If you have an antique coin in your possession but are unsure about how much the coin is worth, then it is in your best interest to invest in a coin appraisal. To get the highest appraisal possible, you may do a few things before your appointment. However, there things are typically a mistake. Keep reading to learn about these mistakes.
Mistake - Coin Cleaning
Most people think that dirty coins will be worth less and they try to clean them before having them appraised. However, this is something that you should not do as a novice. Cleaning will often remove the patina from the coin. This is the natural coloration that is seen on the metal, and it builds over time. While the patina may look as though it is a layer of dirt, it is actually oxidation that creates toning on the surface of the metal. The oxidation develops as the metal alloys react with the oxygen and other compounds in the air. Basically, coins are constantly oxidizing as they are exposed to the air.
Coin toning does not affect a coin's value since it is the natural result of the aging process. In some cases, the patina can enhance value based on the color, gradient, and the overall appearance of the tone. Some coins actually develop a rainbow color patina, and this is highly sought after.
If you were to remove the patina through a DIY cleaning process, then the coin value will be affected. In some cases, a valuable coin may be worth almost nothing if it is cleaned.
While the toning on the coin is fine, dirt and debris like mud should be removed. However, you should not complete any cleaning on your own. Ask the appraiser if they offer coin cleaning services or seek out a professional cleaning service after the appraisal.
Mistake - Putting The Coin In Your Pocket
If you are unsure whether or not a coin is worth any money, then you may not handle it too carefully. You may even slip the coin in your pocket on the way to your appraisal appointment. If you do this, then you may accidentally mar, scratch, or dent the coin. If you do this, then you can greatly reduce the coin's value.
If the coin is in pristine condition, then it may be worth a bit of money. Unfortunately, pristine coins can be reduced in grade and value if a small inclusion is noted on the face of the coin. This means that scratching the coin can be an expensive mistake.
It is wise to place your coin in a holder while you transport it. There are many different holders you can use. For your purposes, an inexpensive paper holder will work fine. A holder is only going to cost you a dollar or two as well, so pick one up before your appraisal.
For more information and tips, contact a coin appraisal company in your area, such as American Precious Metals Inc.