Coin Dealers Tips

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Why should I consider a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild to looking for coin dealers?

Choosing Coin Dealers From The Professional Numismatists Guild

If you're making a choice from a number of different coin dealers, consider one from the Professional Numismatists Guild. Coin dealers from the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) adhere to a strict level of guidelines, so you can be assured you're dealing with someone who follows a high standard. These are four reasons why you should consider choosing coin dealers from the PNG.

1. Coin dealers from the PNG must have at least five years of experience, so you can be assured you're not dealing with someone without much experience in the field of coin collecting.
2. PNG coin dealers must show they have numismatic assets over $175,000. Financial assets indicate a dealer is stable, will be in business for years to come, and will be able to provide compensation, if necessary.
3. Coin dealers must use binding arbitration to resolve disputes. This means you know you have recourse should a disagreement or problem occur.

   
What can I expect to pay at a coin appraisal?

Getting A Coin Appraisal

If you have a coin in your possession which you think may be valuable, a coin appraisal can help you make the determination on its worth. You can make payment to a coin dealer for an appraisal either on an hourly basis or by a percentage of the appraisal price. You might pay $20 an hour and up or anywhere from 2%-5% of the appraisal price. In order to safeguard yourself, do your own research as well and let the coin dealer know you are aware of the current reasonable retail figures. Sometimes a coin appraisal made for insurance purposes will have an inflated value in order to cover replacement costs of the item.

   
What are some good ways to investigate local coin shops?

Four Ways To Track Down A Local Coin Shop

If you're considering doing business with your local coin shop, you'll find some easy ways to determine which establishment works for you. Here are four ways to investigate your local coin shop.

1. Take the time to make phone calls to local coin shops to get a first impression of the establishments.
2. Visit your local coin dealer not only to talk face to face, but view the inventory. You'll know soon enough if the establishment has the inventory you're interested in and whether the dealers are personable.
3. Attend a local coin show. This way, you'll be able to cover a lot of ground in one day. Make sure you stop and talk to each dealer at the coin show and discuss the type of coins you're interested in.
4. Go through your local coin club and ask for referrals for a local coin dealer.

   
How do I buy from an online coin dealer?

Online Coin Dealers

You've heard the online horror stories. Your nephew or niece accidentally viewed a porn site. Your best friend had that disastrous date with a hunk from an Internet dating site. So you're leery of finding coin dealers on the Web. True, you trust Amazon.com, but...

Not to worry. Most Internet coin dealers are legitimate, whenther you're looking for a US coin dealer, rare coin dealer, or ancient coin dealer. Just observe online dos and donts of coin dealer Googling.

DO:

* Google that coin dealer. You probably won't find anything negative, but it never hurts.
* Check with the Better Business Bureau online or RipOffReport.com.
* Check Epinions.com.
* Buy from coin dealers who advertise that they belong to the ANA as well as the major certification and authentication services, PCGS, ANACS, NGC, CCCS, ICG, PCI, NTC, and ACG.
* Get referrals from real-life and online hobbyists. While flaming in newsgroups is common, online hobbyists usually protect each other.
* Take advantage of that FAQ and customer service section. Bonus points if they have an online chat or call center.
* Check out their eBay auctions and what eBay users say about them.

DON'T:

* Buy from any dealer that uses spam.
* Buy coins without doing your homework. There are many excellent coin resource guides online.
* Bid at an online auction without having a set limit of how much you will bid.
* Take online newsgroup chatter as golden. Consider the source of pro or con recommendations.
* Buy from an individual seller without viewing photos of their coins. Take the photos to a numismatist or coin authentifcation service if possible.
* Give out any personal information. If they ask for your Social Security number, refuse and RUN.
* Buy from an online site that isn't secure. Look for the lock and key on the lower right of your browser. Most secure online coin dealers will announce that they have SSL encryption. They may be backed up by Verisign or TRUSTe to guard your privacy.

Buying online can be the ultimate in convenience...but remember your friend's tale of woe about the smooth Brad Pitt dead ringer who turned out to have two ex-wives and a drinking problem.

   
What options do I have besides buying from a coin shop coin dealer?

