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How do you assess the value your coins?

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Blue James
Joined: 19-Apr-2018
Posts: 2
Hello all,

This is my first post in the forums so I hope I am starting this conversation in the correct place.

I have only been collecting coins in earnest for about 10 months or so. Durring this time, I have greatly enjoyed this hobby and this community here on Numista. However, it seems everyone and their brother has his own way of assessing the value of coins! I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, after all, who doesn't love finding that wonderful old coin in the back of a pawn shop or buried in a lot on ebay with a value overlooked by it's previous owner? If value were a simple thing to access, a think a portion of the excitement of coin collection would be somewhat diminished, but some standards I feel would also be welcome. In light of these thoughts, I have a couple of questions. Feel free to answer or discuss any of them. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

How do you personally decide how to list the value of your coins? (both for exchange and your personally collection.)

Are there any general standards you feel everyone should follow, or, at least, respect? (AKA, melt value minimum on gold/silver, face value minimum of coins currently in circulation, always posting the lower grade when there is a discrepancy between two grades, or always providing pictures + explanations of condition, etc.)

I notice most folks on here do not take the time to post a price (or often self-grade) on most of the coins they exchange. Am I missing something or alienating people by taking the time to always post my own prices and grades?

What are some other resources or websites you use to help discern the value of a coin? (I personally use the NGC database as the baseline for much of my assessments, but I don't use them exclusively, as they are not 100% up to date/realistic on a coin-to-coin basis.)

How much do you reduce the value of a coin that in not officially graded?
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 6488
Welcome to the forum!

I've found that value (as in catalogue values) isn't really as relevant as market/retail value, or for that matter what a prospective buyer is willing to pay for a coin; something that we throw around here a lot is that at the end of the day, the value of a coin really comes down to what someone is willing to pay for it. You might have a bunch of .999 gold NCLTs, but with no one willing to spend on them, the market for those is much more restricted than say, the market for gold sovereigns.
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Kipsley
Joined: 3-Feb-2018
Posts: 152
I agree with Cass. I have looked online for the value of a specific coin on some coin valuation website or other, and I am often left with the though of "Where the heck did they get that figure from?".

It's a fairly subjective thing. One person may say it's worth $2 dollars, another $20 dollars. Can depend upon many factors.

What I do is look on eBay. See what a similar coin in a similar condition is going for. You may get a fairly wide variation of prices, but if many coins are going for around $20.00 and one guy has his coin in there for $40.00, he's just asking too much and his coin won't sell till he lowers his price to match the others. So check out eBay and get a "feel" for the rough prices the average person is asking.

Generaly the things that will effect the value of a coin is it rarity (or mintage), it's condition, toning or other affects of aging, and especially..... what people are willing to pay for it.

Hope this sort of helps. :)
Collector of Third Reich coins (1933 - 1946), and Australian coins.
Not swapping at this time.
GiannaReggio
Joined: 27-Nov-2015
Posts: 96
I don't evaluate in money may coins.
When I have to swap usually I swap one by one, except that silver coins are valued more
CirculableCoins
Iainmac
Joined: 25-Feb-2018
Posts: 304
Agree with Kipsley, Ebay sold items is a far more realistic true value, or what people are willing to pay.
it's a well known truth that most people overvalue there coins that they own , but if they don't own it they undervalue it , human nature i guess.
A good example is modern 2 Euro coins, there worth 2 Euro in my mind, but many are listed with a value of 6 euro, even though they are quite common, makes little sense to me!.
Another way people list there value is what they actually paid for the coin, if there being honest.
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor, Is king o' men for a' that.
maudry
Joined: 4-Mar-2013
Posts: 1340
For a swap I prefer to use ngccoin for the simple reason that their values are completely neutral related to the swaps we are doing here.
The site contains certainly a large number of errors and may be outdated for several countries but it is available and can easily be checked by everyone unlike random chosen ebay sales or other "market values" you cannot necessarily understand or retrace.
The only condition is that the coins are graded the same way. This can be checked by providing pictures of the coins.
Ma collection de Révolutionnaires - My coins from the French Revolution
pnightingale
Joined: 27-Jul-2011
Posts: 5101
Quote: "maudry"​For a swap I prefer to use ngccoin for the simple reason that their values are completely neutral related to the swaps we are doing here.
​The site contains certainly a large number of errors and may be outdated for several countries but it is available and can easily be checked by everyone unlike random chosen ebay sales or other "market values" you cannot necessarily understand or retrace.
​The only condition is that the coins are graded the same way. This can be checked by providing pictures of the coins.
​Yes. For swapping common coins NGC is perfect. It may have a few quirks but over 50 or 100 coins these tend to even out. I use Numismedia for US coins as it's an auction aggregator and saves me scouring completed eBay sales. They do however overstate the value of lower grades so for example a swap for my US coins vs your world coins would usually weigh in my favor. With a bit of common sense and good will it's usually possible to make some adjustments.

