We Buy Coins - Ancient Coins and Modern Day Issues

Author: Lawrence Chard - Director and Expert Numismatist

Published: 27 Nov 2018

Last Updated: 27 Nov 2018

We are always prepared to buy any coins.

Whether they are rare, valuable pieces or a bag of junk, we will buy any and all coins, and pay a reasonable and fair price for them.

Naturally, there are times when we need particular coins, and are happy to pay higher prices, but we will always buy any coin at a fair price according to supply, demand and other market conditions.

What Prices?

Because we will buy any coin, and there are millions of different coins which have been issued, it is not possible for us to publish or maintain a list of prices we pay for all coins. 

To give an idea of the difficulty maintaining priced buying lists, consider that the Krause World Coins catalogue covering the 20th century contains about 2,000 pages, and covers about 200,000 coin price grade combinations. There are four volumes covering one century each, plus a separate catalogue for gold coins. That makes over 10,000 pages, over 1 million coin listings. This might sound impressive, but the Krause catalogues are quite condensed, and for most countries there are specialised catalogues covering their particular subject in much greater detail. Then we would need to cover the 17 centuries of coins from earlier than Krause covers.

Price Unseen?

Every single day we get telephone calls from people wanting to know the value of their coins. We explain elsewhere on this site that we usually need to see coins before we can identify them and price them. There are some coins which we can price over the telephone, in which case we will give a price. For almost all other coins, we really do need to see them. Some callers simply can't seem to understand this and insist on trying to spend 30 minutes trying to describe their coin, even after they have read the Value Of My Coin page, which we recommend you look at as it gives some indications of how we calculate prices on some coins.

Are There Any Coins We Will Not Buy?

No, but there are some coins which have such a low value that it would not be worth our while buying them singly. As a simple example, let's say someone expects us to buy a single Canadian one cent coin in ordinary condition. It has a face value of less than half a penny, there is no British coin with a low enough value for us to pay you, we would only buy it at a discount, so we would decline to make a bid. If somebody had a ton of the same coins it may be worth our while making an offer, although we probably could not sell enough of them to collectors, and the only way we could profitably handle them may be to ship them back to Canada. The shipping costs may actually be greater than their value.

What About Quantity?

In the case of some rarer and more expensive coins, one piece in stock may be enough for us, although we would still buy a second or third example, at fair prices, but slightly less than if we had none in stock. In other cases, we would prefer to buy in quantity. This is more usual in the case of lower value coins. A good example of this would be farthings. For small quantities we would pay 2 pence each, whereas in quantity we would pay more, say £25 per thousand. The main reason for this is that there is a cost for our time involved in negotiating and recording the transaction. This is almost the same whether we are buying 1 coin or 1,000 coins, so it is obviously more efficient for us to buy in quantity.

Other Price Guidelines

You could look at the prices at which we sell similar coins, if we have them listed on our websites. If not you could look at a catalogue in a library.

Travel or Post?

We do not, as a rule, travel to buy coins, although we do make exceptions for larger collections. You are welcome to visit our premises, it is advisable but not necessary to telephone us, or you can post the coins to us. We transact most of our business by mail order, and it is quite safe to post coins, providing you package them properly.

No Limit

We place no upper or lower limits on the quantity of coins we will buy. We spoke to one of our "competitors" some time ago, and he surprised us by telling us they would not carry more than 20 krugerrands in stock at the same time. We asked what they would do if someone wished to sell 100 krugerrands, and they said they would buy up to 20 pieces, but tell the seller to come back later. We were astounded, because we would be keen to buy one hundred, one thousand, or whatever.

What To Do Next

If you would like to send your jewellery to us, we will happily make you an offer. We would ask you to send it to us, along with all the information you have and a covering letter explaining how much you would like to get for the piece(s) and a cheque for £10. Please ensure you include your contact details, especially your telephone number as we find it a lot quicker and easier to telephone you with an offer rather than spend time writing to you! If you accept our offer we will return your £10 cheque along with a cheque for your jewellery. If you decline our offer we will use the £10 cheque to cover our costs and the cost of insured return postage.

Posting Coins to Us

Since 1964 we have transacted much of our business by mail. Read our page on sending coins to us

You are welcome to call at our showroom with coins for sale. There is no need to make an appointment, but if you have a large amount of coins, it is advisable to let us know in advance.

Sending coins by post is quite simple and reliable. Within the UK, we recommend the Royal Mail's Special Delivery service, which used to be called "registered".

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