Sunday, April 22, 2018

Determining Coin Value

As the producer of a numismatic app, we get many questions about coin collecting. The most frequent goes something like this:
Does the App have a way of automatically telling me how much my coins are worth?

Coin value is what numismatics is all about, this is a natural question every collector has. We invested much thought on this question, considered buying a service that would provide a data feed from Coin World or some other source.

Turns out it's not possible to provide 100% accurate estimate's of value on sight unseen coins.

Anyone that tells you otherwise has never sold a coin. If you doubt that, try finding a dealer that will give you an offer sight-unseen. If the coins are numismatically significant, you won't find any dealer willing to make such an offer without first doing an in-person examination of the coins.

Perhaps at some point, third party grading will reach the point where computers will solve this problem. Until then, grade and value determination will remain an art.

Best information

US Coin takes a different approach to value, we place the best information available at your finger-tips. This is facilitated in the App in different ways.

  1. Precious metal content
  2. Auctions

Precious metal content

Common gold and silver coins (readily available in quantity) are frequently bought and sold based on the value of their base metals. This typically includes 20th century gold and silver. Silver coins (pre-1964) are common and readily available, they typically sell at or very close to spot silver melt prices. The App provides an estimated melt value for these coins. Same goes for common 20th century gold coins (Saints, $10, $5, gold Indian's). For this class of coin, the estimated melt value is a good and accurate benchmark for what the coin will sell for particularly for these coins in below MS-65 grades.

The App provides a precious metal melt calculator. Common Gold $10 Indians in XF frequently sell for 119% of melt value, you can indicate this and the App will automatically calculate an estimated melt value.


Actual buy & sell transactions is irrefutably the single best source of pricing data. We recognize that and provide several ways for you to view auction information.

First, when you entering an estimated value (iOS App), we display auctions on the coin to provide comparable information for a price estimate.

Next, in the coin edit view you will notice a large Informational icon at the top of the view (iOS). Touching that will display for you the single best source of numismatic information available on the Web, PCGS's CoinFacts.

CoinFacts provides the most valuable single-source of information on US coins. This includes not just basic reference information (mintage, dimensions, weight, designer) but also estimates of the number of known survivors of the coin, commentary on the issue by world recognized Numismatic experts, recent auctions on the coin, and does this for all grades of the coin. There is no better source of information on US coins.

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