How to sell rare antique coins? Helpful tips

How to sell rare antique coins? Helpful tips

When you need to sell antique coins, first of all you need to understand where to sell and determine the price to get maximum benefit for yourself. There are many options, from pawnshops to auctions. Having a clear plan and basic knowledge of numismatics, you can overcome all the difficulties a beginner faces and sell gold coins successfully and quickly.

How to estimate antique coins right?

The first step on the way to successful sale is the estimation of its value. The easiest way to determine the cost of antique coins is to find the right item in the world’s catalog of gold and silver coins. Numismatic literature contains all the antique and rare items ever found, their detailed description and approximate price. It is important to pay attention to the year of the publication. If the catalog was released a year ago and earlier, the price may vary significantly.


The approximate cost will be composed of the following parameters:

  • circulation;
  • weight;
  • metal;
  • mint.

An important parameter that is not taken into account in catalogs is the condition of a rare item. Two identical items can be estimated differently. Sometimes buyers offer up to ten times bigger prices. It is possible to determine the condition of the coins by its appearance, but this task is complex and requires profound experience. In the world of numismatics, there is a system – Sheldon scale – a set of classifications and standards. It helps specialists of grading companies estimate the state of antique coins. After the antique coin receives a certificate, it is placed in a slab (tightly sealed plastic container). Selling and buying coins in slabs is always safe and profitable.

Do you know? Some collectors prefer to buy original antique coins with patina. It means that cleaning will reduce the value. The procedure is always risky, and the result is not always successful. Even an expert, who has processed thousands of coins, tries to avoid cleaning. The only important thing to do to increase the value of a coin is to remove light green corrosive scab.

Other ways to estimate coins:

  • ask the numismatists you know;
  • ask for an estimation in an antique shop;
  • find out the price on numismatic forums.

The cost of antique item can be evaluated online. To do this, you need to make a few high-quality photos, preferably in natural light in the macro mode. You can upload photos of a coin to numismatic portals and wait for the valuation from professionals.

How and where to sell antique coins?

There are many places for collectors to sell rare coins. The demand for antique copies is always significant. However, not always can they be sold quickly and at the best price.


The easiest way to sell antique coins in organizations that are found in all cities:

  • pawnshops;
  • banks;
  • antique shops.

Such places purchase rare items from precious metals for a pittance, since the coin is purchased for further sale, so its price will be lower than the market price (30-40% lower). The only advantage of selling an old copy in commercial organizations is the opportunity to receive money immediately.


There are organizations where you can sell rare coins at a high price. They include coin clubs and auction houses. This format is more profitable, since there is large audience of potential buyers and it is possible to set your price based on the market price of the coin.


It is more profitable and easier to find someone to sell antique coins online. Millions of collectors from all over the world are ready to consider the proposals and agree at an adequate price. You may have to earn a reputation to receive significant profits, but you will get a maximum rate as a result.

Do you know? The most popular coins at online auctions are the rare gold items, produced in ancient Greece. Almost every item was produced in limited circulation and represented its own city. Gathering such collections is always historically interesting and informative. Most of the ancient copies are the works of gifted artists, who created a wide range of styles and compositions with a fine carving of every detail.

Places for selling coins online:

  • auction forums for numismatists;
  • bulletin boards with ads about buying / selling;
  • specialized auctions.

Each website has its own special features, rules and limitations. They are aimed at excluding counterfeiters who sell antique coins in dishonest ways. For this reason such places are the safest for conducting transactions, especially if the seller is a beginner.


Selling at the auction is the most profitable way. Organizers are interested in high stakes, as they are mediators and make money on commission fees. To get the maximum bet, you need to select an auction where the coins undergo strict authentication. Usually in such places are gathered collectors who are ready to buy antique coins at a good price

Do you know? At the auction in 2011, conducted by the China Guardian Auctions Co., Ltd., three antique coins were sold for one million yuan each. Several others were sold for thousands or tens of thousands of yuans. At the top of the list was a gold copy of Xiwang Shanggong, which was bought for 2.3 million yuans. The coin, “the award from the King of the Great West to outstanding generals and soldiers,” was ordered by Zhang Xianzhong, leader of the peasant uprising between 1368 and 1644. He had proclaimed himself “King of the Great West”, but ruled only three years, and then was killed by the forces of Qing.

Thus, the advantages of the auction are:

  • highest estimation of the lot;
  • guaranteed security of the transaction;
  • best terms of purchase / sale;
  • ability to manage trades at any time.

To sell an antique coin at the auction, you need to register, add a lot (photos of the obverse, reverse and edge) and the most detailed description. After the lot and rate are approved by the moderator, the coin will be seen by potential buyers. Many auctions have a “buy now” or “blitz-price” service – a fixed cost, where you can purchase an antique copy without bidding.

Do you know? The Kuenker coin auction was opened as a numismatic trading company in 1971. Today, the company won a solid reputation among the leading coin and medal auction houses in Europe. More than 10,000 clients around the world trust them with the process of buying / selling rare items. The first auction was held in 1985. Since then, the company has an impressive track record of more than 200 auctions. Five times a year the Künker gallery becomes a major place for numismatists meeting.

As soon as the auction is completed, the seller and the buyer should agree on a convenient method of payment. Usually the transaction ends with a bank transfer. In case the seller is a beginner, the buyer can request payment after the delivery of the lot. In any case, if any controversial issues arise, you should contact the moderator directly. Violators are punished and permanently deprived of the opportunity to participate in bidding.


Selling antique coins at forums of numismatists is convenient because you do not have to pay a commission, but in such places the seller’s rating plays an important role (a certain level of trust of other forum participants). This method is not always convenient and profitable for beginners. Good rating is achieved by the reduction of the coin’s price and long period of selling. Besides that, the sale is simple and safe. Once a new ad appears on the forum, you need to study it, respond to messages and wait for the call.

On bulletin boards that are popular on the Internet, selling of antique coins is not recommended. There are a low flow of potential buyers, but there are many dealers and scammers.

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