Selling silver coins that you found or inherited is not as straightforward as it may seem. In such a case, you need to invest some time and effort into researching to avoid ending up with the shorter end of the stick.
Your goal is to get the best price you can once you decide to put on sale your silver coin, so the first thing to do is determine factors that affect its price. Therefore, tips to sell silver coins like how old and rare the coins are, how good their condition is, and the current market price are always helpful. Let’s see.
Tips to Sell Silver Coins
1. Gather information
Insufficient information is a common mistake that inexperienced sellers make. Before finding a dealer or a shop interested in buying your coins, make sure to check what you plan to sell precisely.
It is vital because there are a lot of ‘sharks’ who will try to minimize the value of your collection. To tell apart a good offer from a bad one, gather as much information as you can beforehand, including:
- The silver coin type
- The date of minting
- The mint mark
- The coin condition
- Key dates, rarities, and errors
- The average price for similar specimens
You won’t have many troubles determining common silver coins’ value. It will be harder to estimate rarer pieces, but the price is typically much higher for them. In this case, being misinformed can cost you money.
An excellent way to gather info is by Googling images and inscriptions you see on your silver coin. There is a chance to find everything you need to know about its history and price after only a few minutes of browsing the Net.
If your silver coin is specific and you fail to find it online, the next option is to ask someone trustworthy to evaluate the specimen for you. It is also helpful to check the silver price on the current market.
2. Determine silver coin types
The next step is to determine the silver coin type you have among the three most common that appear on the market.
These rare coins will go for the highest price, especially when you have a piece in high grade. Some rare and highly appreciated collectibles can cost thousands, even millions of dollars in some cases. If you find a coin in excellent condition, the best option is to estimate it, preferably with a few experts.
If you live in the US, the best option is to send your coin to:
They are the safest and the most reliable grading services for silver coin estimating you can find. Keep in mind that you need to pay a fee for their evaluation.
Bullion silver coins
You can quickly recognize bullion coins made of precious metal, like gold and silver. It will be enough to look for signs it is a government-issued specimen. The most famous examples of silver bullion coins are:
- American Silver Eagle
- Canadian Silver Maple leaf coin
- Australian Silver Kangaroo
This group includes highly circulated coins in conditions lower than Good grades. Since these pieces typically contain 90% silver, you can sell them for the silver price you can get at the current precious metal market.
3. Calculate the approximate coin value
After gathering all vital information regarding your silver coin, it is time for the next step. It is wise to calculate the approximate amount of money you can get for your piece before offering it on the market.
Even if you know what kind of silver coin you own, buyers may try to offer a lower price to test the water. The only way to prevent being scammed is by doing your homework and being well-prepared.
Silver coin price by type
|Silver coin type||Weight||Silver melt value||Average price|
|Walking Liberty||1 troy ounce (31.1 g)||$7.95||$5 to $10|
|Morgan dollar||0.859 troy ounces (26.7 g)||$17||$18 to $25|
|Peace dollar||0.859 troy ounces (26.7 g)||$17||$17 to $25|
|American Silver Eagle||1 troy ounce (31.1 g)||$22||$35 to $40|
|Barber half dollar||0.36169 troy ounces (11.2g)||$7.95||$20 to $25|
|Silver Washington quarter||0.18084 troy ounces (5.6 g)||$4||$4 to $7|
|Silver Eisenhower dollar||0.3161 troy ounces (9.8 g)||$6.95||$5 to $10|
|Australian Kangaroo silver coin||1 troy ounce (31.1 g)||$22||$25 to $35|
|Chinese Panda silver coin||0.965 troy ounces (30 g)||$21.3||$20 to $35|
|Vienna philharmonics silver coin||1 troy ounce (31.1 g)||$21.6||$10 to $25|
Once you know which coin you have, finding a price guide will be a piece of cake. However, keep in mind that most of these guides display retail value. That is how much you can buy a particular coin from a dealer.
When you want to sell one, you should expect approximately 25% to 50% lower offers than the one found on the Net. That is not unusual since dealers need to profit and pay wages and other business operating fees.
4. Never clean silver coins
People sometimes inherit a silver coin collection. The crucial problem with those who are not experts on old coins is that some pieces can look too old, dark, and dirty for them.
If you are lucky and get such a collection, never try to clean coins! Brownish stains on the surface look bad aesthetically, but surprisingly, they actually make the silver coins more valuable. Therefore, old-looking silver coins are generally more costly than shiny new ones.
Any polishing, dipping, and using chemicals could all scrub out the natural oxidation off the coin, cause a chemical reaction, and cause irreparable damage to your collection. As a result, cleaning will decrease their value for sure.
There are a few safe methods for cleaning coins that you can find online. They typically include baking soda, distilled water, or alcohol-ethanol. However, it is better to avoid them if you are inexperienced. The best decision you can make in this case is to have your coin professionally estimated.
5. Find the right place to sell
After researching and gathering enough information, it is time to sell your coins and make some money. Picking the right place always takes time, so you should find at least two to three options and compare the different offer.
Local coin shops are always suitable for quick selling, plus there is no need to go far since they are typically located near your home. Dealers who have been in this job for a few years are generally more trustworthy, but you should ask around first.
This option is the fastest alternative to get your money, and you should get a fair price if the dealer is honest. Making friends with the local dealers can come in handy, particularly if you are a coin collector. They can give you a heads-up on time when some exciting coin collections come in.
The most significant advantage of coin dealers is the convenience and quickness. You go in, they give you a reasonable offer for a coin you want to sell, and you proceed with money. On the other hand, they probably won’t be ready to handle an offer if you walk into a small shop with a pricey collection.
There is one more thing. If you have a silver coin collection worth a lot of money, you should never brag about it around. Burglaries and assaults on the way to the coin shops are more common than you think.
In the era of online shopping, it is not surprising that selling silver coins on the internet has become so popular. One of the primary benefits of selling your piece to an online dealer is the better price you can get. That is because online dealers don’t have the additional expenses of running a real-life shop or business.
After browsing the internet, you will find numerous online shops in minutes. The crucial thing is to select reputable ones after checking reviews. Particularly pay attention to negative comments about the shop before deciding to make a deal.
Generally, the main drawback of selling online is the shipping. Sending silver coins worth thousands of dollars can make you feel anxious, but there shouldn’t be any problems if you do everything by the book.
If you have rare collectible silver coins, going to live auctions might be the best option for you.
Search the web for auction houses near you, analyze their sale history, and consider attending them before deciding to sell your coin there. It is crucial to get the general impression of how they run things.
After finding an auction house you are satisfied with, you can contact them about your collection and discuss the details. Fees are always included when selling at live auctions, but the downside of this option is the final price.
Even though it will sometimes be higher than expected, you can also stay disappointed. On bad days, items go for a lower price than planned.
Getting a fair price for your silver coin is a process that can take time. Learning everything possible about your collection in detail, determining its approximate cost, and researching where to sell them will help you get the best deal. Good luck!