Grow Your Coin Collection: How To Determine Valuable Coins

Coins represent history and the exceptional ones increase value over time. That’s why many people want to collect old coins, which are treasures if you know how to determine their value. If you have a couple of inherited coins or you want to grow your coin collection, then it’s crucial to know how to determine coins that are worth adding to your collection or investing in. Being able to do so can bring you great future monetary value and self-fulfillment.

In this post, you’ll learn the best ways to determine valuable coins. Read on to know more.

  • Seek Professional Coin Appraisal Services

Get your coins appraised by real experts in grading. If you’re planning to sell your coin collection, it’s important to have all coins appraised. By doing so, you’ll know the best value of all the coins in your collection. In addition, you’ll be more confident in buying and selling them.

But how do you choose a professional coin appraiser? Here are some tips:

  • Great Experience: Find a coin appraiser with experience collecting and grading the best rare coins. The best coin appraisers have handled ancient coins, certified coins, gold coins, and even low-value coins such as old nickels, dimes, and cent pieces.
  • Reputable Coin Shop: You can find the best appraisers in coin shops; where coin testing and appraising are part of their everyday tasks. Choose a well-respected appraisal expert in the industry by visiting the likes of
  • Determine The Demand Or Popularity Of Coins

The law of supply and demand also applies in coin collection. In demand coins are often rare old coins with great historical significance and intrinsic value. Of course, if many people are searching for a particular coin, the higher the demand will be.

If there are only a few pieces of a certain old coin that are circulating in the market, then it is considered a rare one. The rarer a coin is, the more popular it gets, and such factors will significantly increase its value. In other words, the market value of a coin reflects its availability and popularity.

The popularity and demand for coins are also in the hands of coin numismatists, who are essentially coin dealers and collectors. Most coin dealers have their own website, wherein they share their insights, expertise, and opinions about any coin-related topic, including the rarity and pricing of rare old coins.

  • Check The Coin Quality 

If you want to grow your collection, then buy good quality coins. A major impact on the coin’s quality is the degree of its circulation and care. Therefore, the mint condition is a major determinant of a coin’s highest value. For example, if you have an old coin that looks worn and altered, then the coin’s worth is lesser than another coin of the same kind that still looks good as new. However, if the coin is very rare; it can be valuable even if it is in poor condition.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the best ways to preserve your coin collection. In the same way, when you’re buying old coins, you need to know how the seller takes care and preserves their coins. The quality of coins can be determined through grading, such as the Sheldon coin grading scale, a system made by Dr. William Herbert Sheldon, a renowned numismatist.

Here are the following criteria appraisers use in coin grading:

  • Strike: Coins are created by pressing an image (such as a face of a hero, eagle, or symbol) into a blank metal disc. Before the onset of advanced technology, coins were stuck to deform the metal. Many collectors believe that first strike coins, or coins made from new dies, are higher in value because they have sharper details.
  • Preservation: As mentioned earlier, coin collectors and dealers need to preserve coins to preserve their value. That’s why it’s important to use coin flips, coin holders, precision handling tools, and other materials to ensure the longevity of coins.
  • Luster: Coins with desirable aesthetics are higher in value than old, worn-out coins. Hence, it’s vital to consider their luster. Luster refers to how shiny the surface of the coin is, which is also called the cartwheel effect, mint bloom, frost, or mint luster. Does the coin reflect light well or does it look sheen? If you want to buy valuable coins to grow your collection, you should check if the coin looks shiny or flashy.
  • Color: Grading coins also includes determining the color. A coin’s color may change due to weather conditions, rusting, or corrosion due to water exposure and stains caused by chemicals. Grading coins involves determining if the coin still retains its original color or if the color changed.
  • Attractiveness: One crucial aspect in buying or selling coins is their general attractiveness. The more attractive the coin, the more well-preserved it is. Hence, the value of the coin is higher.
  • Learn More About Coin Mintage 

Minting is the process of making coins. On the other hand, mintage refers to the number of copies made of a specific coin when it was introduced and used in circulation. The fewer the copies, the higher the price of the coin will be. But of course, this isn’t always the case.

The main factor when determining the rarity of a coin isn’t the numbers, but collectors’ interest. For instance, some rare ancient coins aren’t as valuable as U.S. pieces, which sometimes have more pieces available.

  • Determine The Intrinsic Value Of Coins 

The intrinsic value of a coin is also called melt value, which is the value of the coin’s precious metal. For instance, if the gold market price is US$1,806.59 per troy ounce, then the intrinsic value of a minted coin is US$1,806.59.

If the intrinsic value of a coin becomes higher than its face value, then more people will keep the coins. The face value of a coin refers to its value relative to other currencies. For instance, in the 1970s, the price of copper increased significantly, which eventually forced the US to change the metal composition of their one-cent coins. 

  • Learn The History Of The Coin

It is fun and inspiring to learn about the history of coins, especially because each coin has a story to tell. Coins were born in various eras, and each represents rich information, such as the legacy of the person behind the face, or the story and reason behind the symbol used in the coin.

A coin with remarkable historical significance tends to have higher market and face value. US coins tend to have greater value than unknown ancient coins because of their history and popularity.

In the United States, the Philadelphia Mint was established by the government in 1792 based on legislation passed by Congress, which is known as the Coinage Act. Half and large cents were produced in 1793. Silver half dimes, silver dollars, and half dollars were made in 1794. A year later, Gold US$5- and US$10-coin pieces came out in the market. In 1986, Silver Eagle Dollars appeared but weren’t intended for circulation.

But of course, there are also ancient coins with good stories to tell. For instance, the Athenian coin which was made of bronze from 120 to 140 A.D., show the great victory of Themistocles, a Greek naval strategist and politician over the Persians in 480 B.C. at the battle of Salamis.

  • Know The Most Valuable Coins Worldwide 

It’s important to know the most valuable coins so that if you’ll see one posted on social media, you can make an offer and might get a good deal. In return, you can sell those valuable coins at a tremendously higher price.

Below are some of the most valuable coins worldwide:

  • The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

Many experts believe that this coin was the first silver dollar produced by the US Mint. One of the coins was sold for over US$10 million at an auction in 2013.

  • The 1787 Brasher Doubloon

Ephraim Brasher made this coin. He was a silversmith and goldsmith in New York. The coin displays a steel seal and the American eagle. In 2011, this coin was sold for nearly US$7.4 million and US$5 million in 2018.

  • The 1787 Fugio Cent

This coin is also known as the Franklin cent, coined after Benjamin Franklin. Furio cents in good condition range from a few thousand dollars up to US$10,000.

  •  The 723 Umayyad Gold Dinar

This coin is a highly prized Islamic coin struck from a gold mine owned by the caliph. This is the first Islamic coin that mentioned a place in Saudi Arabia. An Umayyad Gold Dinar was sold for US$6 million in 2011 and US$4.8 million in 2019.

  • $1 Million Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

This novelty coin weighs 100 kilograms (220 pounds), which was sold for US$4 million in 2010.

  • Morgan Silver Dollars 

These coins aren’t rare. However, rarer vintages have higher prices. This coin has a solid feel and is made of 90% silver. In mint condition, Morgan Silver Dollars can range from US$100,000 to US$500,000.


If you want to keep and grow a coin collection, you know how to determine valuable coins. Keeping yourself abreast with relevant information will make you more confident as a coin collector or dealer because you know what you’re talking about when it comes to coinage, including their pricing, history, and best ways of preservation.

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