Collecting coins is a favorite pastime of hobbyists all over the world. Whether you enjoy the hunt of searching for a rare coin or simply like the history behind them, putting together a top-notch coin collection can be fulfilling—and profitable.
If you’ve pieced together a collection of coins, happened upon a rare doubloon, or inherited a valuable set of coins, finding a reputable auction to list your valuables is important. To help you get top dollar for your coins, we’ve put together the best coin auction sites available today.
Best Overall: Heritage Auctions Coins
Why We Chose It: Heritage Auctions Coins is the top auction site in the world with the most successful auctions resulting in over $1.4 billion in sales, Heritage is the industry standard for selling currency online.
Almost 1.5 million registered bidders
Live online auction broadcast worldwide
Consignment-to-settlement process handled by Heritage
In-house numismatic experts
10 percent seller’s fee charged for items under $2,500
Have to wait 45 days to receive payment
Heritage Auctions was founded in 1976 and is now the premier auction house for rare and unique collectibles. It is the top coin auction house in the world in terms of volume, selling some of the most valuable coins in the world.
Heritage Coins offers a wide array of services, including consignment and free and paid appraisals, and it has local offices around the world for consultation on selling your rare coins.
With almost 1.5 million registered users for its online auctions and a live broadcast that can be viewed worldwide, Heritage puts more eyes on your items than any other auction house.
To get started listing your coins, get in touch with Heritage by filling out a consignment form on its website. You can then ship your coins to Heritage to be inspected by its numismatic (currency) experts and be submitted for grading. The company will list your coins, launch an auction, and, when your item sells, send you a check 45 days later.
Best for Rare Coins: Stack’s Bowers
Why We Chose It: Stack’s Bowers specializes in rare U.S. coins and has been the intermediary for some of the largest coin auctions in the world.
Holds the world record for the most expensive coin ever sold
Over 80 years experience in auctioning rare coins
In-house numismatic experts
Free appraisals and grading
Monthly auction events
No online submission form
Commissions vary by collection
Founded in 1933, Stack’s Bowers is one of the most recognizable names in the coin auction industry. It is best known for selling the world’s most valuable coin for over $10 million, a 1794 silver dollar.
Stack’s Bowers offers free appraisal and grading services for your coins, helping you find their estimated value before putting them up for auction. While quick appraisals can be done over email, you will need to visit one of the company's offices or mail in your coins for an accurate appraisal and grading.
Stack’s Bowers specializes in rare U.S. minted coins, as well as rare world and ancient coins. It has held some of the most valuable auctions in the world, including famous coin collections such as The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, and more.
To get started, call or email Stack’s Bowers or find a local office. The company's experts will walk you through the process of appraisal, consignment, listing, and selling your coins.
Best for Spanish Currency and Shipwrecks: Daniel Frank Sedwick
Why We Chose It: Daniel Frank Sedwick is the world’s foremost expert on Spanish colonial and shipwreck coin collections, and its live auction site is dedicated to these artifacts.
Recognized expertise in Spanish colonial coins
Attention to detail when listing for auction
Partners with iCollector to access hundreds of thousands of bidders
Cash advances available to consignors
No online submission form
Not as many auctions per year as other companies
Daniel Frank Sedwick is a recognized numismatics expert and author who founded his auction house in 2007. His auctions are specially focused on Spanish colonial coins and artifacts, as well as shipwreck finds.
Sedgwick’s auction site hosts a variety of rare coins and has thousands of registered bidders. Many of those coins have been recovered from a famous 1715 shipwreck off the coast of eastern Florida.
Sedgwick also offers appraisal, certification, and conservation services to value and protect your collection.
To get an estimate and start the consignment process, email or call the team and discuss the coins you are looking to sell. You can include descriptions and pictures to help the company get an estimate of what your collection could be worth.
Once the company accepts your items for auction, they'll be listed and sold. You will receive a check 45 days after that, although there is a cash advance option and the ability to use your proceeds to immediately make purchases within the same auction.
