Gold CoinsJust like you wouldn’t think to sell your car without knowing how much you can ask for it, so too should you carefully research the value of a coin collection before exchanging it for cash value.  Before you sell, look into the proper worth of your gold coins.

Find The Current Price of Gold

If you happened to be lucky enough to buy gold before its spike in value during the 1970s, you’d be sitting on a mint right now, as the value of the precious metal has increased to over thirty times its original value in a single generation.  When looking at a gold coin collection, you know right away that regardless of the individual value of any coins, each one is worth at minimum the current price of the metal.  You can keep up with the raw cost of your gold per ounce simply by Googling “price of gold” to get up-to-the-minute information on the commodity’s dollar value.  There’s a difference between the price of gold and the selling price, of course — one is how much it costs to buy, the other is how much you can expect when selling gold coins — and a local coin dealer will help you understand your collection’s value and how to sell gold.  Remember that a coin dealer will give you a quote, which is simply how much they’re willing to pay.

Find The Actual Gold Weight (AGW) Of Your Gold Coins

Gold Coins on ScaleIf you’ve heard the expression 14- or 24-karat gold, you may know the difference in consistency and quality of gold.  When you sell gold, you sell it by its purity as well as its weight, and the closer a coin gets to 100% gold, the higher its value.  If you’re wondering how to sell gold coins, start with the actual gold weight (AGW), which is simply the raw weight multiplied by the purity. It’s easy to weigh a coin (a kitchen scale will do just fine), though a gold dealer will use a much more refined scale for the exact weight of the coin and it’s purity. Finding the purity, on the other hand, requires a bit more research. Check out online databases of coin values and purities and search by year, mint mark, and style of the coin.

Find the Melt Value of Your Gold Coins

Melting Gold CoinsIf you were to melt down your gold coin collection, how much would be pure gold?  Perhaps not as much as you think: many gold coins are “cut” with low-value metals; zinc, for instance, costs a mere six cents per ounce — it would take two million ounces of zinc to equal the value of one ounce of gold.  Your gold coins are worth their melt value, or the pure gold left over after melting the coin and removing other metals.  When you sell gold, you often sell by the spot price (its current value as a security on the marketplace, determined as a value at any time) per troy ounce (a unit of Imperial measurement used for metals) multiplied by AGW.  Those wondering how to sell gold coins that are old or even ancient should know that the intrinsic or historical value nearly always outweighs the melt value — never settle on the melt value if the coin is old.  Nevertheless, the melt value is always the lowest you should accept.  Coin databases like NGC’s often contain the melt value of common gold coins.

Find the Blue Book Price

Coin Blue BookJust like there’s a blue book price on a 2003 Toyota Camry, so too is there a blue book price on popular gold coins.  The blue book is a starting guide on where to sell gold coins because it offers a wholesale price benchmark that’s used by nearly all coin dealers.  Check the blue book price and you’ll see the best place to sell gold based on how much more they offer you than the listed sum.

Find the Red Book Price

Coin Red BookSimilar to the blue book, the red book helps when selling gold coins by providing information on individual coins rather than the wholesale price: if you find a coin listed for $100 in the red book but on sale for $10, it’s a great deal.  By contrast, a coin listed for $15 in the red book but on sale for $10 may just be the dealer trying to clear out inventory.  The red book helps to determine insurance premiums for very rare or valuable coins by calculating the specific price for one coin.

Shop Around

Would you sell coins to the first offer if you wanted to maximize their value?  Unless you have the supreme good luck to find an astronomically high sale value on the first time, the obvious answer is that it pays to shop your coins around.  A reputable gold coin dealer will give you a quote for the coin’s sale value and help calculate the melt value in order to know how much it could be worth to the right dealer, which will give the best offer and be the best place to sell coins.  Where to sell gold depends on the buyer: it’s rarely the best choice to take your gold coins to “We Buy Gold” shops and pawn shops, since they profit from unsuspecting customers (or customers in need of a quick buck) and have a tendency to lowball a coin’s value.  Nevertheless, asking around at various pawn shops may give you a starting idea for how much you can ask for a coin.  The process of selling other precious metal coins made of silver, platinum, or palladium is no different than selling gold: you can nearly always sell gold and silver coins to the same dealer.


Selling your coins can be a fun and educational experience, especially since many coin dealers are eager to talk about the specific value of a coin or compare it to others that they have traded.  By doing research ahead of time to find a coin’s value, you can better negotiate a favorable price that leaves you with more cash in your pocket.  If you are interested in selling your coin collection, SBC Gold has the knowledge and expertise to help determine an honest price.