Tag: coin values

How to Find the Value of Your Gold Coins

Gold Coins

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.

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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.

Why Are Non-Mint 1889 CC Morgan Silver Dollars Worth So Much?

1889 Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars

1889 Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars

While many mint state or proof Morgan silver dollars sell at auctions for thousands of dollars, the value usually drops to a figure much closer to just the melt value of the silver for circulated coins. That is even true of AU (Almost Uncirculated) examples that retain all of their details. Typically, coins gain value because of their rarity or condition, but some coins might benefit more from one than the other.

In the case of one MS-68 Morgan CC, the auction price benefited from both scarcity and condition. It might be somewhat surprising to learn from Coin Update that an MS-68 1889 CC Morgan silver dollar sold at auction in 2013 for almost $900,000, but it was the finest example of its kind that had ever been found, and this date and mint mark are extremely rare in all conditions.

It is interesting to note that a previous sale of that same coin, in 2009, collected $531,875, but that was right in the middle of the Great Recession when many collectable coin values were depressed. Still, the auction value of this coin increased dramatically in less than five years.

How Valuable are Circulated 1889 CC Morgan Silver Dollars?

However, collectors might find it even more surprising that even some circulated Morgan silver dollars, engraved with that rare date and mint mark, sell for thousands of dollars. This high valuation might also be somewhat disappointing for collectors who want to complete a set but lack the budget for very expensive coins.

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Consider recent price guides for these Morgan dollars:

  • Even in G (Good) condition, the NCG price guide says that these coins could sell for over $500.
  • The Morgan’s silver melt value is about $16 right now.
  • In almost uncirculated (AU) condition, the price guide suggests selling these coins for between $6,850 and $18,500.

Compare these prices to the 1889 O and S Morgan dollar in similar condition. NCG states that an 1889 S in G condition might sell for $29, and an AU-58 might sell for $43. Similarly, an O mint mark might be worth $29 in G condition and an AU worth about $40.

It’s not just the Carson City mint mark raising the value either. Of course, the CC tends to inflate the value of a Morgan silver dollar from any year that mint produced silver coins. If you try to buy an 1890 CC Morgan, for example, you might pay about $75 for a coin in G condition and $360 for an AU-58.

What’s Special About the 1889 Morgan CC Silver Dollar?

1889 Carson City Morgan Silver Dollar CoinThe Carson City Mint had been closed for four years before 1889, and it did not open until the third quarter of that year. Because the mint had been closed, crews had to clean the offices and machinery before production could begin. That year, the mint only produced 350,000 coins, and all of these coins came out in the last three months of 1889.

Additionally, according to estimates, only 100,000 to 25,000 of these dollar coins avoiding getting melted down for silver. Most of the few remaining coins got heavily circulated, and many of the existing examples have damage. Any examples of 1889 CC Morgan silver dollars are scarce, but typical examples have grades of VF or worse. Many have damage.

Even though these coins are silver, if you find one in decent condition, it’s likely that you just struck gold.

Why Consider Owning a Silver Coin Like This?

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar CC CoinThe current economy inspires many investors to look for alternative investments. Nationwide, more people than ever seem to invest big dollars in collector’s items such as rare coins, rare cars, rare artifacts and rare artwork. The top end of these markets has been flourishing because of big money investors scrabbling for tangible assets.

The reason these investors are so attracted to these kinds of purchases is that their value is recognized in any economic climate. Even during the German invasion of Europe in WWII, the riches that were the most sought after by the Germans were not only Europe’s gold, but also Europe’s rare art and artifacts.

So, if you have never considered owning coinage that has immense value because of its recognized rarity, perhaps you should now. You don’t need to be an expert to participate in rare coin investing, you can contact Scottsdale Bullion and Coin and have a Precious Metals Advisor show you how to get involved and what types of coins have the best chance for future returns.

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4 Reasons To Avoid Investing In Commemorative Coins


Since the 1960s, commemorative coins have been issued by various companies advertising themselves as “mints” while indirectly representing their coins as viable investments. Although commemorative coins are beautifully designed and themed after admirable individuals (U.S. Presidential commemorative coins, for example), momentous events in history, or landmarks to make them even more attractive to collectors, they may not be considered good investments. In fact, the old adage that looks can be deceiving applies especially to commemorative coins.

Little, if any, gold or silver used

Something touted as being commemorative gold coins sounds like an investment-worthy product, but don’t buy into this, don’t let the word “gold” fool you. It is a powerful and persuasive word used by companies selling commemorative coins to influence consumer behavior. Be aware that items said to be gold are typically “gold-plated” and have such a thin, nearly imperceptible layer of gold covering them that it costs more to refine the items than the item is actually worth. This also goes for “plated” and “layered” commemorative silver coins as well.

Uncontrolled market

Radio, print media and television remain largely uncontrolled in this market, meaning that companies pitching a product or service can make just about any type of claim by cleverly skirting the truth about real commemorative coin values. In addition, businesses selling US commemorative coins, Presidential commemorative coins and other popular commemorative sets can keep their lawyers on call just in case anybody tries to sue them for fraud.

Far from rare coins

Advertisements that claim “only 1000 of these valuable commemorative Reagan dollars are left for purchase by the public” neglect to tell you that over a million Ronald Reagan silver dollars have already been sold. Not only does the fact that millions of people owning the same coins force the value of commemorative coins to drop exponentially, but it may also cause economic hardships for consumers who innocently thought they had made a viable and financially worthy investment.

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Meaningless authenticity certificates

Think those “Certificates of Authenticity” included in gold or silver commemorative coins are authentic? This supposed authenticity is likely worth little more than the stock paper it is printed on. Since these so-called certificates are not officially affixed to these gold and silver coins, unscrupulous sellers will simply move general certificates among different commemorative coin sets.

An Alternative to Investing in Commemorative Coins

Investing in numismatic coins, or genuine gold, silver and rare coins, means that you are investing in property that might appreciate in value. People living through economically distressed times have historically remained viable and relatively less affected by financial catastrophe, perhaps because they had the foresight to invest in currency that had often shown to maintain and increase in value.0 Meanwhile, the value of paper money drops with remarkable speed.
Unlike commemorative coins that are typically pieces of a base metal thinly plated with gold or silver, rare coins are intrinsically valuable because they are made from pure precious metals and few have been left in circulation. In addition, silver and gold values have often increased during times of financial distress. Consequently, investing in numismatic coins represents a solid investment option that protects you against stock market failures, wars, the impending disaster caused by our out-of-control national debt and severe inflation.

Purchasing commemorative coins may give you personal enjoyment and act as attractive display items for your den or computer room but as an investment, they’re akin more to baseball cards than profitable coins. Start protecting yourself and your family from the very real possibility of an economic meltdown caused by economic instability and rapid devaluing of the U.S. dollar by getting a free guide to investing in numismatic coins.