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November 01, 2012

Old coins can be hard to identify and put values or prices on if you don't even know what the old coin is called. Is your old coin made of silver or gold? What country is the old coin from? This FAQ will help you figure out what your old coins are, and lead to resources for further information about them.

Answer: The first step to finding out what your old coins are worth is to identify them. If they are from the United States, you can check the U.S. Old Coins Identification chart. Old coins from the United States will always say "United States of America" on them, although sometimes this is abbreviated on very old U.S. coins. If the old coin from the U.S. isn't on the chart, it is probably a commemorative coin, rather than a circulating coin. For help with old commemorative coins, you are best off getting a copy of the U.S. Coins Red Book, at A World of Coins we have many books and resources to help you identify your coins.

Old Coins From Outside the U.S.

If your old coins do not say they are from the U.S., they will usually name some other country. In most cases, you should be able to make out what the country is, although it will usually be in the language of the country that issued the old coin. You can type the likely country name into a search engine such as Google to see what is available on the Web. There are thousands of coin-related Web sites out there for just about every type of old coin imaginable!

If the old coin doesn't have a country name that you can read, you can try visiting Don's World Coin Gallery to look it up. Don's Web site has over 25,000 photos of coins from more than 400 countries, past and present, and his Instant Identifiers page has images of dozens of coins that lack English inscriptions. Just match your old coin to the images, and click the image to get to his information and value page.

Old Coins That Can't be Identified

Not all of your old coins will be identifiable using the methods above. In this case, you might have a token, round, or pattern, all of which resemble coins. Try typing the inscriptions you can read into a search engine. As a general rule, if the old coin doesn't have a country name and denomination (saying how much it's worth) on it, it's probably not an official government coin. It can be very hard to learn more about these unofficial coins because very few people collect them, so they're usually not worth very much (if any) money.  Come see us at A World of Coins as we buy all coins US and foreign.

 

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