Picture the scene: one of your loved ones has been collecting coins for many years, and they eventually decided to give up their hobby and pass their beloved numismatic collection on to you. As you look into the album, you instantly recognise some of the coins and their face value. Identifying the foreign coins, however, can be difficult – especially if you’re unsure where the coin is from and how rare it is.
At Pobjoy Mint, we have put together an ultimate guide to help you find out the value of the foreign pieces in your coin collection.
Start with the basics
To learn about a foreign coin, it’s a good idea to start with some initial background research. A good starting point for this is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, a book published by Krause Publications that looks into coins spanning a period from the 17th century to date.
The book is a useful list of by-century volumes along with photographs and some general information. The Catalogue also includes the officially declared mintage (if available) which, when it comes to exploring the real value of your international collection, can be a great point of reference.
If you think your collection might be valuable, you should carefully examine the physical condition of your coins. Remember that the value of a coin depends of its condition, supply and demand so start by checking its grade. Coin grading describes how well the coin was originally struck, how well its been preserved and how much wear and tear has been inflicted upon the coin since its original minting. The outcome of this examination will have a great effect on the final value of the coin, so make sure that you pay attention to every detail.
Search for the real demand
Another great way of exploring the real value of the foreign coins is researching online auctions to estimate how many coins like yours are actually in circulation and how much are they worth on average. If your coins are really rare, chances are you won’t be able to find many of them.
Look at places such as eBay or eBid, which will give you a great overview on how high the collectors are bidding for numismatics like yours. This will give you an indication as to the coin’s approximate value.
Read some industry publications
If you’re serious about finding out more about your coin collection, reading leading industry publications such as Coin News or Coin World are a must.
These publications can be a fantastic source of knowledge when it comes to tracking the real value of foreign coins as they often feature international findings as well as regular columns from widely recognised numismatics experts.
Additionally, by becoming a regular reader of those titles you will be also able to get involved in online discussions with some other readers who can be a really helpful source of peer-to-peer information.
Speak to an expert
Recognising and speaking to an expert within the numismatic industry can be a good way of finding the value of your coins. To find an expert, search online coin forums and communities such as Numis for an experienced collector or dealer who can help with your efforts.
The most valuable foreign coins
Are you eager to know which foreign coins are in high demand? Here are the top 4 most valuable foreign coins you should know about.
Flowing Hair Dollar
Described as the world’s most valuable dollar coin, the Flowing Hair $1 piece was initially struck in 1794 by the United States federal government. The coin was engraved by Robert Scot, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint and was eventually sold for a record $10 million in the January 2013 New York Americana Sale.
Million Gold Canadian Maple Leaf
Produced in 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mint, the world’s first bullion million-dollar coin, Million Gold Canadian Maple Leaf, compromises 220 pounds of 99,999% pure gold. The 550 mm-diameter piece, struck in shimmering proof condition, features Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse and thee Canadian maple leaves in the reverse. The last coin to sell at a public auction realised £4,020,000.
The Edward III Double Florin
The Edward III Double Florin, also known as Double Leopard, was England’s first large gold coin to be issued in Britain since Anglo Saxon times. The coin, authorised on 14 December 1343, was an attempt by King Edward III to produce a gold coin suitable for use in Europe as well as England, but was quickly withdrawn as a result of the coins being underweight for their value. The coin was eventually auctioned in 2006 for a price of £460,000.
2012 Diamond Jubilee 60 Crowns
Most recently, the Ascension Island 60 ounces Diamond Jubilee coin was a 60 Crowns piece produced in 2012 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II and only 60 coins were made in total. Although the coins were never meant for circulation they sold out almost immediately at a whopping price of £13,500 each, making it Ascension Island's most exclusive and expensive coin at the time.
Are you looking for unique coins to expand your numismatic collection? Check out our new coin releases today and keep up-to-date with the latest pieces in the world of mint!