Smart Shopping For Budget Minded People

Find The Value Of Gold Coins

Gold coins are more than a collectible. Their value is a blend of the current selling price of the precious metal as well as the condition of the individual coins. If you already know how to grade each coin and determine its value, then you are more likely to notice a bargain price when buying more specimens for your collection.

Use this method to assign a value to each coin in your collection and to those you wish to purchase from someone else. You'll need a magnifying glass, a bright light, and a current coin collectors price guide.

Look for Abnormalities

Every numismatist dreams of finding the rare mistakes that occurred during manufacturing. They were more common before computerized production methods were used. Manufacturing errors include:

  • Double striking part of the coin, usually the year but sometimes other details
  • One edge of the coin is thinner than the rest of the edge
  • The coin has not been dyed evenly

A coin collectors price guide lists the production flukes for the series of coins that have them. Check the guide first and you'll know which error to look for. Coins with errors are in great demand. Their value can be significantly more than perfect coins, depending on how many specimens made it into circulation before the error was noticed.

Mint Mark

The U.S. Mint marks the location where a coin was produced. For example, P is for Philadelphia and D stands for Denver. Some mint marks are in short supply due to uneven production levels. Mints in large population areas produced more coins than those in less populated parts of the country. The mint mark is part of a coin's value.


Each design has some points that are higher than others. These are the first areas to show wear. For example, a Liberty Head gold dollar has different high points than an Indian Princess Head. A price guide, such as the Whitman Red Book, details the level of wear acceptable for each coin grade within a series. Use this guide to assign a grade to each specimen in your collection.

Coin Value

Once you know the grade of a coin and whether there are any manufacturing flukes, you can assign an approximate value to it. The value will not be exact since the price of gold changes daily. This information will help when you want to add specific coins to your collection. To quickly know if a buyer is offering a good price, make a list of the coins you want. Jot down the value of the grades you prefer (or can afford). Give a copy of your wish list and your contact info to dealers in your area. They'll call you when something comes in.

An expert from companies like American Precious Metals Inc will be able to provide even more valuable opinions on your coins.