Alternatives To The Mainstream Coin Dealer

One place to purchase additions to your coin collection is through the coin dealer at the coin shop or from a coin dealer making the rounds at a coin show. However, there are alternate places you can go to, to find coins for your collection as well. Here are some suggestions:

Coin Purchase By Mail – You can make a coin purchase via mail if you live in an area where travel to a coin shop or coin show is difficult, or if you just prefer its ease and convenience. Try coin periodicals, which place numerous ads for many types of coins. You will want to check the terms of purchase, confirm the pricing, and check which organizations the coin dealer belongs to.

Mail Bid Sales - Mail bid sales are another way of finding the coins you're looking for, for your coin collection. You can make an offer on the coin based on limits surrounding a minimum bid. At times, the firm conducting the sale may refuse all offers according to the transaction terms. Some of the coin pieces may be owned by the firm and some by have outside ownership.

Auctions – Auctions work much like mail bid sales. However, a coin sold at an auction goes to the highest bidder over the minimum. Coins sold at auction often are owned by parties outside of the auction house.

   
What should I look for when evaluating a coin dealer?

Finding The Right Coin Dealer

Locating a coin dealer may be as simple as opening up the phone book and choosing a coin dealer. However, that may not be the best route to take. Here are some pointers for choosing the right coin dealer.

  • Check to see if your coin dealer is a member of a professional coin dealer organization. A professional coin dealer organization will have a set of requirements for membership as well as rules your coin dealer needs to adhere to.
  • Find out what the financial stability of a coin dealer is. You want to know that a coin dealer will be in business in the coming years.
  • Evaluate the business practices of the coin dealer. Does the coin dealer have a solid reputation in the industry? Your coin dealer should give you informative, honest information without any high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Find out what the policy of the coin dealer is regarding a transaction with a coin purchase. You want to make sure you'll have a method of claiming compensation if you encounter a faulty purchase.

   
How do I choose coin dealers at coin shows?

Coin Dealers and Coin Shows

Hordes of screaming obsessed people with ability to spot and argue over the most trivial of details. Harried sales assistants. A near-fanatic loyalty. No, we're not talking about a Star Trek convention. Coin shows can be chaotic. They are also excellent places to go about finding coin dealers.

While you can't always find out if that US coin dealer or rare coin dealer will make an appearance, you can check with the coin show organizers, say if you're going to Canada to the 2006 Westminster Coin Show. Usually coin shows are sponsored by coin clubs and international organizations. Members of those organizations, say PNG or ANACS, will probably have trade show booths.

If the coin dealer you want isn't going to be part of the coin show, ask that ancient coin dealer for a schedule of appearances.

While strolling the convention center, don't get caught up in the lines and the mad rush. If a dealer doesn't have quite the coin you're looking for, ask for a catalog of their other inventory. This may be preferable to paying a higher price than you intend at another dealer table.

You can enjoy your coin show, especially since you won't be drawn into those tiresome Kirk versus Picard debates.

   
Is it true that coin dealers often practice unethical ways of selling to collectors?

Four Myths About Buying Coins From The Coin Dealer

In the world of coin collecting, buying coins from the coin dealer can be a tricky transaction. Some folks regard dealing with a coin dealer as a business deal which requires proceeding with caution. With so much controversy surrounding one of the main sources you can go to for buying coins, how much care do you really need to take? Here, we'll dispel some of the myths about buying coins from coin dealers.

Myth #1: All coin dealers are shady.
Truth: While there are coin dealers who maintain unethical business practices, a great deal of coin dealers are simply legitimate business people operating in the coin collecting industry. When in doubt, check a coin dealer's membership affiliations and reputation within the industry.

Myth #2: All coin dealers are looking to rip off their customers.
Truth: Coin dealers run a business and do need to make a profit. Unfortunately, coin dealers are also targets of coin thieves and collectors attempting to make a less than honest transaction.

Myth #3: Coin dealers exercise high-pressure sales tactics.
Truth: When you're buying coins from an unscrupulous coin dealer, you may encounter the problem of facing high-pressure sales tactics. However, many reputable coin dealers who belong to a professional organization adhere to a code of ethics. Avoiding the use of any form of hard sell is part of their professional responsibility.

   
What new coin can I purchase from the dealer?

The Gold Buffalo Coins Have Arrived

The latest gold coins available on the market are gold buffalo coins. The Presidential One Dollar Coin Act of 2005 made the creation of these coins possible, making the gold buffalo coins the first pure gold coins released by the US Mint. On the obverse side of the coin, you'll find a modified image of James Earle Fraser's Indian head from the Buffalo Nickel. The reverse carries a modified American Buffalo, also a Fraser design from the Buffalo Nickel. To purchase a one-ounce proof coin, you'll spend around $500.

