Advice for a newcomer?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Jenny8675309, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Jenny8675309

    Jenny8675309 New Member

    I inherited a coin “collection”, and I’m almost done sorting the coins. I’m not sure what to do next. There are lots of duplicates. Lots of desirable mintage, but poor condition. And lots of coins that seem to me to be pristine, but what do I know?

    The collection has not been touched since at least 1980.
    Many were in undated coin flips, some were in clear hard plastic containers (mostly mercury dimes, wartime nickels and a gazillion 1960d small dates!), some in coin collector folders (standing liberty quarters, buffalo head pennies, wheat backs, barber quarters and Canadian small cents), and some in paper rolls. My family helped me sort and put most of the coins into flips, and I catoged them in an Excel spreadsheet.

    What do I do next? How do I figure out which coins are truly collectible? I have the red book, but how do I know what grade my coins are, which are keepers and which are not? Do you keep them all?

    Guidance appreciated. Thanks!
    JPeace$ likes this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Hi. We can certainly help here, but you'll need to post only a few at a time, so as to not overwhelm those helping.

    You can use the RedBook to do the preliminary sorting. It does give a very general discussion of grading standards at the beginning of each section, but you can also use the PCGS/Photograde and CoinFacts resources which are available online.

    Hopefully you'll find the task of sorting through what you have fun rather than drudgery.
    Sunflower_Coins likes this.
  4. JPeace$

    JPeace$ Coinaholic

    @Jenny8675309 , nice work! That's a lot of work and more than most people do.

    I am not a Lincoln collector, but my guess is someone was looking for one of the varieties of that year and mint mark.

    Do you have any interest in learning about the hobby or do you just want to liquidate the collection?
    mcz0804a likes this.
  5. NumisNinja

    NumisNinja Active Member

    You can probably class them together by year and/or condition. You know those 1960s aren't going to be worth much in really any condition other than mint state. Know what the key dates are for the series and look for indications of errors and such. More than likely many of those coins will be of similar value.
    A lot of those common date 20th century coins won't have too much difference in price as long as you estimate the grade somewhat accurately, which isn't that difficult. But yeah, cherry pick the mint state, key dates, and error coins first and don't worry about the lower value bulk of the collection as much.
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  6. Jenny8675309

    Jenny8675309 New Member

    The whole family actually enjoyed going through the coins, and it was a great opportunity for my girls to connect the coins to what my girls are learning about US history in school.

    I don’t know yet if it will be hobby. I think I need to understand the hobby, and what I actually have in my possession before I let myself get completely sucked in (I may already be sucked in!). But as a next step, what do I do with the thousands of wheat backs that I’ve combed through for rarities and errors? I pulled out the best of each date and mint, and put them in flips. But what should I do with the rest? None are gems, but what if they are at least G4? The red book says they are worth between $.15 and $.30 each. I can’t possibly put them all in flips...or should I? What would a collector do with these?

    I have 30 1960 quarters, 21 1961 quarters and 78 1964 quarters. Most look pristine, but I doubt my dad bought them from a dealer. So I’m assuming that even if they’ve been uncirculated for the past 30 years, they are not really ‘ms’. What would a collector do with these? Sell them to pay for the rarities from the series that are missing?

    The collection includes 15 indian heads. I think there is an 1869/9, but otherwise, the rarest of the series are missing. Plus, the coins were under deteriorating scotch tape in a deteriorating coin holder book. Would a collector try to complete the series?

    So, what next??
  7. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Welcome to CT. If you post a few coins at a time members here can assist you. We also have a for sale forum. Best wishes.
  8. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Active Member

    I keep all wheat cents that I come across. The best looking ones go in flips, and I also have Lincoln cent folders I fill up with them. So I might have 2 of a date that I actually "display". After that I just stack up all my extra wheat pennies and store them in coin tubes. Wheats are getting harder and harder to find in circulation, and although they aren't worth a ton of money for the common ones, I like the idea of hanging on to them for now, maybe passing down to my kids someday. It won't be long before Wheat pennies are thought of the way we think of Indian Heads now, my son had never seen one before in the wild and happened to get one in change a week or two ago.
    Sunflower_Coins likes this.
  9. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Something to consider, the prices in the Redbook are RETAIL prices, and in the case of these common wheaties represents what I call the "Dealer Nuisance Charge", an inflated price needed to cover the dealers expenses in stocking an item that is extremely common and which would result in a loss if it was sold at a price that actually reflected its availability.
    lordmarcovan and Sunflower_Coins like this.
  10. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    If you have multiple common date wheat cents that are basically still worth close to face, give some to your kids to give to their friends, makes nice conversation and chitchat pieces. If your time is valuable, keep the best and list ,sell/trade the rest at yard sale ( say US old coins) and you will get quite a few extra visitors. Separate out the birth years of people and kids you know, for their birthdays, christmas, etc. Especially if any are silver. Also, look or ask the local chamber of commerce if they know of any coin clubs in your driving area. They are Usually helpful and happy to have new people :) Went to one last night and a member brought his granddaughter , and she bid on a coin and was thrilled with it , and other members gave her a coin or two to add to the fun. We had killer cookies, white chocolate chip with cashews....Great. Jim
  11. Dave M

