U.S. Coin Price Guide

Coin Collecting

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Values steadily rising
By Mark Ferguson

After completing a comprehensive and thorough updating of circulated values for most 20th century and late 19th century coins, we've observed a steady rising trend for these values.

Keep in mind that Coin Values reports on market trends; we do not establish values or make predictions. Our values follow the market. They do not lead the market. This sometimes results in sellers asking more money for some of their coins than what you may see published.

Not many of the coins updated made spectacular advances – they were normally in about the 10 percent to 20 percent range, or even a little more.

Virtually no values declined. A couple of long series, such as the Seated Liberty and Barber series, will be reviewed and updated in the near future. They were not included in this latest update, but after a review we have found that values in those series have risen right along with the other series.

Of course the quickly changing precious metals activity has taken some of the limelight away from collector coins, but collector coins are still selling well and are difficult to find in problem-free condition. High-value rarities also continue to be hotly sought after.

It's important to note the prices reported in Coin Values are retail values. Some users of our guide believe some of our values are overly high in relation to popularly published wholesale guides. First, it's important to keep in mind that wholesale values are prices that dealers are often hoping to pay if they get lucky.

Our values reflect prices for which dealers are selling the coins. Dealers purchase at wholesale or at auction, but they also build in a profit margin so as to earn enough money to cover their business overhead and carve out their costs of living.

Dealers face hidden costs to acquiring coins such as bourse table fees, advertising, airfares, hotel expenses and meals. And that's in addition to normal business overhead at their stores and offices. These include costs for rent, security, payroll, office equipment, advertising and taxes. There is usually also room built into the retail values for negotiation.

So keep in mind that, while numismatics is a hobby, it's also a serious business for the dealers.

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