Should You Sell Your Coin Collection or Auction It?

When deciding on the best way to sell a coin collection, your options will usually come down to selling the collection or auctioning it off. Both these options come with an incredible amount of consideration and may require you to put in some work to figure out the best choice. Here is what you need to know to make an informed decision.

When Does Selling Your Coin Collection Make the Most Sense?

Selling a coin collection can make a lot of sense in several circumstances.

You Want to Get Rid of the Coins Quickly

Your reason for selling the collection is your own, but some typical situations that can lead to wanting to sell a coin collection quickly can include:

  • The need for fast or emergency funds
  • A lack of attachment to the collection
  • A lack of enthusiasm for coin collecting
  • No desire to do the research on the coins
  • A feeling of being overwhelmed by the coin evaluation or grading process

Maybe you just want to get rid of the coins because you don’t want them around. Whatever the reason, selling the collection can help you get them out of your way quickly.

However, if you have a little time on your hands, you can exercise more control over how you sell the collection and for how much. Separating the coins by type and doing a cursory online search for some of them can help you gain a somewhat better idea of their value.

You can still sell the collection, but you can do so armed with a little knowledge concerning the collection or some of the individual coins in it. That knowledge can help you negotiate or to better understand the prices offered to you for the collection.

You Know the Collection Consists of Mostly Bullion

Bullion coins are as valuable as the metal they consist of. Coin collectors look for numismatic coins, which are coins that hold value for reasons other than their metal content. Many bullion coins consist of gold, platinum, or some other precious metal. Technically, these coins work more as investment vehicles than collector’s items.

If your coin collection consists of bullion, then selling the coins will come down to seeking fair market value for their gold or other content. Before selling the coins, look at the current market values for the metal in question to help you negotiate.

One caveat to this comes from coins made of gold or another precious metal that also have numismatic value. If you have some precious metal coins that don’t fit with the overall collection, separate them and look them up.

You Have a Collection of Low-Value Coins

If the collection mostly consists of low-value coins, then selling them outright can often work in your favor. In this case, the term low value means the value of the coins in relation to the fees, commissions, and expenses an auction house or service may charge.

You might have to do a little math, but you may discover you can sell your collection for a price similar to or greater than what you would clear from an auction.

When Does Auctioning Your Coin Collection Make the Most Sense?

Generally speaking, if you have a coin collection full of rare, valuable, or highly sought-after coins, then taking them to auction makes the best sense. This implies you’re aware of what you have in your coin collection and have some idea of the collection’s value.

If you’re unsure about what you have, but still want to auction off the collection, you should do an evaluation of the coins, or hire an appraiser. Coin values change and a lot of those values come from current trends amongst collectors. So, you’ll have to stay on top of your collection leading into an auction.

Auctioning a coin collection also requires time. You will need time to gather information on your coin collection if you don’t already have it. The auction process itself can take months from beginning to end, depending on the auction service. This is one of the reasons why only auctioning potentially high-value coins or coin collections makes the most sense.

Some coin collections have a mix of high-value coins and low-value ones. You can choose to auction high-value coins individually or as a set while selling the lower value coins directly. This scenario can give you the best of both worlds.

Alternatively, your higher value coins can help sell the entire collection at an auction if bidders are trying to capture those specific coins from the collection. If all goes well, the possibility exists that you can clear far more money for your collection than you expect. That possibility is one of the major incentives for taking your collection to auction.

At Rocky Mountain Coin, our services include buying coin collections, including bullion.