Cash in Your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited, 4th edition

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by kaparthy, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    The cover calls this “The book that belongs in every collector’s safe deposit box” and they are right. If you bought a previous edition, you probably do not need the latest one. However, this edition does have enough new information that if you need an extra copy for your heirs, then this will deliver additional guidance that you want them to have.

    [The full version of this review appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of The Mich-Matist of the Michigan State Numismatic Society.]

    In the Foreword, Q. David Bowers provides some helpful hints. Even a person who does not understand the full context will get the meaning: modern commemoratives are sold in a different market than is a Proof 1856 Flying Eagle cent and neither of those is for the bullion market.

    Cash in Your Coins
    was written for the inheritors of your numismatic collection. As she tells it, in 1985 Beth had been editor of Coin World for about ten years when she got a call from a woman who discovered her late husband’s coin collection. Beth started to explain that Coin World is a newspaper and they don’t buy or—and the woman cut her off. She knew that. In an apologetic tone, the woman told her story. After her husband died, she found a few silver dollars and some Wheat cents in his safe and she assumed that those were his coin collection. They had never discussed it; she had no interest in it. Then, she began getting payment-due notices for safety deposit boxes at banks. Now, she had a huge inventory that was obviously valuable and she was totally without a course of action.

    Among the many small updates and improvements, the fourth edition differs from the first in three key areas: preparing to sell, warnings about fakes, and updates to the tax laws.

    The earlier editions recommended that heirs invest the time and effort to understand collecting by identifying and appraising the Lincoln Cents. The expectation was that any active lifetime collector will have hundreds or thousands of them and some will be far more valuable than others. Learning to view coins with a magnifier and then to grade them accurately will arm and armor the heirs who will likely deliver their inheritance to a dealer. That has been left behind. In its place is new information outlining the problems surrounding modern fakes from China. Note that this is not a guide to authentication, but a warning that proper identification is necessary. Beth Deisher served as a director of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Task Force.

    And there is no single market for the entire array. Neither will they benefit from dumping it all as quickly as possible. Three years is a reasonable estimate for the entire process of releasing your collection to the next generation at prices that will truly benefit your heirs. Selling at auction is just one avenue among the appropriate alternatives.


    They have a lot of work ahead of them. Part of that is understanding the vocabulary of numismatics. Among the 113 most important words we speak in our hobby are “cabinet friction,” “hairlines,” and “slab.” And an “accumulation” is not a “collection.”

    Deisher says only that an accumulation is “unsorted, unattributed, and unclassified.” She does not say that the coins are not valuable. Numismatists know that the huge unsorted rick left by Col. Edward Howland Robinson Green included many astounding rarities. However, long years rolled by as the estate lawyers were uncomfortable with the burden of liquidating assets they did not understand.

    On the other hand, as Q. David Bowers reminds us in his Foreword, the numismatic estates of John J. Ford, Louis E. Eliasberg, John Jay Pittman, and Harry W. Bass, Jr., all sold easily for record-breaking prices specifically because they had been properly identified, attributed, and catalogued while the collections were being built.

    Cash in Your Coins 4th ed cover.jpeg
    Cash in Your Coins; Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited, 4th edition, by Beth Deisher; Whitman, 2020; 334 pages; $19.95.
     
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