I have various silver and gold bars and coins. After getting quotes for my collection from a local coin shop, I noticed that the bullion values are reasonable, but for rare coins, the quote is far lower than the actual value of the coins.

In the case of e.g. American Eagle 1oz Silver Proof coins, these are selling from the US MINT at $55/each, and I paid around $50 for these several years ago. The coins are perfect and untouched...

Where/how can one sell coins at (or closer to) the value that the US MINT offers?

  • 5
    In what sense are the offers lower than the value of the coins? Something's value is almost by definition equal to what someone will offer you for it. It sounds like you may have paid substantially over the coins value.
    – Vality
    Feb 17, 2020 at 20:19
  • 8
    @Vality: I don't see how a coin having much higher value to collectors than the intrinsic value associated with its component metal(s) invalidates the question. He's asking how to participate in the secondary market of collectors.
    – Ben Voigt
    Feb 17, 2020 at 20:30
  • 10
    @Vality Seems like the issue is he's trying to sell to the wrong buyer. The metal guy is going to pay what the metal's worth. He needs to find a coin guy.
    – Patrick87
    Feb 17, 2020 at 23:08
  • 3
    Is this really the US Mint with a domain that ends in .GOV? There are several private mints who work really hard to make people think they are official. They market very aggressively to less experienced collectors, promising collectible value but of course not guaranteeing it, and they produce so much they swamp the market. It's functionally a scam, but technically legal. Feb 18, 2020 at 17:43
  • 4
    The certificate is meaningless. The bottom line is, you bought $18 worth (at today's price) of silver for $50 because it had a pretty design stamped on it. This isn't even claimed to be "rare" or a "limited edition". The makers will churn out as many as people are prepared to buy. $30 profit for $20 materials and manufacturing costs is a good business deal - for them, not for you.
    – alephzero
    Feb 18, 2020 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


What do the coins go for on eBay compared to what the coin shop is offering? I wouldn't expect to be able to resell a non-graded, recent coin like this at the retail price the mint offers. The mint focuses on sales to collectors who get some enjoyment out of their coin collection, not investors looking to resell their collections at a profit.

If the dealer's offer is substantially below the fair market value on something like eBay, it could be worth it to sell your coins there or at a coin show. I would expect, though, that the hassle of selling the coins yourself is going to outweigh the cut the dealer is taking.

  • I've had my best luck on ebay.
    – Pete B.
    Feb 18, 2020 at 11:57

The best opportunity to sell small amounts of collectible coins is to go to coin shows.

Now the gold and silver coins from the U.S. Mint catalog-website are not bullion but are mint-marked coins.

  • 3
    But note that the "collectable coins" here might be like for instance cars: you can buy a new car for $X from the dealer, but good luck getting more than a fraction of that when you try to sell it. In this case, the price of the coins is set by the US Mint, not the free market (as with actual collectible coins).
    – jamesqf
    Feb 18, 2020 at 18:04
  • The mint has no way of placing the mint-marked silver, gold, or platinum coins but can only offer them.
    – S Spring
    Feb 18, 2020 at 22:50
  • @S Spring: I think that's what I said. The mint offers the coins at prices that (apparently) are well above their real value in a free market, knowing that some people are, for whatever reason, willing to pay that price. Unfortunately, it seems from the OP's post that one reason some people buy them is that they have a mistaken idea of their true market value.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 20, 2020 at 3:46
  • The mint sells mint-marked special-issue coins to the free market. Coins dealers sell the special-issue coins, at a profit, to buyers who missed the mint's offering time period. Mint-marked special-issue coins are known to rise in value and keep up with inflation even if they are not otherwise scarce. Now someone might make a mistake of selling a special-issue mint-market precious-metal coin for bullion value.
    – S Spring
    Feb 20, 2020 at 23:08
  • @S Spring: I think you misunderstand what is meant by a free market. The US mint is a monopoly, and one with the power to enforce its monopoly through legal sanctions. That is, anyone who tried to produce those coins and sell them at a lower price ( Google says silver is currently going for $18.41/oz, so it should be profitable) could be charged with counterfeiting. While I know nothing about collectable coin values, the OP states that he can't sell his for anywhere near what he paid.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 21, 2020 at 3:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .