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I've Found an Old Coin, What's it Worth? Click to return to Coin FAQsChard 24 Carat Home Page

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Silver Penny of William the Conqueror
Silver Penny of William the Conqueror

Reverse of William the Conqueror Silver Penny
Reverse of William the Conqueror Silver Penny

Free Advice from Chard, but...

Please Read This Carefully Before You Do Anything Else!

Free or Fee?
For the past 40 years, we have been getting callers asking the same question, and we're getting quite used to it by now. If you wish to pay and receive a professional service, we will be delighted to help. Our charges start at just 1%, with a £5 minimum, plus VAT.

Free Advice
However, most people want our expert advice for free! The amazing thing is, that we go along with it, and do actually give out lots of friendly helpful advice for nothing. You might think to ask why we do something for nothing, after all if you wanted advice from your solicitor or accountant, he would charge you plenty. We also like to make a livelihood. We provide our free advice service out of goodwill, we hope you will go away happy, and recommend us to your friends and relations. Perhaps you will also come back to us if you decide to sell your coin, or some jewellery, scrap gold, etc. As we also sell coins jewellery, diamond rings (we design and create them), we also hope you might be a future customer.

We don't mind playing the game, but we have a few rules which we like to see observed, otherwise we take our ball away:

First the Bad News!

Most Coins Are Not Valuable
Most of the coins people ask us about are worth very little! We're sorry about that, but don't blame us, it's not our fault. Don't shoot the messenger. Think about this fact, coins made civilisation possible, they are also the one article mass produced in millions, which nobody ever throws away! For this reason, there are more old coins in existence than there are coin collectors. This is good news if you are a coin collector, but bad news if you are trying to sell. Hey, we've got more coins than you, and we've been trying to sell them for 35 years. We have also got more than we started with!

Coin Collectors Are Not Rich
Most coin collectors aren't wealthy, they're just ordinary people with an interesting hobby. Most of them would prefer dating Cindy Crawford, but collecting coins is less expensive. The point is that collectors don't want to pay high prices, and as dealers, we have to make a profit or go out of business. So don't expect fortunes, and you won't be disappointed.
Condition, or state of preservation, is most important. Just as Cindy Crawford would be in more demand at age 20 rather than 90, so collectors prefer coins in mint condition rather than worn condition.
Many people then tell us that you can't expect a 100 (or 10 or 50) year old coin to still be in mint condition Precisely! It is because mint condition coins have rarity value that they command premium prices. Even ancient Roman and Greek coins exist in mint state, often at reasonable prices.

Our Buying Prices
For most British coins, we have a very easy rule-of-thumb, to guide you as to what we will pay. First find the coin in a catalogue, we recommend Seaby's (published curiously enough by Spink) Standard Catalogue of British Coins, then try to accurately assess the grade. Don't exaggerate it, otherwise you will only be fooling yourself. Our buying prices are approximately half the catalogue less £1 per coin.
For world coins, we recommend Standard Catalogue of World Coins, by Krause; for Roman coins, we recommend Roman Coins & Their Values by David Sear.

Examples

  1. Catalogue value £100.
    Expect to get about £50 less £1. In practice, we would probably pay between about £40 to £60, depending upon our stock, demand, etc.
  2. Catalogue value £5.
    Expect to get about £2.50 less £1, equals £1.50, and we would probably pay between £1 to £2.
  3. Catalogue value £2.
    Half of £2 is £1, less £1 equals zero. In practice, we would probably pay between 1p and 20p.
If you think our profit margin is high on £1 coins, then please consider that it probably costs us £1 worth of our time to negotiate the purchase of any single coin. It also costs about £1 of our time to sell any single coin. Now on coins at £10 upwards, this doesn't matter much, but it does mean that we probably make a loss whenever we buy or sell a low value coin.
We would probably pay 5 or 10 times more each if you have a large quantity of identical coins!

A Few Exceptions
When we wrote this page originally, it was aimed at people who had found an old coin, and wanted to know what it was, and its value. Recently we have had people bringing us modern issue coins and sets, and expecting our buying price formula to apply to these also. While this does apply sometime, it is not always the case, for a number of reasons. We like most dealers would prefer to buy real coins, coins with some history attached to them. Most modern issue coins are designed, targeted, and mass produced for sale to "collectors". While many of their designs are very attractive, a coin or any other collector's item which is manufactured primarily for collectors will never have the appeal of a similar item made for circulation, and which has acquired greater collectability with the passing of time, especially if it has been preserved in exceptionally good condition, and has become rarer through a natural process of attrition. Secondly, we dealers are only human, and we get much more pleasure out of buying a minty Victorian halfcrown, or a Fine condition Charles I shilling, than we get from yet another suitcase or cardboard box full of encapsulated silver proof "Queen Mother" collections from 50 different countries. Some days the sight of a blue mock velvet "Westminster Collections" box or wallet is enough to put us off our lunch!

Other Information on Our Site
There are many other pages on our site which may be useful to you. Some of these can be accessed via our Information section, others from our Products section. For example, we have the following pages:-
£2 Coin Rumour
Mintage Figures of Decimal Coins
Values of Circulated Coins
Questions They Ask Us
There are more answers to be found on our Frequently Asked Coin Questions page.

Buying Coins
We also buy coins, please see our We Buy Coins page.

Now for the Good News
If you have a coin which you want to sell, and you know how much you want for it, you can contact us.

Contacting Chard
If you have found this page useful, then please check out the following sites:-


...at the Best Possible Price

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