New to coin collecting where to start

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Kathy Valent, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Kathy Valent

    Kathy Valent New Member

    My husband inherited his father's coin collection and we are a little overwhelmed by it. Not sure where to start. I have sorted the coins by denomination and have started with the pennies sorting them by year. Should I continue with this and sort all the coins by year and then what should I be looking for. I did buy the blue book, but again it is overwhelming, there are so many coins. His father died in 1977 so most of the coins are before that time other than the $2.00 bills and state quarters his mother and sister had collected. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me. I will try to take some pictures of the Morgan half dollars and post them later.
    Kathy Valent
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  3. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Welcome to the neighborhood, @Kathy Valent !

    First, the Morgan is a one dollar coin, not half dollar. Does it look like this?


    Next, there is a "Blue Book" by R. S. Yeoman, but it doesn't contain nearly as much information as the "Red Book" which is also written by R. S. Yeoman. In either case, you shouldn't use their price guides because they are not very accurate. The Red Book is published annually and is available on the Whitman Books website.

    kSigSteve likes this.
  4. Kathy Valent

    Kathy Valent New Member

    Hi Chris,
    Yes the Morgan's look like the picture. I put down half dollar but of course they are dollars. I have lots of them. Lots of all the coins from pennies to dollars, just not sure where to start other than sorting them. I will look at the red book also. Thanks.
  5. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Here is an easy start. If there are gold coins in the accumulation you my have something. If the coins are in small 2X2 holders with writing on them you my have something. If there are silver coins in the group you will have something.

    If I were you and a coin dealer is within fifty miles I would take the coins to him during the week when he may be less busy and tell him you want to sell them. He'll give you an offer and tell you a little about what you have.

    You'll get an idea of the wholesale value of what you have with no work. If he wants to buy the group (silver has value beyond numismatics) DON'T SELL. Thank him and say you'll think about it. If you are "well-off," insist he take $20 to buy donuts for the store.

    You should be able to get some idea from that experience...let us know what happened.

    You can also go on the Internet and look up things like "how to sell a coin collection." That should keep you busy for weeks.:happy:
  6. K2Coins

    K2Coins GO GATORS

    Maybe she actually does have the "Half Dollar" Morgan ;) that would be a score lol
    Mojavedave likes this.
  7. beef1020

    beef1020 Junior Member

    I will strongly suggest you do not do this. If you would like to tell us the general largest city you are close to we may be able to suggest some reputable dealers you could go to for advice. But I would highly advise you to not go to a random dealer. From experience, there offer may well be not representative of what you have and provide you with more misinformation.

    As to how to proceed, I think we need to know what your goals are. Are you keeping the collection and possible want to become interested in coins. Then sort as you are, make records of what you have, and consult the guides. here is another good online source:

    Keep in mind that guides are just that, guides. Also, condition is often more important than grade for prices. But the guides are nice in that if you have a coin that is very valuable even in low grades, 1877 indian head cent for instance, then you know you have something.

    If you are interested in liquidating the collection, then I would got some suggestions on reputable dealers from people here based on your location.
    Stevearino likes this.
  8. Stevearino

    Stevearino Well-Known Member

    Welcome to CT. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new hobby for you and your husband? Please don't be in a hurry to sell things. Check out PCGS Coin Grading Online for a very basic idea of the difference in grades. If you think you have a winner, take a shot at posting the photo here for feedback under the "What is it worth?" forum. Oh, and don't hold the coin in your palm: coins should be held by the rims only (if you're palming it in the photo you'll get gently chastised on CT :jawdrop:).
    One other thing in starting: store the coins away from humidity. Consider a zip-lock baggie or Tupperware-type container with some dessicant packets (the kind you find in medication bottles, or, you can purchase rechargeable packets from Wizard Coin Supply or other dealers).

