Coin collecting is a popular hobby. Coins may be an investment that offers the opportunity for income, or they may be a way to understand history and how major events impact day to day life. Valuing collectible coins takes a number of factors into consideration and is best handled by an experienced collector or professional. A beginner, however, can begin to understand the major criteria. These include:
1.The authenticity of collectible coins is a key factor. Be skeptical of coins that are highly valued. Unscrupulous vendors are more likely to try and counterfeit coins that are more valuable. If you arent sure whether your coin is real, research it thoroughly on the internet at coin sites or get it reviewed by an expert.
2.The condition of the coin is a major concern. Collectible coins that are in uncirculated or near-mint conditions are more valuable. There are several levels to grade the conditions of coins ranging from MS which are perfect, uncirculated coins to Basal state, which are barely recognizable as coins. MS and almost uncirculated coins are not just more attractive, they are harder to find so they are more valuable on the collectors market.
Although novelty coins and jewelry may be interesting, coins that are altered in any way will not be valuable from a collectors perspective.
3.Rare coins are more heavily valued. Like condition, this is a function of supply and demand. Rare coins, where the mint run was limited or the coins were pulled from circulation will be harder to find. In some cases, factors like release year or where the coin was minted will make it more rare, and therefore worth more.
4.The materials a coin is minted from also plays a role. Coins made of precious metals like Gold, Platinum or Silver are more valuable as coins than their melted weight because they carry value of the minting plus the metal itself.
There are several resources to learn more about the valuation of collectible coins. In addition to the resources online, you can consult guides like the Red Book to learn more about specific coins, grading by condition and how to identify if a coin is real or counterfeit.