin collecting, you may find yourself becoming addicted to this wonderful hobby. Coin collecting is a great hobby for all ages, and with so many websites and web auctions on the Internet, you will find unlimited resources.

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