Evaluating Old Coins & Paper Money

evaluating old money - American coins and a loupe

What Does Value Mean?

basically, there are four different types of “ value ” for coins and bills :

  • Book (or “catalog”) value
  • Buy price
  • Retail value
  • Wholesale value

Book value is an average of many dealers ‘ retail prices for a certain coin or placard – in other words, what the average trader would sell it for. This price is called the “ book ” value because you would typically find it in a published book such as the Standard Catalog of World Coins .
Buy price is the price that a trader would be bequeath to pay you if you sold them your coin or bill .
retail value is the monetary value for which a dealer would sell a mint or bill to you. so, if a trader wants to stay in occupation, they normally offers lower buy prices than retail prices.

wholesale value is the monetary value for which a dealer would sell a coin to another dealer. wholesale prize can besides be a dismiss price that a trader would accept from a buyer who is purchasing in big quantities .

Factors That Affect Value

There are several factors that influence the value of a coin or bill:

  • Rarity
  • Demand
  • Condition or Grade

Rarity involves the total ( or “ mintage ” ) of coins or bills that were in the first place produced. Rarity besides involves the number of those coins or bills that are still around nowadays .
Demand varies according to the popularity and availability of a coin or bill:

  • The demand might be higher or lower in different areas of the world, or during different years.
  • To see demand in action, look at the prices on eBay’s coin and paper money page – when more people want to buy a certain item (a high demand), the price often goes up.

Condition or Grade:

  • Most price guides give values for several grades.
  • Coins and bills can grade from “mint” or “uncirculated” (no signs of wear) to “poor”.
  • When a bill is in mint condition, it is worth more than the same bill in poor condition.
  • There are specific standards that define what “mint,” “poor,” and other grades mean:
    • If you’re interested in coins, see the American Numismatic Association’s Coin Grading brochure.
    • If you’re interested in paper money, refer to the International Bank Note Society’s grading standards.

If a coin is besides damaged to have value as a collectible, its alloy content ( the sum of gold or argent in the mint ) may have a “ radical ” value. According to Roderick Hughes ‘ official Know-It-All Guide, Coins, you can find out the value of the metallic element if you :

  • Multiply the weight of the coin by the percentage “fineness” of the coin (the percentage of the coin that is gold or silver). This will establish how much of the precious metal you have to sell.
  • Multiply the result of the first calculation by the current price of the precious metal in the coin.

Kitco gives alive market quotes for gold, silver, and early metals that can be used to make this calculation .

Finding Values for Currency

Before you begin looking for the value of a coin or bill, you need to know:

  • Whether the coin or bill is a “general issue” or a “commemorative.”
    • Some price guides have separate sections for commemoratives or other “special” issues.
  • Which country issued the coin or bill.
    • A coin or bill’s design often includes the name of the country, in that country’s official language.
      • Collectpapermoney.com has a list of image, denomination, and keyword “identifiers” that could help you figure out the issuing country.
      • Nations Online offers a list of all the countries of the world and their local names.
      • Banknote World includes scanned images of paper money.
    • If you are researching the value of an older coin or bill, keep in mind that the country’s name may have changed over time.
  • The date (year) of the coin or bill.
  • The condition of the coin or bill.

once you know the date, nation, and issue of a coin or charge, you can look up the value .
If your extraneous coin or beak is entirely worth its “ confront ” value, use OANDA to convert its value to U.S. dollars .
Guide Book of United States Coins ( besides known as the “ bolshevik Book ” ), is considered the standard reference for U.S. mint values .
Here are some other sources of information about U.S. currency:


The Pratt Library can not appraise coins or bills. Hire a professional appraiser to grade your coins and tell you how much it is worth. The american Society of Appraisers and International Society of Appraisers have searchable directories of professional appraisers .
A dealer might besides be able to help. The American Numismatic Association ‘s offers a list of dealerships by department of state. You might besides want to try the Professional Numismatists Guild ‘s Dealer Directory, or the master Currency Dealer Association. If you want person to appraise your wallpaper money, the Society of Paper Money Collectors recommends that you visit a professional currentness dealer .

How to learn more about coins and bills

Before you buy

There are a lot of scams out there ! The Federal Trade Commission offers a helpful article, “ Investing in collectible Coins. ” The American Numismatic Association has a foliate of Consumer Awareness Resources .
besides, check the repute of the dealer you are buying from. Though there are no guarantees, a coin dealer ‘s membership in the American Numismatic Association or the professional Numismatists Guild is a good sign. Both the ANA and the PNG require their members to uphold a stern code of ethics.

In Maryland, the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General ‘s Office mediates complaints between customers and businesses .

If you need more help

Although the Pratt Library does not appraise coins or bills, we are happy to provide aid in finding the record rate for your currentness, using print and electronic resources at our library .
As Maryland ‘s State Library Resource Center, the Pratt Library has a broad collection of resources for coin and bill collectors. What we ‘ve mentioned in this usher is entirely the tip of the crisphead lettuce. If you ‘ve tried these sources, and you still ca n’t find what you’re looking for please contact us .

reservoir : https://coinselected.com
Category : Coin collecting

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