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Valued Member
103 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  1:18 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Coin Noob to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
As my name states I am a total noob to coin collections. Other than knowing they exist and can be quite detailed and interesting, I do not know much more.

I recently inherited an extensive coin collection from my fathers estate, and now have the daunting task of trying to estimate or establish certain values.

The collection includes coins, bills, tokens, and have dates ranging as far back as 214 A.D. I am in the process of consulting with a local pro, however in order to save myself some cost, and perhaps educate myself some to prevent being conned, I am here seeking help.

I do not want to step on any toes or break any rules. But this site is quite large and I wonder what would be the best place to ask questions regarding current values? Most of them appear to be labelled with grade for example.

All help is greatly appreciated.
Pillar of the Community
1481 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  1:31 pm  Show Profile   Check nickelsguy's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add nickelsguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are members here from all over. What area of Canada are you in? Help is absolutely available here. Still lots of work though. Welcome. Regards Mike
Pillar of the Community
United States
2435 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  1:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add okiecoiner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
How many coins is the "extensive" collection. You may have to contract out to an experienced dealer to do an appraisal .. may cost a few hundred. If most of the coins are world-wide from the 1600's onward, then try to get a Krause World Coins from the library or a used copy off Ebay. If most is Canadian, pick up a copy of Charlton's, either for the standard circulating coinage or the paper money. We need a little more info to be able to help. I'd start googling quite a bit to get a handle on what you have, including searching Ebay.
Valued Member
103 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  1:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coin Noob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Lol @ me... it took me 2 minutes just to see where to reply.

Thanks for the response. I am in Calgary. I see so many sub categories of places to post, I'm just not sure if I need to drill down to specific denominations to post, or if there might be a gneral "I'm lost and need a lot of help" type forum? lol Thanks again, that was a fast reply.
Valued Member
103 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  1:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coin Noob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Okie... I am not sure how to describe the amount... 1000s or tens of 1000s of coins. Bills. Mostly but not all Canadian. I have a bill from 1854 Boston (I had no idea Boston has bills). I spent the better part of yesterday Googling and doing the best I could, but some were not easy to find. I am in contact with a local person, but it is hard to know whether paying $75 an hour is worth it, not knowing how many hours it might take, or the rough value of the collection. I'd hate to spend $500 to evaluate a $400 collection (made up numbers)
Valued Member
103 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  1:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coin Noob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here's an example of one page, in a full binder, in one of many binders.

I have 16 Canadian Dollar coins, ranging in date from 1968 to 1978, mostly labelled "gem", but some have "broken water lines" or "short water lines" etc... With so many sub varieties I just can't find the info so far.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
28078 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  2:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
to CCF. Here is a link that might help
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
Pillar of the Community
1262 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  2:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just be patient with it, likely be ok to post pictures here and people will be more than happy to give you an idea of a full retail Ebay value vs selling to a dealer. Best of luck, welcome, you have certainly found the right place.
Valued Member
103 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  2:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coin Noob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you. I was on there much of yesterday. It's the finer nuances that seem hard to find..... I am on there now on my other monitor lol
Pillar of the Community
United States
507 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  3:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Big-Kingdom to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For a lot of the common stuff you can "sort" those out with Ebay and checking sold listings, if you come across something with significant value on there, set it aside for a professional (you determine what your "significant value" limit is)
As far as his coins with notations on them, could be errors or could be die variety's or could be nothing at all, us collectors do strange things with notes on coins. you can set those aside for a professional to check also.

Yes the expert will cost you some money for the time, but the idea is to not dump thew whole thing on the expert and sort out the common cheaper stuff from the stuff you want to maximize the value on, and not waste the expert's time (and your money) for him to go over it all if he doesn't have to.

Also, avoid the experts that will give you a free appraisal and make an offer to buy, almost a certainty they will lowball you on the value to make a profit, much better to pay for the appraisal and no offer to buy. then if his fees are good let him broker for a fee certain coins, but that something else to negotiate later.
Main point is to try to figure out current fair market values, and for a lot of it, that can be done on Ebay by searching "sold" listings. Anything of question or doubt then give to the expert to determine. this will narrow down your "expert costs"

If some are still circulating coins and currency, then it's going to at least be worth it's face value. You can use that number as a starting point value to see how many hours of an experts time that part of the collection would afford you to know more about the older stuff or the oddities or notated coins and currency.

He didn't put the collection together in a week and you won't be able to sort it all out and make sense of it in a short time either. It was likely a lifetime of collection, just be patient and get a general understanding to identify the ones with higher values or questionable value and set them aside for an expert to appraise.
Most of this will come down to condition of the coins or currency to determine their value and most collectors can't really grade accurately enough to maximize profit. Some can, but many can't, which is why the grading companies stay in business.

