Value vs. Price

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Is my coin's value the same as its price?

Value vs. Price

Price and value aren't always the same. Think of a McDonald's at 99 cents. The Big Mac is, at most, worth 99 cents. On the other hand, if you buy a laptop computer normally worth $2,000 at $1,000, you have a bargain (without the cholesterol, fat and lawsuits). The same holds true for coin values versus coin prices.

The US coin value of a Draped Bust half-dollar at MS-63 (mint state but with flaws) outweights the bid or auction price. Say you pay $300 for that coin as opposed to $3,000 for a Draped Bust half-dollar in BU or MS-67 state. The value is getting a coin you like at a reasonable price. So don't be afraid to go for the lesser-priced coin. You may want a Jaguar, but if a brilliant Volvo at a lesser price comes along, its valuable to you.

Some other tips on price versus value:

* Remember that even if you have an MS-69, authenticity, toning, cleaning, and sharpness or weakness in strike all determine a coin value despite the grade.
* Don't be afraid to buy lower-graded coins, since grading is not an exact science. Your MS-60 could in fact be an MS-64, and you'll have bought it at MS-60 coin values.
* Expensive coins aren't always interesting or desirable. Your US coin value doesn't depend on how rare or coveted the coin is. A Flying Eagle Cent from 1858 in Good/Very Good condition is an interesting piece of history that may be valuable to you and to historians. A Copper Nickel Cent (1859-1864) in Good/Very Good condition is a great buy at $8.95. The same holds true for an 1873 two-cent piece at $15-$16.
* Capped Bust half-dollars with less-than-sharp date or less-than-sharp detail on the cap may be worth more than common brilliant uncirculated silver dollars. Certainly the price is more reasonable for the average collector.
* Coin prices for old coins may not include current gold, silver and palladium values. If you factor in today's gold prices, you're getting a much more valuable coin than you thought.

So while you might enjoy a Big Mac Value Meal (not too often, right?), you value your laptop that you're using to check coin prices and a particular US coin value before you step into your new Volvo.



3/24/2009 11:26:42 AM
Teresa Boyer said:

What is meant by MS-67?


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