How to get the best price for an old coin

I recently was given a small stash of old US silver coins. Included is an 1817 fifty cent piece that is interesting because the “7” in the date is over a “3”. Googling suggests this is a known and somewhat unusual variant.

Comparing the detail of this to examples found online, it looks like the condition of the obverse is VF, and the reverse is probably F.

My question is: if someone wants to sell such a coin for the best price, what’s the right way to go about it? Would a typical coin shop give a fair offer? Is eBay of any value?

Go to ebay, click coins, search for 1817, then drill down on the half dollars until you find your exact coin. It might not be there today or next week but eventually it will (usually) turn up.

Do your homework on what the same coin as yours has sold for in the completed category and take notes. Eventually you’ll know the price range you will want for yours. Pay attention to quality as uncirculated coins can sell for thousands more than one that is worn. Thousands of collectors comb ebay daily, hourly… it’s the best place to sell as there is nothing that escapes their scrutiny. Selling to a dealer eon’t land you as much of a return because they want to make a profit.

This is a basic guidleline for all coins in general… if yours is an exceptional rarity than you’ll want to consign it to a major auction house. Google should get you to those guys.

Paging SamClen

Cripes, Manny. Get the name right. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yep, an 1817/3 is pretty scarce, but not so much in Fine-Very Fine. That’s not fair–it’s in demand, very collectible. But only worth huge bucks in Extremely fine or better.

Local dealer not likely to give you a fair price.

eBay is OK, but people tend to bid a grade below as they don’t trust the photos.

What’s most important is the condition of the surface. How original? Cleaned? Any damage, scratches, corrosion, etc. Nice original toning is a plus to a collector. Any chance you can photo and post a scan of the coin?

To my untrained eye, it looks good. Certainly no sign of cleaning. Looks like a coin that has circulated, but not excessively.

None apparent, I’m afraid.

I can try to do this tomorrow. (What’s the recommended place to post such photos?)

You can join Yahoo, if you don’t already belong, and use Flickr, which is free. There’s also Oh, and make sure you check the box that allows anybody to view the photo.