Coins, Grading and Pricing


I would like to help you understand some more about coins and grading and pricing.

What we have here in front of us are just modern one-ounce silver coins that have been graded by one of the leading grading companies as ‘perfect.’ These are marketed on the Internet and on T.V. for values of anywhere from sixty to a hundred and fifty dollars. I can tell you right now if you come into my shop I will sell you these coins for twenty-five to thirty dollars apiece. So when you’re on the Internet and you have a coin similar to these, and you see a hundred and fifty dollars and you call me and I tell you I’m going to pay you twenty, there’s a reason—because I will sell them for twenty-five to thirty. The marketing companies and so on, you’re paying for their advertising. Now let’s get on to some other grading and coin misnomers that I hear from the public all the time, and most of their information comes from the Internet. Because they look their coin up and see things that are maybe similar but it’s not what they have. For instance, I get people calling me all the time that they have a coin that’s worth twenty thousand dollars, which is the 1943 Copper Penny, when they really have the 1943 Steel Penny. The Copper Penny is worth two hundred thousand. The Steel Penny has a retail value of about ten cents. And wholesale you don’t get that. Now, most of them, even if they have one that’s copper and it’s 1943, go get yourself a magnet. Here’s comes the magnet. Oh, look. Their ‘copper’ penny stuck to the magnet. You know what that means? That means they have a Steel Penny coated with copper. This is a counterfeit. So anyways these are misnomers, but please call us anyway as I’d be glad to help you with your coins, and let you know what it is that you have.

Let me go on to another example that we get from the Internet all the time. This is a 1937 Nickel. That nickel is of insignificant value, maybe ten cents, fifty cents or a dollar retail, something along those lines. Now you’ll notice on the back of this coin—might be hard to see in the video—this very front leg, down here by the ground, the whole leg is there. So when you take your 1937 Nickel and look on the Internet, nobody puts these on the Internet because they have no value in that grade. What you’re seeing is the 1937 Error Coin that’s got three legs instead of four. This coin is about seven hundred and fifty dollars retail. And the reason is because the front leg down near the hoof is missing. It’s a well-known variety, and it’s about a seven hundred and fifty dollar coin. But I get a call all the time, people have been on the Internet and their one dollar retail coin, or fifty cent or twenty cent wholesale coin, they’re thinking it’s seven hundred or a thousand dollars. So it’s hard to understand when you’re not a numismatist, or an expert in coin collecting, to understand these differences.

Let me give you another example. I get this call a lot. This is a 1936 Penny. It’s of seriously insignificant value. It’s a wholesale three cents and retail a nickel. People go to the Internet and look up their 1936 Penny, and of course nobody puts their ‘nickel’ penny on eBay because it cost dollars just to put it up. What they see when they go there is this coin. This is a 1936 Proof Penny. And this is a PCGS Proof 65, in ‘RD’ red condition. This is a coin especially made by the mint in 1936. And this coin has a retail value of around twenty-four hundred dollars. So when you go to the Internet with your penny that’s worth a nickel, and you call me up and say you have a two thousand dollar coin, I’m going to go, “Well, do you have this coin?” And you wouldn’t know the difference because you’re not an experienced numismatist. But that’s okay, that’s why we’re here, to let you know what you’ve got. Please don’t feel like you can’t call me, just understand that there’s serious differences in price—two cents, and thousands of dollars.

One more time. We have a 1942 Half Dollar. I would retail that for seven dollars. Here’s a 1942 Half Dollar that I would retail for eight dollars, and as you can see the condition is nicer. And here is a Proof Half Dollar from 1942. And this I would sell for around four hundred and fifty or five hundred dollars. So again I get people that have a coin similar to this, they go to the Internet, and you don’t find these necessarily for sale on the Internet because they’re not valuable enough for anybody to sell them. But what you do find are these coins. But when you go there with your 1942 or similar coin, you’re not going to see these, you’re going to see these. So if you don’t know and you’re not a serious numismatist, you would think this is the coin you have. Consequently I get the phone call, “I have a coin worth thousands of dollars.” And when you come in and I tell you I will give you five or six bucks for one of these coins, then there’s a kind of a problem. And then I have to explain to you what’s going on.

I don’t know but I’m pretty sure that this may have helped you understand that when you go to the Internet to look for coins, a lot of the time you’re not comparing apples and apples. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

So I hope this has been helpful for you. Please give us a call and see if I can help you out over the phone, or come in in person.

Thank you.