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Whether you’ve inherited an old coin collection or have been putting together a set of your own, appraising your coins with an expert is always a good idea. Not only will it help you get an accurate valuation, but many times, it is needed to insure your collection.
The best coin collection appraisal services are those that offer both free and professional appraisals, have certified experts on staff, and have experience handling all types of coins. A select few not only appraise but auction off and buy coins from its customers.
Best Overall: Heritage Auctions Coins
Why We Chose It: Heritage Auctions Coins is one of the top online auction sites in the world, with currency sales topping $4 billion since its inception. Heritage has numismatic experts on staff for professional appraisal services, as well as free appraisals for auction items.
Free appraisals for auction items
On-staff numismatic experts
Professional appraisals available
Experience with U.S., world, and rare coins
Free appraisal is for auction sale items only
Professional appraisals require direct contact
Heritage Auctions was founded in 1976 and has become one of the largest auction houses in the United States. Its coin auction site has hosted and sold some of the most prestigious coin collections in the world, and the company keeps a staff of numismatic experts who can help identify, certify, and appraise your coins.
Heritage offers two appraisal services, free and professional. Free appraisals are a complimentary service that is strictly for those looking to use heritage auction services to sell their coins or collection. Users can submit their collection details online and upload pictures. For professional appraisals, Heritage has a team of numismatic experts, many with ISA (International Society of Appraisers) and ASA (American Society of Appraisers) certification. They offer paid appraisal services that are valid for legal or insurance purposes.
Heritage also offers auction services, as well as direct purchasing of appraised items. This gives users the ability to not only value their coins but sell them all in one place.
To get started with Heritage free appraisals, fill out the online appraisal form, and attach pictures of your coins if you have them. If you are interested in professional appraisal services, you can contact one of Heritage's appraisal experts directly via email or phone. You can find the contact information for the experts on the company's professional appraisal page.
Best for U.S. Coins: PGS Gold and Coin
Why We Chose It: PGS Gold and Coin specializes in evaluating and selling U.S. coins and bullion. Its detailed appraisal process helps users sort and submit their collections for appraisal.
Over 40 years of numismatic experience on staff
Certified coin-grading and appraisal experts
Detailed appraisals for U.S. coins
Written appraisals start at $175 an hour per appraiser
Most appraisals are in-person at Illinois locations
PGS Gold and Coin is an Illinois-based dealer that focuses on gold and U.S. minted coins. Founded in 2008, it is a family-owned business and authorized coin dealer endorsed by organizations like PCGS and NGC.
The company offers in-person or remote appraisals of U.S. coins and can even professionally grade and authenticate your coins. The appraisals fall into two categories verbal appraisals for valuation purposes and formal written appraisals for legal and insurance purposes.
The verbal appraisals cost $75 and can help value your coins or collection for consignment or auction sales. The written appraisals cost $175 per hour (minimum $175 charge) and are professionally reviewed by multiple appraisers. The written appraisals are used for estate valuations, legal proceedings, or insurance purposes.
To get started with PGS Gold and Coin appraisals, you can view the company's guide to organizing your collection before submitting it. Once your collection is arranged, you can contact the team via email, phone, or by submitting an online form.
Best for World Coins: Great Collections
Why We Chose It: Great Collections offers free online appraisals on world coins with pre-built excel spreadsheets for helping collectors organize their coins.
Certified numismatic experts on staff
Appraisals are free of charge
Over 900,000 coins sold from all over the world
Appraisals can’t be used for legal or insurance needs
Appraisals only available for auctionable coins
Great Collections is an online auction house that specializes in U. S. and world coin collections. Founded in 2010 by Ian Russell, the website has listed and sold over $235 million worth of rare coins in 2021.
The Great Collections staff is composed of domestic and world coin numismatic experts certified by several professional coin organizations, including Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Professional Numismatic Guild (PNG). The entire 11-year history of its auction sales is also available on its site, helping users evaluate and pre-appraise their collections using real-world sales prices.
Great Collections offers free appraisals for items that collectors are considering listing for sale. Clients can submit their coin details online and organize their collection using the Great Collection free excel spreadsheet.
To get a free appraisal from Great Collections, simply fill out the online form (and attach pictures if needed). If you have any questions, you can reach the Great Collections team via email or phone.
If you are looking to sell your coin collection, finding a quality auction house to appraise and list your coins will help make the process simpler. For insurance or legal needs, always look for a professional certified by an organization like the American Numismatic Association (ANA) or Professional Numismatic Guild (PNG). These written appraisals will be considered valid in a court of law. Heritage Auctions Coins earned best overall on our list for its variety of appraisal and auction services, as well as its longstanding history handling U.S., world, and rare coins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Get My Coins Professionally Graded?
Most serious coin collectors and auction houses recommend getting rare and valuable coins professionally graded. This helps certify their authenticity, as well as their condition, and may help increase the value of your collection.
There are two main certification companies for coins:
- Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is the largest coin grading company in the world and is the industry standard for graded coins.
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) is the second-largest grading company and the only other grading service that holds weight in the coin collecting community.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Coin Collection Appraised?
The costs associated with appraising your coin collection can vary depending on the type of appraisal needed. Many online appraisals are available for free, especially by auction houses looking to list your coins. These free appraisals are for valuation and selling purposes only.
Formal written appraisals can range from $75 to over $150 per hour, depending on the coins, appraisal details, and purpose. Formal written appraisals are typically used for insurance or legal purposes, such as estate planning.
We reviewed the service offerings, prices, customer service, and expertise of almost a dozen appraisers from around the U.S. All appraisers on our list are numismatic experts with many decades of experience in the coin collection industry.