For more expensive coins it's advisable to check recent sales against catalog prices. I'm deeply skeptical of the value of "eBay prices" after all were talking about a site that's notorious for ridiculous overgrading, juiced photos and outright fakes. While I'm not really interested in haggling over $5 coins I'm perfectly willing to listen to anyone wanting to negotiate the price of a $100 coin. But you're going to have to make a stronger case than an eBay link or two.
Non illegitimis carborundum est.  Excellent advice for all coins.
Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life of the 6th Avenue Coin, Stamp  & Rice Puller Club. President, Boss & Top Dawg for Hutt River.
Kipsley
Joined: 3-Feb-2018
Posts: 152
Quite true. But I still find myself often going to eBay just to get a feel for a coins value. As an example my Dad collects British coins. He once gave me a Crown and asked me to find it's value. On a website specific for valuations of British Crowns I found my Dad's coin was not worth very much (about $5.00 AU), yet on eBay it was going for an average of around $20.00 AU. So is his Crown worth $5.00 or $20.00? I told him it was worth around $20.00 given that if he listed it as for sale upon eBay he could realistically expect it to fetch that price. Maybe not a very professional way to value a coin, but it does just give one a ballpark figure to work with.
Collector of Third Reich coins (1933 - 1946), and Australian coins.
Not swapping at this time.
Blue James
Joined: 19-Apr-2018
Posts: 2
Thank you all for your replies so far;

I agree with Maudry and pnightingale about shying away from EBay as a frame of reference for all the reasons mentioned. However, I do see the sense in what you are saying Kipsley about using EBay to see how much you could expect to profit from selling your coins on an online auction, and that is certainly good information to know.

I also agree that people have a tendency to overvalue their own coins. I try to combat this by reducing whatever value I end on for my coins by 20% and leaving the price of the coins for which I am exchanging unchanged. I’d much rather er on the side of too generous.
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 6488
Quote: "Kipsley"​Quite true. But I still find myself often going to eBay just to get a feel for a coins value. As an example my Dad collects British coins. He once gave me a Crown and asked me to find it's value. On a website specific for valuations of British Crowns I found my Dad's coin was not worth very much (about $5.00 AU), yet on eBay it was going for an average of around $20.00 AU. So is his Crown worth $5.00 or $20.00? I told him it was worth around $20.00 given that if he listed it as for sale upon eBay he could realistically expect it to fetch that price. Maybe not a very professional way to value a coin, but it does just give one a ballpark figure to work with.
​Probably a bit late for that crown there, but I'd like to introduce you and your dad to this resource for valuing British coins by Tony Clayton: http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/values/index.html#Grade

Also important to note that whatever a catalogue might say, it's not going to be of much relevance if nobody is willing to pay that price for your coin in the real world. NGC lists a 1905 R Italian 2 Lire in VF20 at 205 USD; when the average price for that coin begins at around 35 euro, according to personal experience and Italian collectors I consulted.

So when valuing one's coins, catalogue values may be slightly more useful; but when selling/swapping, I'd absolutely rather look at "real world" prices, on Ebay or elsewhere, than anything in a book (not taking into account prices for items of dubious authenticity is kind of a given).
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
ArnoV
Joined: 23-Nov-2011
Posts: 750
I have valuated all coins in my collection according to NGC, but knowing that these are just catalog prices, and not always realistic. Also, since a few years, some peculiarities have arisen in NGC.
Like many of us, I balance swaps based on NGC values, which is generally ok if you valuate both legs of the swap against the same reference. Only when more expensive coins (>$25) are involved it is wise to check other sources, e.g. sold listings on Ebay.

I have my collection registered in an Excel sheet, and that adds up the catalog values of my collection to a total of $6850. But that's very optimistic, no doubt. Currently, Numista values 70% of my collection at $3550, which extrapolated to 100% would make $5050. That's probably more realistic from a collector's point of view. But if I had to turn in my collection at a coin dealer, I would consider myself very lucky if it would do anything above $3000.

Enough about money. I'm in this hobby for the fun of it.
Kipsley
Joined: 3-Feb-2018
Posts: 152
eBay can also be quite educational once you get a feel for how it operates. Many of the Sellers will overvalue their coins. They will tell you their coin is super rare or very much sought after. They will often quote their coin is MS 65, and I must admit that when I first became interested in coin collecting I had no idea what that meant, much less such abbreviations as VF and so on. And I so love that "Deceased Estate Find" or "from very old personal collection" routine. 8)

Then I found this site and it's wealth of information. I read the posts and found that we have listings for coins by country that give their mintage together with a rarity index. Suddenly I could tell that a Seller was "leading me along" with his rather very common coin that he stated was most rare indeed. I learned that a very fine coin (VF) was not as amazing as "very fine" sounds. And when I saw a 1930 KVG Penny for sale for just $50.00, I was able to look up a lot of information that enabled me to spot it as a fake even though nowhere in the eBay description was that coin given as being a replica.

So to me eBay is an awesome place and I know enough (now) to look for those coins that I can get at well under their actual value. Sadly this does not always work for me when Sellers pull out of the deal, but many will still post them in good faith.

I suppose that sites dedicated to numismatics (as given by Cass and others above) are the proper way to go about finding a coins true and "official" value, but I like eBay as one can always find a bargain in that online flea market once you know what you are looking for (and what you are looking at).
Collector of Third Reich coins (1933 - 1946), and Australian coins.
Not swapping at this time.

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