Thursday, August 16, 2012

On-line business: Resources for Coin Collecting and Selling

When I started to consider selling on-line some of my stuff lying around in the house, the first item on my list is the coin collection my brother has been keeping these past years. He actually encouraged me to do so as he too always wanted to sell on line for the longest time already but never got to do it himself –mostly because admittedly he is technologically challenged.

Having no knowledge on coin collection more so on selling the stuff, I did my usual web research and found (among the several dozens of site I visited) the two sites below particularly interesting. Each approached the topic differently yet has helped me a lot in learning more about the craft collectively or taken separately. Check them out as it could be of help to you also especially as constant resource in learning more about the hobby and selling coins on line.

1. CoinQuest
CoinQuest site banner
This site comes with the by line- “Our Single Focus: Your Coin's Value”. It is not about coin collecting but more on coin appraisal. Nevertheless, the site’s approach with thorough coin identification with concise textual descriptions made this site a constant resource site for me as I tried to learn more about it. It gives out approximate, ballpark estimates of the realistic value of coins and aims to set proper pricing expectations especially important to newbies in the trade.

This site offers appraisal service where you will find the needed tools to understand the value of rare and valuable coins even for non coin collectors. Their dictum is that the best bet for finding honest dealers is to know the worth of your coins before you meet with any dealer and that one way to safeguard against scam artists is to use the CoinQuest as a resource. CoinQuest is not a coin catalog or price guide though. It may serve as a guide to educate visitors about the joys and pitfalls of coin collecting. Of particular interest are the sections on useful topics such as counterfeits, damage, wear, and eye appeal.

What I like most about CoinQuest is its more superficial approach to the topic which is just right for a coin newbie like me. For example, it does not use detailed numismatic grading such as Very Fine, VF, G-4, or MS63 and use only more common terms such as worn, average circulated, well preserved, fully uncirculated in describing the coins. This may not sit well with coin experts but it works for me so far.

To set it apart from the previous site, this is a site more focused on the art of coin collection itself where collectors share ideas, discuss topics, or share information on coin collection while providing a resource site for the education of coin collecting. The coins are generally presented based on coin type, variety, or theme set coin collection.

Briefly, a type coin is a representative coin from a given series which are collected based on the series they represent instead of its date and mintmark. The site consistently used the following 6 elements to define the coin in order to establish a coin series:

Minting Source: Country, Territory, Province, State, Business, etc…
Denomination: cent, dime, etc…
Roman imperial coin with the head of Tranquillina on the obverse, struck c. 241 when
her marriage to Gordian III is depicted on the reverse in smaller scale; the coin exhibits
the obverse "head" or front and reverse "tail" or back convention that still dominates much coinage today

Size/Shape: large, small, 12-sided, square, etc…
Composition/Weight: silver, copper/nickel, etc…

Type Sets on the other hand is a collection of single type coins bounded by some theme or time period. For example: “U.S. type coins of the 20th Century (time)”; “World silver dollars with ship designs (theme)”; etc. Most of the type sets include some coin varieties in addition to types. Varieties are intentional or deliberate modifications to the design, composition, or mintage source of a coin series after it has been issued for circulation. Some examples of varieties:

Minting Source Varieties – Addition of mint branches such as Denver
Obverse Design – Addition or removal of stars, drapes, arrows, etc…
Reverse Design – Addition or removal rays, motto's, initials, etc…
Composition/Weight – Changes in percentage allocation of composition, 90% silver versus 40% silver

There are several other considerations for Type Sets presented in this site. These considerations offer in general strategies/approaches on Type Set Collecting which are things to keep in mind as guide in what coins to buy rather than buying them arbitrarily without any system in mind.

I equally like this site as it offers some historical details for each coin presented. It gives me a glimpse or a snapshot of the history of the country of origin at particular periods in time which makes the research part more interesting.

By the way, please feel free to go over my coin collectibles for sale just in case you might be interested in some of them. I have a considerable number of highly collectible Silver and Bronze US Philippine coins from the 1900s up during the short US administration of the Philippine islands.


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