Collecting coins is a great hobby. Not least because the extensive selection of embossings has something to suit every taste and experience level. For example, world-renowned bullion coins are perfect for beginners. But also for long-term and crisis-proof investments, coins made of gold or silver have proven their worth.
You have already been addicted to the passion of coin collecting for some time? Then maybe you are looking for special pieces. Rare coins are coveted collector’s items and often particularly valuable. For this reason, they are not available in every coin shop.
Rarity, demand, etc.: What determines the value of a coin?
It is no different in numismatics than in most other areas of life: The rarer something is, the greater the desire to own it. And the higher its value. Especially with coins, it is possible for their value to change significantly over time.
Due to the increase in the value of precious metals on the world market, the price of gold and silver coins is also constantly rising. In addition, of ancient coins with a formerly high mintage, only a few are now available.
But rarities do not always have to be historical coins.
Even newer collectible or commemorative coins made of platinum or palladium are often minted in small quantities. Thus, from the very beginning there is a high demand for these coins. But what exactly are the criteria that determine the value of a coin?
The type of coin
Exceptions confirm the rule. But basically you can already tell by the type of coin if it could be a rarity. Coins can be divided into three categories:
Course or circulation coins are the coins that you also find in your wallet: The current official currency of a country for everyday payment transactions. Their value is measured exactly by the embossed nominal value. The value of the metals or alloys used is usually lower than the nominal value. For coin collectors, current exchange coins play a minor role. They keep the circulation coins only if a currency reform is imminent in the future.
Bullion coins could theoretically be used as currency for daily payments in their country of issue. But the nominal on this legal tender is usually far below the value of the coin. For this reason, bullion coins are very popular among collectors and investors from all over the world. If you are in possession of such a coin, you can also expect a long-term increase in value . Investment coins made of gold, silver or other precious metals usually never fall below the current market price. This is primarily due to their purity. Therefore, the purchase of silver or gold coins is still considered a safe investment. However, due to their high circulation and annual publication, you will only find rarities here in exceptional cases. This is the case, for example, with misprints.
Excursus: What are misprints? Minting errors are coins that have an incorrect coin image due to production errors at the mint. However, it is also possible that the coins are made of low-grade materials. Due to the high quality controls in the mints, minting errors are extremely rare. Thus, they have now established themselves as a collector’s field in their own right. The rare coins are often more valuable than the faultlessly minted copies from one and the same production. But be careful: Conversely, this does not mean that every minting error is automatically valuable. Here, too, rarity and demand influence the price. In addition, counterfeits can be easily passed off as defective coins, especially in front of laymen. So look closely! It is possible that one would like to sell them a fake as a rarity.
Collector coins include historical coins as well as commemorative coins.
- Historical coins: When a coin is considered historical is not clearly defined. The years before the end of the Second World War are given as a rough time limit. But even strictly limited reissues of ancient coins are sometimes classified as historical.
- Commemorative coins: Commemorative coins honor special personalities, events or special animals and plants with their motifs. Here, therefore, among other things, the motive influences their rarity. They are also minted in limited editions and usually once.
Example: There are only 225 pieces of the “Cuba 100 Pesos 1991 Stadium Olympic Games Barcelona” worldwide. But the 50-ruble gold coin “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games” is also coveted among collectors. It is possible that demand will increase further with the next Olympic Games. Because this is also inherent in valuable commemorative coins: they are not only rare. Rather, it is also current trends that significantly influence their value.
Another aspect that distinguishes rare coins from others is the metal used. Already in ancient times, gold has been used for the production of valuable coins. Even today, many investment and collector coins are minted from the crisis-proof precious metal. However, silver is used even more frequently. Called “sterling” in the Middle Ages, you can find quite high-quality coins with great collector value. Base metals such as copper, aluminum or nickel are not particularly valuable in themselves. However, they can still fetch high prices as alloys of rare coins.
Note: You may come across the “Nordic Gold” in your search for rare coins. This term refers to a nickel-free coin metal that is 89 percent copper. The metal owes its name to its shimmering gold color.
Coins can prove to be rarities in terms of mintage for two reasons:
- They were either minted only in an extremely small number worldwide
- or a high circulation has been decimated over the years .
The causes of this are, for example, wars. However, government requirements to melt down the coins to recover the metal used are also possible.
The year of minting
Old coins are not automatically valuable or rare. Still, the year of mintage can make a big difference between two otherwise identical coins.
Even bullion coins can thus become rarities – for example, if a smaller number is produced in one year than in the years before or after.
The degree of preservation
Whether coins have a certain rarity value is often also shown by their state of preservation. Are there obvious signs of use or has a patina settled over the coin? Then this can have a huge impact on the value of the coin.
The following applies: Both a particularly good state of preservation and a high degree of wear can make a coin a rarity: Are almost all specimens of a particular coin marked with scratches or slight dents? Then well-preserved pieces become rarities as a result. In some cases, however, it is wear and tear that increases the collector’s value. As a rule, this is the case with historical coins.
The type of minting is also part of the degree of preservation of a coin. Thus, certain series of coins are often initially produced in the classic and simplest production method, die mint. If, in addition, the mint brings out the same coins as a high-quality polished plate, this increases the value of these coins. The result: demand for them is increasing. Limited editions thus also have a decisive influence on the price of rare coins.
Note: You can usually recognize the complex minting process of the polished plate by the abbreviation “PP” . The use of polished punches and polished blushers results in a particularly shiny background. Characteristic is also the motif relief intentionally kept in matte.