   
Can you give me advice on the process of negotiating with a coin dealer?

Three Things To Know About Your Coin Dealer

If you're conducting transactions with your coin dealer on a regular basis, perhaps, you've experienced some confusion about the business deals. In order to make the process of collecting coins go more smoothly, here are some helpful hints to understand how your coin dealer operates.

1. Unlike a coin collector, a dealer is typically not attached to the coins he possesses. Therefore, any transaction he makes, he does based on the profit he'd like to receive.
2. A coin dealer will likely prefer to deal in person rather than over the phone. That way, he can best assess the value of a coin if you're looking to sell it. For instance, there may be a slight difference between the condition of the proof set you're looking to unload.
3. A dealer feels it's to his best advantage not to make an offer outright when making a business exchange. This is because in the name of bargaining, there is a chance you as the coin collector will decline his offer and go elsewhere. Therefore, he may ask you for a ballpark figure and hope to go from there.

   
How do I find ancient and rare coin dealers?

Ancient and Rare Coin Dealers

Your taste runs to rare and ancient, except when it comes to beef. When it comes to coins, if they're both rare and semi-ancient (the fabled 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar is your dream collectible) or ancient, you're happy.

But how do you find an ancient coin dealer and a rare coin dealer? Ancient or old coins aren't necessarily rare, especially if there are replicas floating around. Rare US coins aren't necessarily ancient. What do you do?

You want, for example, to get your hands on an ancient and rare Gaelic coin, such as the Robert III 1st Issue Heavy Groat, 1390-03 with the Fleur-de-Lis. Do you just hit all the ancient and rare coin dealers in the phone book? Is finding coin dealers for these types of coins going to be a nightmare? Not necessarily.

When looking at a list of rare coin dealers and ancient coin dealers, decide if you want Gaelic, Greek or Old German--that's Saxon or Teutonic to you, or Bavarian. Do an Internet search for "Gaelic coin dealers" or "Gaelic coin dealers in London, Ontario" or "rare coin dealers in Maryland."

A hot well-done tip for collectors: make sure your rare coin dealer is authorized by one or more of the major coin authentication and certification services. You can buy from a rare coin dealer that's not on the list, but you never know what you're going to get--like dining at your mother-in-law's house when she serves week-old steak.

An ancient coin dealer that you like and trust is rare and valuable. Treasure that like an exquisite rare prime rib...or haggis, if you've completely gone Gaelic.

   
I live in a small town, how do I find coin dealers?

Small Town, No Coin Dealers

You live in a town with a population of less than 1,000. The closest you get to a coin dealer is the antique store where you might find an old coin on a good day. You like small-town life, but you hate driving two hours to the city to find coin dealers. Does finding coin dealers have to be so hard?

Don't get the small-town blues. All you have to do is go online and search for "us coin dealer," "coin dealers," "rare coin dealer," or "ancient coin dealer," and voila, you'll have ten solid leads, not including the paid listings such as Google AdWords.

If you're suspicious of buying anything where you can't see a human face (small-town life does lend itself to trust) and want to risk the trip to the city, ask your coin collector friends who they buy from. Getting recommendations is key, whether you're buying from coin dealers in the city or online.

If you can't find a coin dealer that suits you online or in the city, take a trip away from Smallville and attend a coin show. Tip: If your small town is NASCAR country, sports cards and collectibles shows sometimes feature coin dealers. Take a trip with your neighbors. Small towns do tend to gossip--while you're not sneaking away for a secret rendezvous, you don't have anything to hide, either, and you want to let your friends in on your hobby. Given small-town loyalty, Jimmy from down the street will probably back you up if you get in a bind with an unscrupulous coin dealer.

Small town life. You wouldn't trade it for a rare coin, and now you don't have to.

   
What's a great online community for ancient and rare coins?

Ancient and Rare Coin Online Community

Communing online can be so worthwhile...even when you have to point someone else to an auction of that rare Beanie Baby. And ancient coins? Forget it! But you smiley-face anyway, because it's "Netiquette." Bad online manners can haunt you with an online coin dealer worse than a bad Indian or wheat penny. Remember, on a mailing list, you don't know who might be reading!

