How to Find Out How Much Rare Coins Are Worth

Scratches on a rare coin can greatly reduce its value.
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If you've found a coin that looks a little different, handle it carefully because it could be rare and worth much more than its face value. Lucky collectors have found some coins like the 1857 Flying Eagle cent worth $1,495 and the 1967 Lincoln penny with heads on both sides worth $35,000. You’ll have to do some research to find out whether your coin is collectible. If it is, its value will depend on several factors, like its condition, the number of coins like it available, the type of metals it contains, dealer inventory and general demand.

Step 1

Examine the coin and note any defects. This includes dents, scratches, worn images and barely defined rims. Coins in perfect or near perfect condition attract more interest from coin collectors than those that are worn and barely identifiable. They are more valuable for this reason.

Step 2

Determine a grade for your coin. Numismatics grade coins using the Sheldon Scale of Grading. This system grades coins on a 70-point scale based on the amount of wear, the visibility of features and readability of the details. The grades, in ascending order of improvement, include Poor-1 (P-1), Fair-2, About Good (AG-3), Good (G-4), Very Good (VG-8), Fine (F-12), Very Fine (VF-20 and VF-30), Extremely Fine (EF-40 and EF-45), About Uncirculated (AU-50, AU-55 and AU-58) and Uncirculated (MS-60, MS-61, MS-62, MS-63, MS-64, MS-65, MS-66, MS-67, MS-68, MS-69 and MS-70).

Step 3

Find a numismatic club and talk to club members. Numismatic enthusiasts have information on a variety of valuable coins and can share information that would help you determine the value of your coin. If they are unfamiliar with your coin, they can provide you with helpful resources, like a referral to an industry expert. You can find local numismatic clubs through websites such as

Step 4

Contact a local coin dealer. Professional dealers have in-depth knowledge about a large variety of rare coins and the skills to determine what your coin is worth. You could have several dealers appraise the coin for comparison. The Professional Numismatists’ Guild provides a list of coin dealers on its website.

Step 5

Check the value of your coin online. Many websites provide information on rare coins along with a price guide. You might find coins similar to yours. These sites include, and

Step 6

Check for information on your coin in books about coin collecting. Search for coins similar to what you have and compare details. Such books can give you some idea of the current value of your coin.

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