What are my Canadian coins worth?
Fair Market Value is defined as the price at which an item would change hands between a willing and knowledgeable seller and a willing and knowledgeable buyer with adequate time and market exposure.
A coin’s value is based on its condition, rarity, pedigree and demand or popularity. The age of an item has very little to do with value.
Local coins shows are a valuable resources. The Edmonton Numismatic Society hosts the Edmonton Coin Show and Sale – offering free appraisals of your collection (coins, paper money, tokens, medals, watches and related items) in a unbiased, no pressure environment by its member experts. Let our members have a look and offer you suggestions for the best course of action.
The condition or grade of your coins is based on the opinion of the grader. Grading is based on scientific principles but in the final result it is really subjective. Ask 10 people for an opinion of the grade of your coin and you could get 11 answers!
Many collectors or dealers have had their valuable coins placed in special holders (nicknamed slabs) by one of the many grading services. The idea is that professionals are more likely to assign an accurate and consistent grade than you or I. There is a natural tendency to over-grade a coin when you own it just as its natural to under-grade a coin when you are thinking of buying it.
Canadian Coin News publishes a newspaper every two weeks that includes Price Trends of Canadian coins that is based on the input of many dealers across Canada and the United States.
Your local newspaper and TV will provide you basic information on current market bullion or precious metals prices.
One of the more recent developments for selling (or buying) coins and other collectibles is the web auction sites such as eBay.
How can I sell my Canadian coin collection?
If you want a coin dealer to buy your coins at the maximum possible price he or she must have adequate time to fully inspect your coins in person and have a market or customers to sell to. Remember that if you are hoping to get top dollar for your rare coins from the Island of Tonga that the only thing more rare than a Tonga coin is a Tonga coin collector. A coin dealer cannot give you an accurate price over the phone as condition cannot be evaluated without a visual inspection. Dealers buy coins for less than they sell them for. Without a modest spread between the buying and selling prices there would be no profit to pay for overhead and staff costs.
Never clean your coins in preparation for selling. You could wipe off several thousand dollars of value without knowing it. Ten times as many coins have been damaged or ruined by cleaning than have been improved.
Local coins shows offer an excellent venue to shop your collection and possibly realize its maximum potential. The Edmonton Numismatic Society hosts the Edmonton Coin Show and Sale – with dealers from across Canada, who are always on the lookout for quality coins, paper money, medals, tokens and other numismatic items.
Caution should be exercised when responding to advertisements (paper, mail out, etc.) from travelling buying events promising high prices for your collectibles. Always get a second or third opinion. Never sell on impulse or under pressure.
Professional Coin dealers can be found in your local area in a retail store environment.
Sometimes part time (or vest pocket) dealers operate a table at local flea markets. Because they have not invested large sums in a store front operation they can enter or leave the hobby at any time, leaving you on your own. You can even try to sell your coins in this manner. If you are willing to spend the time to “retail” your coins in this manner you can realize the bonus over the wholesale price that dealers pay.
The Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers sets high standards for their members.
What publications (print and web based) tell me the value of my coins?
Many fine publications exist that can help you understand the retail or wholesale value of your coins or other numismatic items.
The Planchet (Edmonton Numismatic Society publication) offers the DTS Averages – current retail prices realized on Canadian Coins.
Newspaper type format publications generally come out every week or two. In Canada the Canadian Coin News provides information on the current retail selling prices in their Coin Trends.
Magazine format publications generally are published monthly. At present there is no publication that specializes in Canadian Coins.
In Canada The Charlton Press publishes many catalogues on collectibles including Canadian Coins, Tokens and Paper Money.
Your friendly local coin dealers will generally have the above in stock. By purchasing a newspaper or catalogue you will gain exposure on their style of operation which will be useful should you wish to sell, or buy, numismatic related items in the future.
Bookstores sometimes carry coin catalogues.
Your local library will generally have some publications on coins and paper money.
Most of the above will guide you to the average retail selling price of items similar to yours. Dealers of course pay less than these prices.
For more information about selling or appraising coins, contact us.