Coins

See Baseball Cards; Collectibles. There is no shortage of coins in circulation at least 50 years old and, as one expert has noted, "that 1948 dime in your pocket is likely to be worth ten cents." On the other hand, it is no secret that rare coins, particularly rare coins in superior condition, can be worth significantly more than face value. For example, a 1924-D Lincoln Head one-cent piece, in pristine condition and "red" coloration, is listed in a reputable price guide at $ 12,600. Of course, as in all other collectibles, condition is key. The same coin, in beat up shape, might not be worth more than a dollar or two.

The most complete and informative "free" guide that I have found is at pcgs.com on the Internet. Note, however, these are the asking prices by dealers. The sales price to a dealer will be a much lesser value, depending upon the rarity of the coin and the "market" for the coin as known by the dealer. The knowledge of the seller is also relevant. The PCGS site is excellent, providing an overview of the industry as well as a comprehensive price guide with daily updates. Valuing coins is difficult, an art and a science, and there are many variations that may be unknown to casual collectors. The PCGS site deals with many of these.