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I have quite a few coins of value that I want to sell. I know very little about coins or how to sell them. I do not want to sell them online. I am in search of ways to ensure that I find someone who I can trust will give me a fair price. I'm afraid that my inexperience will be obvious and will leave me vulnerable.

  • What is the best way to find a trustworthy coin dealer other than word of mouth or a recommendation?
  • What work/research should I do up front in order to feel confident I will be getting a fair price?
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    Do they have value because they are rare, or because they have silver/gold content? If they are old/rare, have they been graded by a professional? Be aware that old circulated coins generally aren't worth that much beyond their precious metal content. There are online price guides (pcgs.com/prices) to give you a general idea. But, be aware that a dealer will offer you a lot less, they need to make a profit. – Mattman944 Sep 10 at 2:35
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    Where you / the coins are from may affect things. For instance, from what I've picked-up about the US market, it is much more into "slabbed coins" than is the UK (although I believe it's on the increase here). Slabbing (supposedly) removes much of the "opinion" on grading/valuing, and therefore the danger of being duped by an unscrupulous dealer: if your coins are already slabbed, it should be easier to look-up prices without having to know the nuances of grading. – TripeHound Sep 10 at 7:07
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    Slab them. Your situation is essentially what slabbing was made for. Or at least get an independent third party to appraise them - i.e. don't let the buyer tell you the value, have a different dealer appraise them before looking for a buyer. Most collectibles dealers will do appraisals, sometimes for free. – dwizum Sep 10 at 10:42
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[...] What work/research should I do up front in order to feel confident I will be getting a fair price?

You can ask money.SE or history.SE by giving details of the coins, if you feel that doesn't bring privacy or security issues.

You can and should refer directly some renowned book; in the past I've personally found the Krause Catalogues useful after finding a couple coins at grandpa's and wanting to sell. I would definitely recommend you pick an old copy of that or an alternative book. Should prove cheap and cost effective.

Sometimes at town's coins dealer they can assist you with finding the proper book. Krause books are a fairly decent international knowledge, but there might be local books more relevant to your case.

What you don't want to do, you got it right, is to go the coins dealer before doing your private research. Anyway hopefully it won't make a difference about the price you get.

It's a specialized market of big hands, and large bid-ask spread; the smallest the intrinsic precious metal value of the coins, the larger the spread and amateur trader's risk.

  • Worth to note that local catalogues are mostly consistent with Krause, and that most local dealers appear to use Krause themselves (at least when dealing with me). That "fairness" won't help bid-ask spread keeps large on their advantage. – 88892 Sep 11 at 8:03
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If the coins are graded and photographed then an auction house like Sotheby's can give an estimate.

If not at that level then try putting some graded coins on E-Bay. Of course a minimum price must be determined by the seller.

Or put the coins on display at a coin show and see what offers there are.

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