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Mine Your Collection for Cash
October 13, 2010

What would you do with a little extra money to spend in your hobby?

Crazy question in the face of this recession?

Perhaps not.

Every collector has coins that were stupid purchases to start with, didn’t perform according to hopes, or that have simply been forgotten or interest has been lost.

Now might be the time to pull them out and get rid of them.

Did you put together sets from circulation in the 1950s or 1960s? Those ordinary circulated silver coins of the time are now worth 16.8 times face value.

If you have old books of dimes, quarters and half dollars, they add up to tidy sums that might be better used elsewhere. Pull out any key dates, but if you are like me, the key dates never turned up for those sets.

Sure, you might have an emotional attachment to the sets as they evoke memories of a bygone age, but if you don’t dump them now, will there ever be a better chance for you or your heirs?

What about modern commemoratives? Were you a regular buyer of the silver dollars?

Many of those have sunk to bullion value. They aren’t likely to rebound to issue price. With the metal in them valued at $18.17 each, it might be time to retrieve what cash you can from them.

If you have any gold commemoratives, those profits might surprise you.

Take the 1984 $10 Olympic coins. Bullion value is $656, almost double issue price. If you happen to own all five, that’s a tidy sum.

Then there are mistakes.

Any overgraded piece that you might have purchased might be worth dumping at a bullion price. Keep whatever you think you need to prevent you from doing it again, but why harbor the coins that evoke bad moments in numismatics?

Add all of these coins up and you might surprise yourself as to what you will have available for other purchases. With tight family budgets, that’s not a bad way to reset your hobby goals.

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Recent Comments
On October 13, 2010 Dan said
Great advice!
On October 13, 2010 Dan said
Great advice!
On October 14, 2010 d said

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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