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Where to Sell Silver Coins

Selling Silver Coins

Silver has been an accepted way to store value for thousands of years and silver coins have survived economic chaos, wars and financial disaster. Lately, the silver market has continued to build steam, partly because of the current economic uncertainty, but also because silver is popular for many industrial applications with new uses being announced almost every week.

Sell Silver CoinsSilver inventories at Central Banks around the world have been dropping and demand continues to grow. And because industry has been consuming Silver while gold is accumulated silver is actually rarer than gold even though gold is much more expensive.

What does this mean for you? A strong silver market that can reward you with premium prices for your coins, if you know how to go about selling them the right way. Do your homework and learn about your coins.

Buyer Beware When Selling Silver Coins

When you go through the process of selling silver coins, the only person looking out for your best interests is you. Dealers have not always been known to be honest, but if you approach them armed with knowledge, there is a decent chance that you will maximize the value you receive. Keep the following in mind as you prepare to shop your coins around and get quotes.

Silver Spot Rate

Know the current spot rate of silver. This applies no matter where you decide to sell your silver coins, and it is posted daily on any number of online resources. Silver coins have a price that is based on the current market, or “spot” rate for silver, and coins that are rare in one form or another will sell for a premium on top of the spot rate. The ultimate price someone pays for your coins will depend on the demand for your particular coins.

Editor’s Note:

The basis of value for silver coins comes from two sources, the first is the intrinsic value of the silver that they contain (pre-1964 silver coins typically are made of 90% silver) and the second is collector value. Even though a silver coin may be old, it may not have much in the way of collector’s value. Collector’s value has more to do with condition, rarity and demand than with age. Thus the ability to buy (or sell) bags of “junk silver” containing coins a hundred years old for the price of the silver they contain. If you believe you have a particularly rare or valuable coin you can get it certified by one of the major grading services like PCGS, NGC or ANACS for a price. (Unless the coin is especially valuable the grading may cost more than the value of the coin however). But getting a coin graded will allow you to sell it for top dollar to a collector. There are other grading services available but most are not worth the time or cost since they do not grade accurately and are not trusted by collectors.

Keep in mind that modern silver coins (post-1964) have  almost no silver in them. A good place to determine the value of the silver in your coin is Coinflation.com at the current price of $33.29/oz a Mercury Silver dime minted between 1916 and 1945 has $2.40 worth of silver in it. Interestingly, when you sell coins based on “face value” the buyer generally doesn’t weigh it so even though it may be worn down (thus reducing the silver content) you are still paid as if it was brand new. Of course you don’t get any collector value that way. So Barber dimes (minted from 1892-1916) and Roosevelt dimes (minted between 1946-1964) have the same silver value as Mercury dimes. ~Tim McMahon, editor.

Sell Silver Coins via Auction

Consider auctioning your coins. This is an especially good way to go if you have coins that are in mint condition or have other features that will allow them to sell for more than melt value. Search for your coins on auction sites such as eBay, taking note of the listing prices.

Ebay also allows you to refine your search to show only completed auctions, which allows you to see what price the coins have actually sold for, and how many auctions closed without a sale. This is not the fastest way to get money for your coins, but you stand a good chance of getting the maximum value for your coins in exchange for your time and effort investment.

Another good auction house is Heritage Auctions which also provides an excellent price lookup service allowing you to check listed prices and recent auction sale prices. The main disadvantage of selling at an auction is the auction fee. Both eBay and Heritage charge a percentage of the sale price as their commission.

Sell Silver Coins Locally

Avoid selling your silver coins in the wrong places. Coin buyers look for underpriced silver coins at garage sales, flea markets and swap meets, which means you will definitely not get good money for your coins when selling them this way. You can try selling your silver coins to pawn shops, but they are notorious for low-balling prices.

Look for silver buyers that have an established history of dealing honestly with their customers preferably as a member of an organization like the American Numismatic Association. A buyer that has been in business for many years, with an established company, is a safe bet because they have track record of success, which comes from treating their customers right.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate, and definitely get more than one quote for your coins. Many dealers will start low, and you will walk away with more money if you negotiate and have multiple offers. Silver will continue to bring high prices, so if you don’t get the deal you want, walk away and try again later, or move on to a new group of dealers.

As you can see, if you want to get top dollar selling your silver coins is not a quick process,  because you need to do some work to keep yourself from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous buyers. However, if you know your coins and the current spot rate, you have a valid starting point for negotiation with any buyer, and this will dramatically increase your odds of getting the most money for each of your silver coins.

See Also:

April Santos is a financial advisor who works with clients on valuing and selling property. It is important to seek help with important financial decisions such as receiving inheritances, valuing and selling property, and getting loans.

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