    Dave M Francophiliac

    Seems to me this is a wonderful opportunity. Ask each of the girls which coin they like best, between the ones you have a lot of (wheats, etc), and give each of them all those. Pick something too for yourself. Then you and the girls can each start your collections, looking for all dates, etc, stopping in on local coin shops to scavenge from their "coins for a nickel" or whatever basket they have. The girls have a great "show and tell" to take to school and make some connection to the history class as you say, and they can also take the duplicates and extra coins to school as give-aways.
  12. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome to the hobby of kings.... And us regular folk too..... Just imagine of each of those examples of living US history could talk... The stories you would hear..... As far as your question? Well, I can't say there is a real answer. Every collection is as individual as the person doing the collection. My only advice to you would be to carry on as you have been. Protect them from abrasion against each other as best you can. However it sounds like you are already doing that. And just wait to be fully smitten by this hobby. Once that happens you can direct your own pathway. In the interim, rest assured those coins are happy to wait on you.
  13. Sunflower_Coins

    Sunflower_Coins Importer and Exporter

    For the wheats, what everyone else said.

    As for the quarters, unless they are in gem condition, they don't have much but silver value. You can run them through the Cherrypicker's guide for varieties, save them for your kids, or sell them (probably for 8-10 times face value, with the current silver prices).

    If those Indian heads are of any value, get them out of that folder, especially if it's an older one.
  14. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, you have a big job ahead. Many people post on here with similar problems but they want to do something with the coins AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I don't get this kind of feeling from you. Don't be in a hurry. Regarding the quarters you mentioned, relatively recent (OK, 50 or more years ago ain't that recent) dates would not have a premium as key coins, however just the fact that the coins may have been taken from circulation doesn't mean they might still be considered as uncirculated. Sorry if that sounds dense, but "uncirculated" is a conditional term that denotes signs of wear...if there are no signs of wear, it is uncirculated no matter how many hands it has passed through.

    The coins with tape on them, please post a picture and perhaps we can help some to prevent any further damage.
    Sunflower_Coins likes this.
  15. BooksB4Coins

    BooksB4Coins Newbieus Sempiterna

    Thank you, Jenny, for getting a certain song stuck in my head that'll likely be there for days. ;)

    Welcome to the forum.
  16. Jenny8675309

    Jenny8675309 New Member

    Thank you all so much for the insights!

    @BooksB4Coins, im happy you got my number .

    @Kentucky , @Sunflower_Coins I attached 2 coins that were taped into respective collector books/folders. I already removed all those coins and put them all in flips. The pictures show the type of damage caused by the tape to almost all coins in both series. The damage to the Indian head pennies and the liberty head nickels is too hard to see from my iPhone photos, but there is more residue stuck on the pennies and liberty nickels than on the standing liberty quarters and the buffalo nickels. I read online that I’m not supposed to clean the coins, so I didn’t do anything except transfer them to the flips. Is there something I should do?

    @Randy Abercrombie, I’ve been thinking the same thing. Kinda crazy that I own coins that are 150 years old!

    @Dave M, @desertgem, oh how I wish wheat pennies could still make my girls do cartwheels! Their teenagers. I LOVED the time we spent together sorting and searching the red book to figure out what we were looking at and learning about why some were worth more than others, etc. but they’ve already lost interest

    @Conder101, @Jeepfreak81, I think im over the Wheats. I’m sure i’d see it differently if I found that 1955 DDO in the 800 or so 1955s that I picked through. But with so much effort and so little reward, I’m thinking it’s time for me and Abe to take some time apart .

    Again, thank you all for your considered responses. I really appreaciate your thoughts and guidance.

    Attached Files:

    Jeepfreak81 likes this.
  17. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    If they enjoyed it that much, chances are good that they will return to the coin collecting hobby in the future. It is very common for a collector to be exposed when very young and then leave the hobby completely once they become teenagers and not return to it until their settle in their careers often until their own children are grown. Then they come back and we have them for the next 30 years or so.
  18. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Active Member

    I've been involved with the hobby off and on my whole life, My grandmother works for Littleton Coin and has been there over 50 years. I'm 36. I've just now ramped up my interests and really started to learn more about the hobby, the history, etc. I wasn't interested much as a teen and in my 20's, I was busy with other things. Buying a house, getting married, having kids, riding dirt bikes, going to college, etc etc.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page