You plan to buy rare coins of silver or gold? In order to recognize rarities as such, you should also take a quick look at the different degrees of preservation. A distinction is made here between the following levels:
- If a coin is graded as excellent, the minting is still visible in detail on both sides. No signs of use are visible to the naked eye.
- Coins with light wear are considered very beautiful , but their motif still has clear contours.
- Beautiful coins already show significant signs of wear. Basically, the outlines of the image and the lettering can still be recognized.
- Poorly preserved coins usually do not have high collector value.
What rare coins are actually worth always depends on demand. If a thematic area is particularly in demand among collectors, the value of the coins with the corresponding motifs also increases. This is especially true when
- many coin collectors have the goal of completing their collection with these unique pieces.
- only a few copies were minted with this special motif.
However, trends can also lead to a run on certain coins. Thus, even copies with high editions can become sought-after rarities.
Why collect rare coins? – These reasons speak for it!
Whether gold, silver, platinum or palladium coins: There are many beautiful, globally recognized and value-preserving bullion coins with high mintages. So why should you bother looking for and collecting rare coins? Looked at closely, here are some reasons! Below are a few examples:
- Complete your coin collection: Smaller editions make it easier for you to gather one specimen each from different coin collections. For example, you can collect the coins of a particular mint or on a particular theme. This is also important if you later consider selling your coin collection.
- Save space: Rare coins are usually expensive – and not easy to acquire. Therefore, most coin collectors own only a few rarities. The advantage here is that you don’t need large display cases to store your coins in. If you prefer safekeeping in a safe, a small size is also sufficient here. Thus, the cost of storing the coins is kept within limits.
- Fun and ambition: Often people want exactly what they find hard to get. It can be a lot of fun to go in search of a very specific coin.
- Personal knowledge enhancement: Especially with rare, antique coins, you often get motifs that take you back to times gone by. If the cultural heritage is hardly researched, the interest to find out something about this era increases. Rare coins here can tell stories and expand general knowledge.
- Cultivate community: You are not alone in your search for rare coins. Especially due to the high demand by experienced and interested collectors, certain mintages become rarities. Often coin collectors are networked worldwide. This allows them to exchange information with each other, provide assistance in finding rare coins, or even trade with each other. However, it is even more promising to immediately seek the assistance of experienced numismatists. The professional service of Rarecoin from Wiesbaden helps you with Coin Hunting. Tell us what coins are involved. Then we will go on the search for you!
Search rare coins… and find them: with Rarecoin’s search service!
From the comprehensive portfolio of Rarecoin you can not only choose your favorites: As coin experts, we are also happy to assist you with your coin hunt. In the search for particularly rare rarities, we spare no expense or effort. This way, you can ultimately buy the coins that perfectly complement your existing collection.
Tip: First, you can look specifically for your desired specimens here at Rarecoin. Our store already offers you numerous selected and rare coins, which you will search in vain in other assortments.
There is exactly one coin that you are missing to complete your collection? Our portfolio includes historical, but also newer coins made of silver, platinum and palladium. We carry specimens of well-known mints – including gold coins from China, Russia or the USA. Here you will find all eras and motifs from various themes.
Nevertheless, it is possible that even in our online collection you will not immediately discover the coin rarity you are looking for. And this is where we come in: Our experts are not only experienced numismatists. We also have a broad global network. That being said, we know exactly how to proceed to locate the coin you are looking for.
Without the appropriate expertise, the search for a particular coin usually turns out to be extremely difficult. This is because valuable individual pieces can only rarely be found at coin dealers, auctions or antique stores. Thus, it takes the right approach to actually find the coveted piece:
- Expertise: As specialists in numismatics, we have extensive experience with regard to the correct approach to coin searching. This will greatly increase the chances of success of soon being in possession of the desired coin.
- Network: We have connections in every corner of the world. Within the past decades we have been able to build up a network of competent partners. Our contacts range from pure business relationships to connections with other reputable coin dealers. We also cooperate with scientists and historians in the field of numismatics. However, private connections can also often provide helpful information for efficient coin searches.
- Discretion: Of course, we do not mention your name. You can be one hundred percent sure that none of our contacts will learn anything about your identity.
- The customer is king: Your wishes have top priority for us: We are happy when you entrust us with the search for a rare coin (antique or modern). In doing so, you awaken our sense of adventure and our ambition to actually find the coin.
- Passion: Rarecoin’s experts are all passionate numismatists. Thus, they give their all to hold a rarity in their hands even for a moment. But don’t worry: We will of course pass them on to you, as agreed. Because in addition to our expertise and extensive relationships, we also guarantee absolute reliability and confidentiality.
- Unbeatable price-performance ratio: We always negotiate the best possible conditions for a purchase from private hands. We then pass these on to you one-to-one. In doing so, we will keep you informed about the status of our research. Because transparency, reliability and safety are our top priorities!
Bottom line: bypass the nerve-wracking search for the rare coins that will complete your collection. Save costs and time and above all: increase the chances of success! Leave the work to us, have the pleasure later. What could be better?
You are not looking for a rarity at all, but would like to sell your coins instead? Of course, we are also at your disposal with our expertise when selling a coin collection. First of all, you can have your coins appraised by us. After that, it is up to you whether you want to resell the coins to us. We guarantee absolute seriousness, fairness and discretion, the processing is fast.
So whether you are looking for rare coins or want to sell your rare coin collection: Our specialists are there for you. Rarecoin is also your ideal contact for numerous other concerns. Thus, our service, in addition to the sale and purchase of coins, also includes the following services:
- professional coin grading
- detailed explanations of technical terms
- individual coin recommendations.
Do not hesitate to contact our coin experts. We look forward to hearing from you.