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EVERTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING & SELLING COINS By Michael S. Fey, Ph. D.
The Numismatic Market • • • U. S. & Foreign coins Paper Money Tokens Medals Encased Postage Stamps Exonumia (Related items such as coin glass, coin art, coin jewelry etc. )
COLLECTION VS. ACCUMULATION • Accumulation—not organized; bag or drawer full of coins; pulled from circulation and handed down. • Collection—organized, typically in albums or flips, carefully protected against environmental damage; date/mint mark order; typically includes Mint products and purchased coins from dealers.
Grading Guides • Official A. N. A Grading Standards for US Coins-American Numismatic Association • Coin World’s Making the Grade. • Grading Professionals & Grading Services • Scale 1 -70 (Strike, Luster, Contact Marks, Overall Eye Appeal); Circ. 1 -AU 58’ MS 6070 (Good, VG, Fine, VF, Ex Fine, Almost Uncirculated)
Variety Guides & Collector Clubs • Cherrypickers’ Guide—Bill Fivaz & J. T. Stanton • Top 100 Morgan Dollars: The VAM Keys— Michael S. Fey, Ph. D. & Jeff Oxman • Bust Half Dollars—Al Overton, Glenn Pederson, M. D. • Early American Copper—EAC, Sheldon, Noyes Errors & Varieties • Join ANA & Access Library
Population Reports • • • PCGS, NGC, ANACS Hard copy Online Reports Rare vs. Modern High Grade “Condition Census” Cost: $15 -30 per coin; recommended for $200+ coins
Pricing Guides • The Official Red Book, A Guide Book of U. S. Coins—Ed. Ken Bressett (since 1947) • The Official Blue Book, A Handbook of U. S. Coins (Selling)-- Ed. Ken Bressett • Krause Standard Catalog of World Coins • Coin Dealer Newsletter (CDN)-Blue Sheet & Graysheet • Coin World Trends, Numismatic News, Coin. Age • Auction Prices Realized (ie. Heritage, Stacks, Bowers & Merena)
Pricing • Based on Supply and Demand • Wholesale vs. Retail (Buying/Selling Spread) • Highly dependent on metallic composition (gold, silver, copper, bi-metallic) • Highly correlated with grade • Highly correlated with variety • Somewhat correlated with age • Raw vs. Certified (PCGS, NGC, ICG, ANACS)
Buying • • • For the Joy of Collecting—For Fun Only Collector-Investor—For Fun & Profit Investing—ROI only consideration Engage a trustworthy Professional Buy the books, read, study, take ANA courses, visit shops, shows, seminars • Start with PCGS/NGC Certified Coins
Selling • Buy Pricing/Grading Guides (Blue Book) • Get Appraisals from trustworthy dealers (shops, shows, professionals) • Check prices for comparables on E-Bay • Consider wholesale vs. retail • Consider sales effort--time • Consider best option: holding vs. selling Copyright 2007 Michael S. Fey, Ph. . D. , RCI 973 -252 -4000; [email protected] com