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Huge Coin Donation - Looking For Help!

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United States
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 Posted 08/14/2020  2:42 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CoreyGoodwill to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello! I am an employee of Goodwill of the Finger Likes in New York State. I'm in charge of processing donations for our online sales to get the most value for our nonprofit organization.

My current project is the massive tote of mostly unsorted coins from all over the world which have been donated over time. I would love some tips on the best ways to sort them and identify ones which are worth taking the time to research individually, rather than sell in a group based on country or some other category (which I intend to do with most of the coins).

Among the donations are also some lovingly prepared collections which have been denoted by folks with hobby lingo, so resources on these things would help me price them and get the to collectors.

For the large amount of loose US coinage - is it worth my paid time to look for valuable coins, or am I better off taking them to a bank? Of course, I will be able to easily take out things like dollar and half dollar coins, as well as clearly older or off material coins. But looking at specific dates on pennies for example - is this worth the effort?

I'll be happy to make sure those who help out get the first crack at what I post, too!

Thanks everyone, I'll be on next week to check responses and get back to you.
Edited by CoreyGoodwill
08/14/2020 2:45 pm
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United States
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Valued Member
United States
291 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2020  3:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Pistareen to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Before Covid I would have said consider attending a meeting of your local coin club and tell the members of your need for expert opinions on a large coin collection for charity. I'm sure you will find all the helpers you can use who would be happy to donate their time and talents in organizing and determining the value of your collection. I know if you did this at my local coin club you would have to limit the number of helpers. Today this might be done as a Zoom exercise with you in a secure location showing the coins in closeup to virtual coin club volunteers to learn which coins are worthy of individual attention and what bunches of coins can go into a bag at lot prices. Once you know what you have then you can make decisions about how best to sell the various lots. Here your time matters depending on how much time you want to spend to get top dollar offers from collectors versus wholesale offers, you decide based on the estimated total value of the collection.
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United States
7406 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2020  3:46 pm  Show Profile   Check GrapeCollects's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GrapeCollects to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can't offer much assistance with world coins but I can with US coins.

For pennies put any aside that have this design on the back.

If the date on them is 1909 or 1914 is has the potential to be worth a fair bit.

For nickels save any with a buffalo or a big letter V on the back.

For dimes save any from 1964 or eariler as they are silver. However, it would likely take a while to do this so here's a quicker way to do it rather than looking at each coin.

See how some of the dimes have a brown colored edge and others have a white or grey edge? The ones that have a white or greyish colored edge are silver. Sorting them out this way takes much less time.

For quarters do the same as dimes.

For half dollars do the same as quarters and dimes.

If you see coins with any of these designs (or any design not listed that's silver or old) these should be saved.

My best finds: 1999-WAM: 1988-RDV-6: 1986-Off-center:
1999 WAM #2:
1981 Double Struck In Collar:
ANA id: 3194067
My Type Set:
If you want to buy something or sell something or just talk, shoot me a PM!
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 Posted 08/14/2020  4:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dave700x to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You may want to contact the Ontario County Coin Club in Canandaigua. There may be a member that's willing to give you a hand and even possibly purchase anything of numismatic or intrinsic value. You will not be able to sell anything on this forum until you reach the required post count.
And to the CCF from a former Finger lakes region resident...
1883-O Nut
Edited by dave700x
08/14/2020 7:35 pm
New Member
United States
3 Posts
 Posted 08/14/2020  7:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TopPopSetBuilder to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can help.

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 Posted 08/14/2020  11:08 pm  Show Profile   Check Wade's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Wade to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Buy a small digital scale and a set of digital calipers, then use the advanced search on to see what you have.

The small investment in equipment (maybe $50 in total) will reduce your research time 100 fold.

I've pulled many $50 and $100 world coins from $8 per pound bulk lots on ebay. Then again I've also spent $100s on worthless scrap metal.

It's kind of a gamble, but if you spend the time it could result in a nice return on investment.

Alternatively, take a handful of coins at a time (literally just grab a handful, spread them out and photograph both sides) and list them on eBay. The market will determine the appropriate price.

Good luck!
Edited by Wade
08/14/2020 11:09 pm
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 Posted 08/15/2020  12:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pictures would help immensely.

As a general rule of thumb, very few US coins with designs that you recognize from circulation are going to be worth much, unless there is substantial pre-1964 silver. There are some valuable varieties, of course, but in order to be valuable, they also have to be very hard to find, meaning it would probably be a net loss for your company to pay you to search for them.

With world coins, there are of course some silver coins out there, but generally speaking, most post-WWII coins are practically worthless, again to the extent that it would not be worth the paid time to sort them versus selling unsorted coins by the pound on ebay. Some exceptions that are worth looking for:

- Swiss franc coins (Confoederatio Helvetia) of 50 cents or more (Swiss Francs are usually worth about as much as the USD)
- Japanese yen of 50, 100 or 500 yen (100 yen = about 95 cents)
- British pound coins
- Euro coins, especially 1 and 2 euro

If you have a substantial amount of any of these, they are worth your time to separate them and list as separate lots of "vacation money".

I would focus your time on the collections that were donated, and keep in mind that it is usually better to sell a collection as-is than to try to break it up, or especially to mix it in with bulk lots.

Probably 95% of people who have a "coin collection" have less than $200 worth, but the 5% coupled with a clueless widow or child is what you need to keep your eye out for.
My Collections:
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United States
19584 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2020  08:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

You would be better off just getting rid of them at a bank. Pending a possible large amount of coins could take you a long time and be worth only a small amount of cash. So unless you have little to do, best get rid of them the easy way. As to foreign coins, I have no idea.
just carl
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289 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2020  4:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Eurocoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For foreign coins there are several companies which exchange them for US dollars. Even some pre euros can be still exchanged, e.g. German marks, Austrian schillings and Spanish pesetas (until 12/2020). As said above, euros, pounds Swiss francs are at least worth something. Only minus on these services is that you have to pay the mailing costs in most cases. It may be clever to try to make contract with some of these companies to get benefits. I have used UK based service, but there's also US based firms like
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United States
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 Posted 08/17/2020  07:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoreyGoodwill to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for your responses! This has been very helpful. I've found a substantial amount of some of the coins mentioned by a lot of you, so that makes me feel like it's worth the time to sort through. I'll also contact the local coin club!
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 Posted 08/17/2020  1:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Big-Kingdom to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My opinion, the learning curve is steep, check at your location and see if it's legit to send this to a coin dealer to have it appraised and see if they want to make an offer on it to get rid of it in one bulk lot.

In the end, this is what the plan is right? Sell it? two birds with one stone. take it to a couple dealers and get written estimates, and have a work witness of course, and take the best offer for your charity. instead of pouring though it one by one by one. I doubt a coin dealer is gonna rip off a goodwill donation. Heck he can probably donate the appraisal and use it as a write off on his taxes also.

really need a trained eyed to go over it to maximize the values and catch what you would miss, and value it accordingly.

Just my opinion of course, every place has it's rules.
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