Coin Appraisal, what is it?

Coin appraisals are usually only conducted on genuine relevant mint produced coins so the first step is the examination for general look and feel.

This usually takes out about 80% of potential reproductions or copies.

Any item which may be suspect at this stage is examined further and may even have to be sent to a third party for conformation.

This is because coins have been copied for hundreds of years and the copies of today are almost perfect but worth nothing.

What happens next is determined by the type of coin appraisal you are asking for.

If you are looking for an insurance appraisal you are looking at the replacement value on today’s market.

If you as asking what the appraiser is prepared to pay that is clearly a different appraisal.

Why? Because a dealer in coins knows which coins that he/she purchases have a chance of selling in say 3 months and which coins if purchased they will still have in inventory in 15 years.


Some coins may have a value but the margin may be so small that it is hardly worth cataloging and putting into stock. Coins worth so little to the dealer will be purchased on a piece price and may have no relation to a catalogue value.

The coins that have real collector value would normally be purchased at 65 to 80 % of retail value depending on what the dealer sees as marketability.

As a quick guide, if the coins are average condition nothing really special look at 65%.

Some high value rarities will be worth perhaps 80% of retail.

Bullion coins are bought between 85% of bullion value and 95% of bullion value unless the dealer has a ready market for the items, then you may get bullion value.

If the appraisal is for insurance purposes it is a very much longer involved process and the appraisal will cost a fee usually based on time spent or a percentage of the value whichever is more for the time spent.

Appraisals for insurance companies can be long and tedious and require photographs. If photographs are also involved there is likely a fee per photo to be incurred as well.

It is best to be upfront with an appraiser and let him/her know the purpose of the coin appraisal so that precious time or money is not waisted by either party.

Please try also and remember that the dealer must make a profit in selling his coins. If he/she pays too much they will not be in business.