What can I do with a large coin collection?

Wyatt McDonald

Feb 29th, 2024 · 3 min read

How much could your large coin collection be worth?

Have you ever heard of Louis E. Eliasberg? He was a Baltimore-born businessman who lived from 1896 to 1976 and worked as a financier, serving on the boards of many companies. He was also a family man, married with a couple of kids.

But he is best known for putting together the only complete collection of United States coins ever assembled, consisting of regular issue coins of every date, metal, denomination, and mint mark known to collectors at the time, all in the best possible condition.

It took him the thick end of 30 years to put together and it cost him an estimated $4million – but what an incredible achievement.

We’ll come to what happened to Mr Eliasberg’s coins in a moment but, if you have a big collection that you’ve built up over the years or inherited, what can you do with it?

Get out in front by getting your coins organized

Your first step is to organize the coins. That sounds simple, and sometimes it is simple if you’ve inherited them and the person has catalogued the coins already. But sometimes coin collections arrive in a big pot and can be, for all intents and purposes, all over the place.

So sort your coins by type, country, denomination and any other category you think relevant. Take advice on the handling of your coins. You might be detrimentally affecting their value simply by touching them. So take care with preparing your coins for an appraisal and at the end you’ll know precisely what you’ve got.

Then, we’d advise you to have a dip into the world of numismatics. You don’t need to become an overnight guru but gaining some knowledge of the different types of coins, grading standards, historical significance and other factors that contribute to a coin’s value will help you. There are plenty of books and websites out there with all the information you could possibly require.

Joining local coin clubs or online collector communities can provide you with valuable insights, advice and connections to others who share your interest.

Get the big hitters graded and consider insurance for your coin collection

With a sizeable coin collection, there’s likely to be a number of coins in there that ain’t worth very much. But there’s also a decent chance of coming across rare or valuable pieces. This is where Coinfully can assist. These coins need researching and identifying, as they might require special attention and care.

Getting coins properly graded will provide a completely objective assessment of a coin’s condition, which is crucial for determining its value. This might also be a good time to think about insurance – dropping a $2,000 silver dollar into the trash compactor is no one’s idea of a fantastic day.

Then decision time dawns – what are you going to do with your large collection of coins? Do you want to add to it? Split it up and cash it in to the highest bidder? Are there specific coins you want to keep for sentimental reasons? Your goals will guide your next steps.

Get the coin experts in to guide you

If you are thinking of selling, it’s always wise to consult with a reputable coin dealer like Coinfully. We can give you up-to-date expert market insights, potential values and the best ways to sell your coins – all information you might struggle to find on your own.

We have a passion for educating clients, making sure you understand what you have in your hands and its value. We also have access to a ready supply of international buyers which enables us to make top-of-market offers.

Sound interesting? Then schedule a call with Coinfully today.

As for Mr Eliasberg’s collection, it was divided between his two sons, who separately sold the coins at four of the most famous auctions in numismatic history:

  1. October 1982 – Bowers & Ruddy, The United States Gold Coin Collection
  2. May 1996 – Bowers & Merena, American Copper, Nickel, and Silver Coins I
  3. April 1997 – Bowers & Merena, American Copper, Nickel, and Silver Coins II
  4. April 2005 – Stack’s Bowers Galleries, Gems and Treasures from the World Coin Section of the Eliasberg Collection

You can see the breathtaking catalogue from the 2005 auction here.

How much did the collection sell for? A staggering $44.5 million.

Wyatt McDonald President & Co-Founder of Coinfully. A student of numismatics and trained in the ANA Seminar in Denver, Wyatt is the face of Coinfully and a true expert. After spending a decade buying coins over the counter at a coin shop, he knew there had to be a better way, for everyone involved.

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