Might also want to make an XL and catalog them all, as an inventory, before you pass them off to people to appraise, so you know if something goes missing or not and keep track of them when you give them to someone. A business would do it to you, you should do it to them also, a receipt or packing list for everything so nothing goes missing and there's no ill will between you and anyone else.

Sorry to hear of your loss.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2435 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  3:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add okiecoiner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For the nickel dollars that you mention, they're probably worth face value or a tad more. Check out the Canadian coins on the CoinsandCanada website linked above .. you can get lots of info there. Most stuff after 1967 worth only face value or a little more, unless you get to spotless Uncirc coins. Before '67, the 10c to dollar coins are silver and one face dollar is worth 60% of int'l silver price (now about 15.50) so each dollar in change is worth 9+ bucks. I would do as much weeding out of the common stuff that you can before you even THINK about giving someone $75/hr. And, as mentioned above, don't sell anything to the appraiser until you get another opinion or two.... they appraise to make money and cherry pick.
Valued Member
103 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  6:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coin Noob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I appreciate all the info. It seems I am not going to be able to pull this off with the info I have available. I posted a single bill earlier to see if I could get some assistance. The grade listed on it is simply "UNC" for the "Devil Face" bill.... I was then re-directed to a site for that bill (which I had checked already) but it then breaks "UNC" down into sub-grades that I'm not sure I'm qualified to do.... they also had UNC-60 UNC-62 CUNC-63 CUNC-64 GUNC-65 GUNC-66 GUNC-67. On top of that it only lists certain pre-fixes and mine is not on there.

Also for those nickel dollars rated as "gem" all I can find on "gem" on the internet is a Wiki reference comparing it to "MS-65 to MS 69", which then makes some of those nickle dollars worth as much as $200.

The more I read the more confused I get lol. I was hoping to sell it all, but it seems that might take years. I should have had kids and left it to them, and not had to deal with this lol

Thanks for your condolences Big-Kingdom... It was years ago now, it just took this long to divide. I only have 1/4 of the collection (siblings)... rough raw weight, mine is probably 70lbs of bills and labelled coins to go through.
Pillar of the Community
2263 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  7:44 pm  Show Profile   Check silverwolf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add silverwolf to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
yes your best bet , is to buy a coin book or coin news magazine, this will give you some idea of what the more valuable coins may be worth.. If you have silver dollars, than any 1938, 1946,1947, 1948, are worth a picture or 2 for us to give you an idea of grade of the coin.. PLEASE DO NOT CLEAN any coin, handle them by the edges.. using a coin book you will be able to determine key dates, then the forum, can help you with grades to give you an idea of value.. ask all the questions you require, we are here to help..

And as far as bills go , same as coins condition is paramount to the value, and devil's face bills command more money than modified bills..
Valued Member
103 Posts
 Posted 04/24/2019  8:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coin Noob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hey Silverwolf.... thanks for the tips. I personally collect hockey cards (also inherited a 53/54 Parkhurst complete set, with one card being listed at over 10k)..... I also do fine-art Giclee prints on archival quality paper with archival ink (better than the quality that hangs on museum walls). So I never touch anything. I have Gloves for the things that don't have cases or sleeves. All of the coins and bills I am talking about come in a sleeve or protector of some sort, so I never have to touch them.

I posted pictures of old dollars, quarters, and that devil face bill in other threads.

Clean? Bite your tongue! ;) I don't want to clean my room, never mind old/rare coins lol
Pillar of the Community
951 Posts
 Posted 04/25/2019  01:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add purelywasted to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the forum.

I always suggest a couple things to think about with this kind collection

1. What do you want to do with it? (Keep it, sell it, keep some as a memento, etc...)
2. How much time do you want to spend going through this? (this can be very time consuming)
3. What is your time horizon? (Do you need to dispose of quick or is this a side of table project?)

With a large collection, I would suggest organizing it into "piles" before you do anything, including buying a bunch of collecting catologs/magazines or hiring an expert (use their time once you have sorted, don't pay them to sort through FV/junk silver).

Based on your description I would suggest:
1. Canada coins 1952 and earlier (this is likely where most of the value is (if any)
2. Canada coins 1953-1967 (silver, but most of it will likely be melt value)
3. Canada coins 1968-present (most of it will be face value with exception of some rarities and high grades or Canadian Mint products)
4. World coins
5. Canadian bank notes
6. World bank notes

Once you have done this, you can then start to tackle valuation by sections. Take a look at some of the resources we have posted here (look at realized ebay values for approximate value) and (help you with grading)

Post some photos of interesting coins you find. Remember that we need both sides and they should be as clear as possible. Also note that any catalog prices are not reflective of reality, usually actual value is closer to 40-60% of listed price. Less if you sell to a dealer.

This is a very helpful forum and people are really good. Keep us posted and good luck!

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United States
73511 Posts
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