What Is It Worth?

What Is It Worth?

I answer the question "What is my coin worth?" on an almost daily basis. It's not that I mind answering your emails or calls, it's just that you'll get the answer faster by doing some of the homework yourself. Also, there is critical information you can provide me that will help in getting you the right answer.

The real answer to the question is that your coin is worth whatever you can get someone to pay you for it. Even in the absence of someone taking advantage of you, this number can vary significantly. For example, a dealer will pay you less than a collector who is really interested in adding your coin to their collection.

There are three things that make coins valuable:

  1. Scarcity — The rarer a coin, the more it is worth. For example, an 1877 Indian head cent can sell for several hundred dollars while an 1865 might sell for $10 and a 1903 for $1.50. It has nothing much to do with the age of the coin.
    • The presence or lack of a mint mark can substantially change the value of a coin because it is scarce.
    • A particular variety can be scarce as well.
  2. Condition — The nicer condition a coin is in, the more it is worth. Sometimes small differences in grade make big differences in cost, sometimes not. A 1926 S Quarter retails for $3 in good condition, but $650 in uncirculated, and many thousands of dollars in choice uncirculated condition. A 1909 S-VDB cent will sell for $600+ uncirculated, but is still worth $300+ in very worn condition.
  3. Demand — Even relatively common coins can demand a significant premium if lots of people collect them. For example, although 264,000 1916 D dimes were made, they sell for $1600 in VF condition. In 1798, only 27,550 dimes were made, but they sell for around $1000. Why? not because the 1916D dime is rarer, but because more people collect mercury dimes than dimes from 1798.

Steps to Determining a U.S. Coin's Approximate Value

  1. Identify the Coin — See our Identify or Regular Issue American Coins sections for assistance.
  2. Determine the Grade — See our Grading section for help.
  3. Find the Mint Mark — See our Mint Marks section for some hints.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, or just have questions, please feel free to Contact Us.




How to Buy

If you are looking to buy coins for your collection or as an investment, American Coin can help. Buying coins successfully requires no more than a good knowledge of coins and the coins marketplace.

How to Sell

If you are looking to sell your coins and would like to better understand the coins marketplace and how best to sell, American Coin provides the tools and expertise to help you be successful.

Coin School

If you are a beginning collector or investor looking for a great resource to learn about coins and coin collecting, American Coin is pleased to provide our online Coin School. On this site you can learn about identifying coins, grading coins for quality and value, finding the best channels for buying or selling, and much, much more.


The Expert Solution

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About Us

Since 1984, American Coin has been at the heart of the coin collecting world. Located in Orem, Utah, we are your best resource for identifying, buying, collecting, investing, selling and understanding the exciting world of coins. We provide exceptional service to give you the best experience with coins and other rare money items.

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