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A guide to old coin prices

Are you interested in becoming a coin collector, or simply curious as to how much a rare coin in your possession is worth? This guide outlines some of the things to look for when coin collecting and a rough guide to the values of some old as well as rare coins.

What is that coin?

Identifying a coin's age and nationality is a great place to start when determining its value. To fully identify a coin and thus, its value, you will need to know its: - Nationality - Date - Metal - Denomination - Design - Weight - Colour - Thickness You also need to know if it is genuine or forged, re-strike or original. To help determine these qualities, there are numerous websites such as Coins.org.uk. Alternatively, a visit to your nearest coin shop or antique dealer may help you to determine the characteristics and the subsequent value of your coins.

Coin conditions

The value of antique and rare coins is largely determined by their condition. A coin grading system exists among collectors to determine the wear and tear of old coins. There are twenty-five numerical grades given to coins by using the standard Sheldon's Numerical System. These range from AG-3, or 'About Good' to MS-70 in perfect mint condition. Obviously, the closer to mint condition your coin is, the higher the value. Good news and bad news The bad news for coin collectors is that most coins are worth very little money. Coins are the currencies of modern civilisation and are very rarely thrown out, meaning that there are far more disused coins in the world than there are coin collectors. The good news, however, is that prices very rarely go down. As a coin becomes more and more historic, its value invariably increases. Whilst recently disused coins may be worth slightly more than a few cents, pieces from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have been known to fetch thousands of pounds.

Error coins

Error coins refers to those that have been incorrectly printed with off-centre designs. They are also capable of bringing in larger sums of money. Coin dealers will pay between £1 to £400 for a variety of error coins.

Buying and selling your coins

As a collector, it is up to you whether to trade or sell your valuable coins, or to hold onto your prized possessions. If you choose to sell, an internet search engine is a great place to start. Antique buyers, live auctions and coin specialists are all possible places to turn your rare and antique coins into a little or some extra cash!

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