Coin collecting is a popular hobby, but for those who want to turn their interest in coins into a serious hobby, understanding what determines a coin’s value can be difficult. There is a lot to learn about why a particular flaw or mint mark may cause one coin to be more expensive than another. There are, however, general principles that can help you understand why a collectible coin is more expensive. Here are some of the factors that influence the value of a coin by Auctioneer Adam Levinsohn from Bond Street Auctions :
RARITY: If a coin that is in high demand is also scarce, the scarcity of supply will drive up its price. Perhaps only a few examples of that coin were ever made, similar to the 1943 copper wheat penny, which was limited to 40 pieces. There may have been many examples of that coin in circulation at one time, but they have since been removed due to wear and damage. Many valuable modern coins are the result of minting errors that have unintended consequences on a small subset of a specific coin, such as the 2005 “In God We Rust” Kansas state quarter. Whatever the reason, when there aren’t enough for every collector who might be interested in a specific coin, prices rise.
CONDITION: A coin that has been in circulation for a long time will have abrasions from use. Although this type of wear is to be expected, the worse a coin’s condition, the lower its value. The ideal condition for a collectible coin is uncirculated, which means it was never included in the regular money supply. A coin with nicks or flaws from the manufacturing process is considered uncirculated if it has a uniform, undamaged luster across all of its surfaces.
DEMAND: As with any other type of collectible, collectors’ preferences can raise or lower the price of a specific coin based on market interest. Certain types of coins, such as Lincoln pennies or the 50 States quarter series, are very popular among collectors, which means that there are more people competing for available coins. Because this is such a subjective element, you should probably not try to predict demand—rather, collect the coins that interest you, because tastes and values will likely change at some point.
MELTDOWN VALUE: Due to the inherent value of their materials, coins made of highly valuable metals such as silver, gold, or platinum will appraise for more than coins made of base metal alloys. While some common US coins were once made of precious metals, only bullion or collector’s coins are now made of precious metals.
At Bond Street Auctions, we have a reputation for representing the greatest in luxury fine collectibles. These treasures remain the icons of history, and they are not limited to just anyone few people. We invite you to take in the splendor with us at our upcoming events.