How can I sell old coins

Selling Coins: Valuation + 5 Tips for Best Prices

Selling Coins: Valuation & Tips

If you want to sell your coins, we have the right tips for you here. There is a lot of demand in the collector's market, but there are still a few things to consider before selling. Whether you can make a high profit depends on various influencing factors. We'll tell you which properties make your coins valuable and where you can best sell them.

Numismatics: The World of Coins

As with stamp collecting, collecting coins can be seen as a science, a hobby and an investment. The backgrounds differ, but what all collectors have in common is that they are constantly on the lookout for new coins that they can either keep or sell on. Below are three types of collecting that have an impact on the coin market.

Collect course coins

Numismatics describes the scientific interest in historical course coins, the minting of which was determined by the government and which were considered to be the official currency. They are small artistic relics from other times and are quite interesting for researchers. The coinage found its origin in the 6th century BC. The first minted coins were around 550 BC.

Collect commemorative coins

Passionate hobby collectors often deal with both the course coins mentioned and with commemorative coins that were specially made for collecting. They are often made in limited numbers for special anniversaries and are therefore extremely popular. One example is a silver coin with the image of Darth Vader for the 40th Star Wars anniversary. These special productions can usually be used as real currency in Germany (for example 10 or 20 euro coins), but their purchase price is usually much higher, so that only losses would arise.

A counterexample is a special issue of the 2 euro coin on the 25th anniversary of Grace Kelly's death. It was only produced 20,001 times in Europe in 2007 and is therefore very popular with collectors. One of these coins was auctioned at Catawiki, a popular online antiques auction house, in 2014. Collectors were willing to pay up to 1,600 euros for this special coin.

Collect investment coins

The so-called investment coins are usually only collected on the basis of their material. An important criterion here is which precious metal the coins are made of. They can of course also be resold to collectors, but mostly these types of collectors are more interested in the prices that buyers offer them. Gold coins and silver coins are particularly valuable. At the current rate, gold buyers offer just under 360 euros for 10 grams of gold (for comparison: a 2-euro coin weighs 8.5 grams). So once you've found some real gold coins in an estate, you can make money quickly.

5 Tips To Consider Before Selling Your Coins

If you don't know your way around well and have inherited a coin collection, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to storage and handling. It is important to note these things before you want to sell the coins. The most important thing is not to take anything into your own hands or leave anything to your intuition as a layperson. Collectors value special features that would not immediately come to mind to everyone. For this reason we have created a small list for you so that you do not accidentally devalue your coins.

Protected transport of the coins

Do not touch the coins with your bare hands. This not only leaves unsightly fingerprints on the coin, but can also cause undesirable chemical reactions that damage the coin and reduce its value considerably. Soft cloth gloves, a cloth or plastic-coated tweezers are suitable for transporting the coin.

Storage of the coins

Many inexpensive albums with plastic devices can turn the coins green or cause surface damage. More expensive albums from good brands or the following alternatives are better for storage: Coin cases, coin cases or coin cassettes are usually more gentle than albums. Take a close look at the album and, if necessary, research whether it is of good quality. If you find a coin collection in a cheaply processed album, find better storage so as not to jeopardize coin depreciation. The coins should always be kept dust-free and never in high humidity.

Proper care of the coins

When it comes to maintaining coins, it always depends on how old it is. Historical collector coins are not only valued for their interesting appearance. The patina, i.e. the surface created by aging, is also a certificate of authenticity. Authenticity cannot be guaranteed if, for example, a millennia-old Greek coin is polished to a high gloss. The opposite is the case with modern investment coins. They have to be polished and in good condition to make a good price.

Avoid harsh cleaners

You should be extra careful when cleaning a coin. Avoid harsh cleaners and remove soiled areas with a mild soapy solution or a soft brush. Simply leave the coins in the soapy water longer if they are very dirty. Be sure to rinse them off with water afterwards and dry them well. Copper coins can also be cleaned wonderfully with acid-free olive oil.

Develop a sense of the value of money

If you want to dig deeper into numismatics and selling coins, it is important that you are well versed in order to make profitable profits. Particularly in the case of very large coin collections from estates, it is worthwhile to look at specialist literature or auctions. With online auction houses in particular, you can develop a better feeling for supply and demand as well as current trends, but more on that in the next chapter.

