I am seeking to establish a reasonable and honest valuation of my
My collection contains approximately 725 different items. It
comprises mostly U.S. coins but has some foreign coins and Mint
errors. Conditions range from circulated to Mint State 70.
I do not wish to package and ship the collection as it is too
bulky and cost prohibitive. Also, I do not desire to have someone come
to me to inspect them as I am constrained by other commitments.
Consignment is not an answer either as I have no desire to sell the collection.
I have an inventory list reflecting individual items, dates
purchased, cost and grade. Can anyone make a reasonable valuation
working solely from the inventory list? I would be happy to pay for
Donald M. Wyrick
Coin World recommends compiling an inventory, much like
Mr. Wyrick has done, whether a collection is to be appraised or not.
As for having a collection appraised solely by an inventory list,
Coin World contacted a few persons in the coin marketplace
for their opinions on this question. Most stated that it is possible
to do an appraisal with only an inventory list, but that it would not
be as effective or accurate as examining the items in person.
In determining value of numismatic items in today’s market, the
most important factors are rarity and grade. Attractive eye appeal can
also greatly affect value. Preferably, the items in a collection
should be inspected by a person both knowledgeable in identifying
types and varieties and well skilled in grading coins to standards
acceptable in today’s market.
If Mr. Wyrick believes his inventory accurately identifies each
coin by type, variety and grade, then he could use a retail guide such
as Coin World’s Coin Values or A Guide Book of United
States Coins (the “Red Book”), or other retail guides available
on the Internet. If he prefers wholesale pricing, then the Coin Dealer
Newsletter (the “Grey Sheet”) could be consulted.
Many dealers will provide a free appraisal, if they are reasonably
assured an opportunity to purchase the coins. Individuals who are
knowledgeable about coins and will appraise them without buying can be
expected to charge a fee, usually hourly, and usually will personally
inspect the coins.
At the American Society of Appraisers, Mr. Wyrick may find
professionals who specialize in numismatic items. For more
information, visit the ASA’s website — www.appraisers.org — or call 800-272-8258.
Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins
or other items for examination without prior permission from staff
member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety
coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be
returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call
800-673-8311, Ext. 274.