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How to Sell Rare Coins: Tips for Appraisal, Grading, and Selling Rare Coins

Sell Rare Coins

Did you know that the most expensive coin ever sold fetched a mind-boggling $18,872,250 at auction? Yes, that’s nearly $19 million for a single coin — a 1933 Double Eagle in exceptional condition.

Rare coins can be worth a pretty penny! While you likely aren’t sitting on a $19 million one-of-a-kind like the 1933 Double Eagle, you may have some rare coins in your collection. But how do you sell rare coins without getting ripped off?

Selling rare coins requires knowing what you have, estimating how much they’re worth, and finding an appropriate buyer. This comprehensive guide goes over everything you need to know to sell rare coins for top dollar.

Note that this guide focuses on selling individual rare coins or small lots. If you have a larger collection, we have a separate guide on how to sell a coin collection

How to Sell Rare Coins in 3 Steps

Selling rare collectible coins doesn’t need to be complicated. Here’s a 3-step guide to make the most of your selling experience.

1. Evaluate Your Coins

Make a list of the coin(s) you hope to sell. Include the following information:

  • The type of coin
  • The year
  • The mint mark and other identifying features
  • The condition of the coin
  • The grade of the coin (if it’s graded by a third party like PCGS or NGC)

From there, you can start doing research to help you evaluate what you have, and how much it might be worth. Getting a professional appraisal will be the most accurate way to determine a coin’s value. You can get your coins appraised at a local coin shop or at a coin show.

Alternatively, you can try to figure out the value of your coins on your own. Coin pricing guides like the PCGS Price Guide provide a good starting point. You can also use eBay Advanced Search and select “sold items” to see items that have actually been sold, and how much they went for.

When researching rare coin values, remember to take the data you find with a grain of salt. The price of an item in the PCGS price guide isn’t necessarily what someone will pay for it – it’s simply a guideline. And with eBay, keep in mind that sellers pay up to 15% in fees to eBay, plus payment processing fees and shipping costs. So if an item sells for $100 on eBay, the seller may actually only net closer to $80.

It’s also difficult to evaluate the true condition of a coin without the help of an expert. For instance, if a coin has been cleaned, it’s likely to be worth far less than an untouched coin — even though a cleaned coin will probably look better to the naked eye.

2. Locate Buyer(s) and Consider Offers

Now that you have a better idea of what you have and what it might be worth, you can start shopping around for potential buyers.

If you’re in the greater Seattle area, we hope you’ll choose Bellevue Rare Coins to sell your coins. We have been the Northwest’s trusted coin buyer since 1979, and our friendly coin experts are ready to make a cash offer for your coins. We have locations in Bellevue, Issaquah, Lynnwood, and Tacoma.

If you’re located elsewhere, here are some options:

  • Local coin shops near you. Just make sure to read customer reviews to make sure you’re working with a trustworthy shop
  • Local coin clubs and coin shows
  • Online coin buyers
  • Local marketplace apps, like OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace (be cautious and always meet in a safe public location)
  • eBay (be wary of scams)

It’s often a good idea to shop around and compare offers from multiple places. Reputable buyers will usually be willing to make you a no-strings-attached offer, which you can compare with other buyers.

Because you’re dealing with valuables, make sure you choose a reputable, trustworthy business or individual to transact with. Scams and even robberies are possible. Using a trusted local coin dealer or coin shop will usually be your safest option.

3. Sell Your Items

When you find a buyer that offers you a fair price, it’s time to sell! At coin shops, you can usually be paid by cash or check same-day. For online buyers, you may need to ship the items to them for evaluation, and then they’ll mail a check. For auction platforms like eBay, you’ll be paid via a payment processing partner, which can take a while for new accounts. In this case, make sure you receive payment before shipping your items.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Are My Coins Worth?

To get a detailed quote for your coins, we recommend stopping by your local coin shop. You can also price-check items by using the PCGS Price Guide, or eBay sold items.

Is Coin Grading Worth It?

Organizations like NGC and PCGS provide coin grading services that evaluate rare coins and assign a specific grade. While this can help improve the value of the coin if it receives a high grade, keep in mind that you have to pay upfront for grading — and you never really know what grade the coin will come back with. For extremely rare coins, the cost of grading could be worthwhile, but often it’s simpler to just sell ungraded coins.

What’s the Easiest Way to Sell Rare Coins?

In most cases, selling to a local coin shop is the easiest way to sell coins. If you’re in the Seattle area, come into Bellevue Rare Coins in Tacoma, Lynnwood, Bellevue or Issaquah. If you’re located elsewhere, look on Google Maps for well-reviewed coin shops near you.

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    321 Bellevue Way NE
    Bellevue, WA 98004
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-454-1283
  • Lynnwood


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    Lynnwood, WA 98037
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    Phone: 425-672-2646
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    1175 NW Gilman Blvd Suite B16
    Issaquah, WA 98027
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
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    Phone: 425-392-0450
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    2302 Pacific Ave
    Tacoma, WA 98402
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 253-328-4014