  9. Lon Chaney

    Lon Chaney Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking this thread should be moved out of the Support and Feedback forum...
    Kentucky likes this.
  10. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Coin dealers, on the whole, tend to be honest. That being said, there are plenty out there who would steal the pennies off a dead person's eyes. How to know? Do some research yourself and know the value of at least a few pieces and see if the dealer is lying to you about these. Ask for recommendations here. If you decide you want to become a collector...welcome to the fold.
  11. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Guys, ANY COIN DEALER WILL DO, even a crook! If he offers over $100, more research is needed. She is NOT SELLING them. She can even pick two dealers to show the entire group. Pull out all the silver and leave it at home if you wish - this is just a quick appraisal that means nothing in the end.

    The OP's original question is a universal one that BOOKS have been done to answer the question. I have no time until we learn if this is an accumulation of pocket change, and WW II foreign junk or if the father was an advanced collector. I still think my suggestion is quick. Any dealer can look at her stuff and KNOW in 2 seconds if it is worth his time and money - even a crook! She is not selling it and why pay any money YET for a written insurance appraisal?
  12. beef1020

    beef1020 Junior Member

    My parent's took your advice with their grandmothers collection. They used the dealers opinion that there was nothing of real worth to just evenly split the collection. Turn out there were several $500+ plus coins in collection that the dealer was not willing to point out in the hopes of being able to low ball them later. In their case, going to a dealer did more harm then good.

    I think you are being a little to quick on trigger here with both your advice and your defense of your advice. Would you tell a relative to just go to any lawyer with a problem, i mean they all known some law right?
    Stevearino likes this.
  13. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Your parents did NOT do what I said did they:rolleyes: ...Too bad they SOLD the coins! :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

    I'm out of here...Simple answer for the OP. Your "problem" comes up virtually every time the average collector dies w/o good records. So PAY SOME MONEY and have the accumulation professionally appraised. I don't think anyone here will disagree. Good Luck and welcome to Coin Talk!
  14. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Bottom line...if you have a dealer or dealers in the area, have them to look at the coins but don't be too eager to sell at the first offer. If you want to collect, use that as a first step. Keep us apprised!
    Insider likes this.
  15. Kathy Valent

    Kathy Valent New Member

    Thanks everyone for the advise. I live in Akron, Ohio and there are a few coin shops in the area, I have been to one with some of the proof sets and the silver dimes and they did give me some prices. My husband doesn't want to part with any of these at this time, so I guess I will become a collector!
    Kentucky likes this.
  16. kSigSteve

    kSigSteve Active Member

    That's a pretty lady you have there :happy:
  17. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Thanks, but it's not mine. I saved this photo from another member's post because it illustrates "pull-away toning". It was actually posted in a Guess the Grade thread.

    kSigSteve likes this.
  18. kSigSteve

    kSigSteve Active Member

    I was messing Chris because she is mine. :rolleyes:
  19. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Thumbs up!

  20. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Welcome to the forum Kathy, and welcome to collecting. Now that you've decided to become a collector, you must 'arm' yourself with some general reference material for US coins. The 'Red Book' A Guide Book of United States Coins is a basic reference tool that all collectors should have at their fingertips. It can be had quite reasonably at most bookstores, or borrowed (older issues) from your local public library. The most current issue should reside in the reference room and older editions can be found in the stacks.
  21. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP

    Hello Kathy. Welcome to collecting.

    In all honesty, how the coins were stored tells you a lot. There are varying degrees of coin collectors really. Many people collected "out of the norm" and silver coins and saved them in a box, all thrown together. The collection obviously will have some value but if things weren't already well organized, documented, with some things in plastic slabs with labels, its most likely not worth getting too worked up over.
    The most common Morgans are worth about $15 to $20 a piece on up with rare varieties going into 5 or 6 figures depending on condition. If there was an 1893-S in the group, it would probably be in plastic, well labeled. If nothing is, you're probably looking at mostly common stuff. I highly recommend you buy a red book to figure out what you have. It's a helpful tool for beginners, that everyone here has used at one time or another. It will show you where the mint marks are and what the key dates to look for would be.
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