Selling coins: These 5 factors determine the value

Time factor when selling coins

The principle of selling coins is the same as selling antiquarian books or old postage stamps. The coin is always as valuable as someone else is willing to pay for it. Supply and demand are constantly fluctuating, so it's important to keep yourself up to date if you want to sell coins. The following influencing factors will help you determine the value of your coin. As a layperson in particular, you can use the following factors as indicators of a high value - this way you know immediately whether it is worth investigating further.

The time factor

The more time passes, the more valuable the coin becomes. This applies both to the entire age of the coin and to the time that is currently passing. A coin that was worth 20 euros five years ago could earn twice as much today. Rarities from old times can in most cases bring in a good price if they are not damaged. Your grandparents' collection may have old wartime coins that give you a chance at a good profit.

The number of pieces

An important factor if you want to sell your coins is the number of pieces. The rarer a coin is, the more it is worth. You can usually find information about this on the Internet. Do not compare the numbers with each other in absolute terms, but with the region in which they were in circulation. A number of 20,000 coins across Europe is a rarity. The same number in Germany is not really worth mentioning.


As with selling stamps, the same applies to selling coins: Incorrect mintings guarantee a good price. For example, in 1950, when the Federal Republic of Germany had already been founded, an employee of the state mint in Karlsruhe forgot to exchange the stencil and thousands of incorrectly minted 50-pfennig pieces with the outdated inscription “Bank Deutscher Länder” began to circulate. Collectors are willing to pay 400 to 600 euros for these special 50-pfennig pieces.

The same goes for some euro coins. On the side with the value number you can usually see a map of Europe. In 2007 the EU expanded to include Romania and Bulgaria, so the map of Europe changed. In 2008, the new map of Europe should be shown on all new coins, but not all mints made this change. The differences are not obvious, but collectors pay up to 600 euros for coins from 2008 with an old map of Europe.

Thematic collections

When you find a coin collection, you can tell from its thematic composition whether it belongs to a lower or higher price category. Complete coin collections from a historical age are best sold. Special editions such as commemorative coins or coins from a certain region are sure to find a buyer. Even modern collections, such as a collection of all euro coins from EU members, are popular.

The Deutsche Mark: The stamp determines the price

Selling DM coins

Most Germans probably still have a few old D-Mark coins lying around somewhere or well packed in scrapbooks. According to the Bundesbank, a whopping 13 billion D-Marks are still in circulation, of which an estimated 7 billion are in collectors' possession. The Deutsche Mark (1948 - 2001) reminds collectors of better economic times and is still very popular even in more recent coins.

The D-Mark can still be exchanged at the bank, but its material value can quickly exceed the market value as soon as it contains silver or gold. We have found a few examples that can tell you at a glance whether your old D-Mark coins are valuable.

  • For a 5-mark piece from 1958 with an F stamp, you can get up to 500 euros.
  • For a 5-mark piece from 1958 with a stamp J you can get between 800 and 4,000 euros, depending on the condition.
  • For a 2-mark piece with a portrait of Max Planck on the front and the stamp F on the back, you can get up to 150 euros.
  • For a 2-pfennig piece from 1950 with stamp G you can get up to 70 euros.
  • For a 1-pfennig piece from 1948 with a stamp G, up to 50 euros are paid.
  • Even a 1-mark piece from 1995 with the stamp J can cost up to 20 euros, depending on the condition.

Sell ​​coins at online auction houses

Sell ​​coins on Catawiki

Especially if you are new to selling coins, it is worth taking a look at popular online auction houses. The numerically largest customer base can be found on ebay. Ebay has a lot of buyers, but also a lot of competitors. In addition, there is a risk that laypeople will accept a price that is far below the actual value of their coins.

Catawiki follows a slightly different principle. Here you can auction coins, antiquarian books, postage stamps, old jewelry and much more with the help of experts. So you can be sure from the start that your coins are really worth something. The international online auction house has 14 million visitors a month. As soon as you have decided on one of the 300 weekly auctions, a lot will be allocated to you by the experts after the valuation.

The fact that only real antiques are offered means that the customer base at Catawiki is of a higher standard than at other online auction houses. A wide variety of coins are auctioned here in price ranges from a few to several hundred euros. Registering and offering antiques is free. The agency fee for an actual sale is a flat rate of 15 percent of the sales price.

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