If you want to try online rare coin dealer listing and communities, put your shekel where your mouth is and visit some of our favorites:

* The Ancient Coin Market, http://www.ancientcoinmarket.com/
* VCoins.com, http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/
* About.com, http://coins.about.com/od/famousrarecoins/
* CoinLink.com, http://www.coinlink.com

When you're on a quest for that perfect Justin II Follis Nikomedia Byzantine coin, remember to be polite. Your Beanie Baby competitor may outbid you on that bear, but she will probably return the favor by referring you to the rare coin dealer and ancient coin dealer she uses, with a "TTFN" (that's Ta-ta for now) and a Caesar smiley face. Great Caesar's Ghost, look at the Web site--your Beanie Baby friend is the coin dealer in question! Isn;t cyberspace grand?

   
Can I buy rare coins through my local bank?

Banks as Rare Coin Dealers

Your bank offers free checking, online bill pay and ID theft protection. Does it also offer rare coins?

If the bank offers bullion for sale, the answer is no. Bullion coins such as the US American Eagle and the Canadian Maple Leaf aren't rare coins. Banks and coin dealers both sell them. Your bank won't market bullions as rare coins, so if you think they are, think again. You can, however, invest in third-party gold through your bank, which many coin and investing experts recommend.

In terms of commemorative coins that could become rare, the National Bank of Poland became a coin dealer when it started selling commemorative coins with the image of the late Pope John Paul II for $1.60 to $180 USD.

Bank on this: Any so-called "bank" that calls during dinner offering you "rare" coins is not a legitimate rare coin dealer but a telemarketing scheme.

After all, you've come to expect more and more from banking. But the best way a bank can gauarantee you rare coins is to give you a safety-deposit box for that Byzantine piece.

   
Is there a risk involved in buying from dealers in the Yellow Pages?

Yellow Pages Coin Dealers

You've seen the ads for "that book" and are tempted to just look up coins. No, not the Bible, though the Bible has plenty to say about money--shekels, talents, Prodigal Son, render unto Caesar. You want to buy Caesar coins, or shekels, or Biblical coins and you wonder if the Yellow Pages will help you.

There's no more risk in looking up coin dealers in the Yellow Pages than there is in, say, calling a car dealership or a repairman. Or a Bible shop. But you can avoid a plague of locusts if you observe the following tips:

o Check out coin dealers with PNG, ANACS or one of the major guilds. That Biblical rare coin dealer could have a history of problems or might not even belong.
o Just because that coin dealer doesn't sell wholesale doesn't mean you have a potential shyster. Coins aren't a wholesale business--if you want bulk, go to Costco. Coin dealers have to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.
o Check your local Better Business Bureau or government to find out if there are any charges or lawsuits pending.
o Talk to coin collectors in your area to see what they say about that rare coin dealer.
o Have a specific coin, if not two or three, in mind when you call or visit the coin dealers. As with any other business, the service you get on the phone will give you an idea of whether or not you'd like to do business.
o See what the other merchants in the neighborhood say. Do they like the owner of the coin dealer shop? Would they do business with that coin dealer?

The Bible says, "There are none so blind as those who will not see." Don't be so blinded by your quest for the perfect coin that you fail to do your homework after checking the Yellow Pages,

   
How can I find US rare coin dealers that sell Indian head quarters?

Indian Head Quarters

There's been a hullaballoo in the Professional Numismatists Guild over the rare Indian Head Quarter Eagles coins. The PNG says that these rare coins are selling for new low prices, but are valuable coin specimens. Even the 1911-Denver Mint piece isn't outrageously costly if you're collecting a complete set. In other words, Indian heads won't cost you an arm and a leg. Collectors who don't mind pricey acquisitions can buy a 1929 coin, the last year of the set, for $575 at one dealer we know.

How do you find a good Indian Head Quarter Eagle US Coin dealer and rare coin dealer? You might check the PNG Dealer Directory--any organization that has twelve tips for eBay rare coin buyers is worth its weight in rare King of Siam 1804 silver dollars.

Another great way to find coin dealers who sell an Indian Head Quarter Eagle is to read magazimes such as Coin Connoisseur (www.coinmag.com). Look for "Early US Coin," "Rare US Coin," "Quarter Eagles," and similar phrases in classified ads. Then you can make a hullaballoo too.

   
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