Our clients occasionally ask our advice on how to sell a rare coin collection, which has been inherited or accumulated from a hobby no longer of interest. Like anything you would like to sell, you ideally want to receive the highest price possible. In order to determine a “fair and reasonable price” for a rare coin collection, you should begin by compiling an inventory of your collection.
At Henssler Financial we counsel our clients to then research and find a reputable coin dealer, with an established reputation of honesty and expertise. We suggest contacting at least two dealers for a collection worth more than a few hundred dollars in value. Working with at least two dealers should allow you to compare advice and prices bid for your collection. A referral for a reputable coin dealer from someone that you trust is a great place to start.
A good resource for locating coin dealers, along with additional information about collecting and selling coins, is the American Numismatic Association (ANA) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The ANA was established in 1891, and has grown to become the “largest nonprofit numismatic organization of its kind in the world,” according to the organization’s website. Their website can be accessed at www.money.org. There are currently more than 20 member-dealers listed in ANA’s dealer directory in the state of Georgia.
A large enough collection of truly rare coins should be graded by a professional service, such as Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). Coin grading is the process of numerically quantifying the condition of a coin. NGC, who can be found on the web at www.ngccoin.com, is the official grading service of the American Numismatic Association. Another grading service is the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), located in Newport Beach, Calif., or on the web at www.pcgs.com. Both of these grading services require a membership affiliation with a coin association, or you must be a member-dealer to submit coins for grading. Unless you are an ongoing collector of coins, or will have multiple collections of coins for sale, you will likely need a coin dealer to submit the coins for you to be graded.
Once you have chosen your preferred coin dealer, there are multiple approaches to selling the collection. Here we will look at three major methods:
This is the fastest method, whereby the dealer makes you an offer. Dealers tell us you should expect a cash offer to fall approximately 10 to 20 percent below the prices published in the “Coin Dealer Newsletter” (more information at www.greysheet.com). This method should be the quickest way to sell your collection. However, it is probably not the best for a substantial coin collection. We suggest that you get two or three competing offers for your collection if you use this method.
This method will require more time, probably a month or longer. It is essential that you do your due diligence and trust the coin dealer that will take your coins from you and offer them for sale. There are variations for how the prices are set and how the coin dealer structures the sale. The dealer will receive a fee for conducting the sale. Typically, a dealer will charge a fixed percentage of the sale price, such as 30%. A minimum price may be set for some or all of the coins on consignment with the dealer. Since the dealer is not risking his capital in a consignment sale, the price you receive for your coins should be higher than a cash sale to the dealer. This method should enable you to receive a price between wholesale and retail for your coin collection.
This approach is usually only advisable for very high quality and/or rare coin collections. This method will take the longest time from start to finish, often up to six months. Normally, both the seller and the buyer each pay a commission of 5 to 10 percent in a public auction. A major drawback to an auction is that some coins may sell for less than their true intrinsic value.
In summary, we advise our clients to utilize the services of highly reputable coin dealers when selling a coin collection. A professional grading service should probably grade a large or extremely rare coin collection. You should exercise due diligence to locate the right coin dealer to give you advice and assist you in this process. You should expect the coin dealer to derive a fair and competitive rate of compensation for their professional time and expertise. In return, that coin dealer should enable you to obtain a “fair and reasonable” price for your collection. For more information regarding this topic, please contact Henssler Financial at 770-429-9166 or [email protected].