Best for High-Value Coin Collections: Ira & Larry Goldberg
Why We Chose It: The Goldberg auction house is a boutique operation, holding very few auctions per year. Its focus is on valuable coin collections, having hosted several famous collections over the past 50 years.
Simple online consignment form
Professional presentation (award-winning catalogues)
Merchandise is fully insured
Appraisals and certifications available
Very few auction dates available
20 percent buyer’s premium on all sales
Ira and Larry Goldberg have been in the numismatics business for over 50 years and are two of the top names in selling high-value coin collections. They are still involved in the day-to-day handling of their auctions, including examining and appraising coin collections as well as working with sellers directly to get the top price for their items.
Ira and Larry are both part of the American Numismatic Association. Their expertise makes them uniquely qualified to handle the rarest coin collections in the world.
Goldberg’s auction house hosted the single highest-priced collection auction in 2009, The Millennia Collection, which brought in over $24 million in a single day. If you have a rare, high-value collection, Goldberg’s is our top choice for selling your coins.
To get started, fill out its online consignment form to provide details and pictures of your collection. Once your request is reviewed, a representative will reach out to discuss the next steps.
Best for Low Fees: Great Collections
Why We Chose It: Great Collections features no minimums, low fees, and fast payouts to coin collectors.
No seller's fees on items that sell for more than $1,000
Payments arrive in 30 days or less
Auctions held online for streamlined sales
Coins are fully insured
Coins valued over $25,000 require a manual consignment process
Great Collections was founded in 2010 by Ian Russell, a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild, to help coin collectors buy and sell coins online. It has successfully sold over 900,000 graded coins worth over $400 million.
Its web-first approach is designed for sellers of less-valuable coins who want to list their coins or collections. With a low listing fee and a 5 percent seller's fee (0 percent for items over $1,000), it charges far less than most auction houses.
Great Collections also partners with professional coin graders to allow clients to send in coins for grading and consignment. This streamlines the selling process, helping customers raise the value of their coins with a professional grading and listing.
To sell your coins with Great Collections, download and fill out its consignment forms and send in your coins via insured mail. The company will contact you directly when your items arrive to walk you through the process.
Whether you have an ultra-rare collection of pre-Revolutionary War coins or simply want to sell a rare penny, finding the right coin auction service will help you get the most money for your items. There are many places that will offer to buy your coins, but finding a reputable dealer with industry-recognized experience will help you decide on the best way to sell your coins. The right coin auction service for you depends on your individual situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know How Much My Coins Are Worth?
Many auction houses will offer a free appraisal service to give you an estimate of what your coins might sell for. Some also have an online coin directory that you can use to look up the estimated value of your coins. Getting your coins professionally graded and appraised will give you a more accurate value, as well as a certificate of authenticity to legitimize your coins.
How Do I Pack My Coins for Shipping?
Before shipping your coins to any auction house for consignment, always talk with the company's team first. Many auction houses have packaging available for your collection, and you can coordinate with them to ensure you can ship all of your items to reduce the risk of damage.
Also, make sure the items are insured for the estimated value of the collection. The U.S. Postal Service allows for up to $50,000 in shipping insurance against damage, theft, or loss.
Do Auction Houses Insure My Coin Collection?
Most professional auction houses carry insurance against any valuables they have stored with them. In fact, it's recommended that you only send your coins to dealers who provide proof of insurance.
This insurance should protect against damage, theft, loss, or any other disaster that may compromise your collection. It should also protect your assets until they are safely in the buyer’s custody.
What Happens if My Coins Don’t Sell?
Some auction houses will re-list your coins in a new auction if they don’t sell the first time. If they go unsold in a subsequent auction, the company may ship them back to you for a fee. Other auction houses have stricter guidelines around unsold items and may charge a significant fee for items that do not meet the minimum reserve amount.
How We Chose the Best Online Coin Auctions
We reviewed and compared several online coin auction services based on factors such as how long they have been in business, how many auctions they hold, the number of eligible bidders who have access to their auctions, and the total value of items sold. We also considered customer reviews and website usability.