My husband and I inherited a homemade tube of older, silver dimes.
What should we do with them?
Inheriting coins from a deceased family member is a common
occurrence. Because not everyone is knowledgeable about coins, a
person inheriting coins may be unaware of their potential value or may
harshly clean the coins in an attempt to “improve” them.
In the initial phone conversation with Mrs. Dick, it was suggested
that she open the tube and carefully examine its contents, taking note
of the condition of the coins and looking for any scarcer date and
Mint mark combinations, such as a 1916-D Winged Liberty Head (Mercury)
dime, which could be worth thousands of dollars.
From a subsequent telephone conversation, she reported that the
tube, once opened, contained 115 circulated silver dimes.
Of these coins, 12 were Winged Liberty Head dimes and one was a
heavily circulated, dateless dime, bearing a reverse commonly seen on
Barber and Seated Liberty dimes. The remaining coins were Roosevelt
dimes. None of these dimes is scarce.
Collectors seeking to bequeath their collection to posterity
should provide documentation about the collection so that inheritors
will be aware of what they have inherited and how they should proceed
from that point. Documentation could consist of a detailed inventory,
including denomination, series, composition, condition, date, Mint
mark and possibly even receipts kept from coins purchased.
While an inventory of this intensity might be considered overkill
for common, circulated Winged Liberty Head and Roosevelt dimes, a note
detailing what was inside the tube and that the coins had worth above
their face value would have been helpful in this instance.
The decision to sell inherited coins is one that can only be made
by the person who owns the coins. If he or she has no interest in
coins and would prefer money from selling them, that benefits both the
seller and the coin hobbyists who will have an opportunity to purchase them.
As the dimes in this particular case are common, their value is
based entirely on their 90 percent silver content. A coin dealer’s
offer to buy the coins would likely be based upon the daily silver
spot price, minus a small percentage, as the dealer would seek to turn
around and sell the coins at a small profit.
As for these 115 silver dimes, Mrs. Dick reports that her brother
actively collects coins and that she is entrusting the coins to his care.
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 email@example.com or call
(800) 673-8311, Ext. 274.