When is the Right Time to Sell Your Rare Coins?

The Coin Evaluator. The collector of coins. The man considers ancient coins.

Many collectors spend their whole lives adding to their collection of rare coins. Others have inherited coins from relatives and own collections that have been added to for generations. After taking so much time to grow a collection, we recognize that the decision to sell some or all of your coins is huge at Phil's Coins.

Choosing when to sell your coins is a big part of this decision. However, getting the best price for your coins depends on several factors. While it can be extremely difficult to perfectly time all of these factors, it's important to, at the very least, be aware of the things that can affect the price of your coins.

Overall Economy

Rare coins are a luxury good, and like any other good or service, their value will depend significantly on overall and local economic conditions. As people start to feel that their income is in danger, there will be less demand for rare coins. Similarly, as more people with rare coin collections look for ways to bring in money to replace lost incomes, more coins will be available for sale.

This means that the best time to sell coins is typically when the economy is at a peak. More people are in the market for luxury goods at these times, and there are typically fewer people desperate to sell their collections.

Value of Metal

The price of rare metals such as silver and gold will affect the prices of some coins, but not all. Coins that have value because of their scarcity or historical background tend to be affected very little by the price of precious metals. Coins that have been minted more recently, however, may be more sensitive to these price changes.

If the value of a coin is tied to its age or rarity, the odds that it will be melted down and converted to bullion are relatively low. Therefore, it doesn't matter what the price of the metal these types of coins are made out of is selling for. However, recently minted coins, particularly those mass-produced of a rare metal such as gold, have a much higher likelihood of being converted to bullion. 

In particular, coins minted for the sole purpose of investment in precious metals will have values closely tied to that metal's value. If you have coins in your collection that were created for this purpose, watch the value of their metal very closely. Many coin dealers will adjust their prices for these coins daily. However, remember that predicting a daily price can be very hard. Investors are generally encouraged to look for trends, then sell when they believe the price is near a high point.

Interest in Particular Events

Rare coins tied to a notable event tend to get a boost in price around the time of that event. For example, coins tied to major holidays tend to have a small price bump in the weeks before the holiday. Ancient coins from Rome tend to experience a small price bump in the weeks before Christmas and Easter. Similarly, Chinese gold coins often experience a small price bump before the Chinese New Year.

Coins tied to major world events or with a unique story behind them will often experience a price bump while the story about them is in the news. For example, Spanish coins tend to rise slightly whenever a news report about a shipwreck is found, even if the coins did not come from that ship.

However, several mints and dealers try to capitalize on this phenomenon by issuing so-called "commemorative" coins. While these coins are often marketed as rare or special because they are linked to an event, they tend not to hold their value once public interest in the event has waned. In many cases, the public interest is relatively short, and often collectors are surprised to learn that the coins they thought were extremely rare and valuable are no longer worth as much as they thought.

Personal Factors

Of course, determining the right time to sell your coin collection is a big decision, and while the other factors on this list can play a part, the final decision often comes down to what a collector feels comfortable with. 

Many coin collectors claim they "know" when it's time to part with all or part of their collection. In some cases, the decision is made almost entirely without emotion; there are some coins that some collectors have virtually no real emotional attachment to, and when they increase in value, it's time to sell. Often, these collectors already know what type of coins they are going to invest in next. 

However, the decision to sell can be much more emotional for other collectors. We often hear from collectors who inherited coins from parents or grandparents. The decision to sell is one of the most difficult for some people. While there may be plenty of logical reasons to sell coins at a particular time, only the collector knows when they are ready to send their collections to the next person.

If you think now is the time to sell all or part of your coin collection, or if you're just interested in learning more about current market conditions, visit us at Phil's Coins. We would love to take the time to talk with you about your collection.


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