Whether you inherited a collection, assembled one yourself or stumbled upon some rare coins or bills, they’re not worth anything until you sell them. These coins and bills often have sentimental value as well as material value, and parting with them can be a stressful and emotional process — and, of course, you want to get top dollar.
That’s why it’s so important to sell to a buyer or on a platform you can trust, especially with collectibles like coins and currency, whose condition must be appraised and whose authenticity must be verified.
If you have bills and coins that are old, rare, unique or otherwise valuable, these are the best places to convert them into spendable cash.
Heritage Auctions is the largest collectibles auctioneer and the third-largest auction house in the world. If you read about a coin — or any collectible, for that matter — selling for a record price in the millions of dollars, there’s a good chance that Heritage facilitated the deal.
In 2022, it did $464 million in numismatic auctions alone as part of an epic year that saw $1.45 billion in total sales, broke dozens of auction records and, in the words of Intelligent Collector, “redefined the collectibles world.”
Its record-setting year included:
- $310,059,195 in U.S. coins
- $100,574,337 in world and ancient coins
- $37,623,883 in U.S. currency
- $16,205,390 in world currency
Heritage makes it easy to submit your bills and coins for review at no cost. If your treasures are a match for their market, it will give you an auction evaluation and an offer. If not, it will recommend an outlet that’s a better fit, even if it’s a competitor. Or, you can consult with one of its experts at no cost and no obligation.
Keep in mind that Heritage lists the finest examples in the world, so unless you have something truly special, consider the next option, instead.
If the highly selective exclusivity of Heritage had an opposite, it would be eBay, where literally anyone can list just about anything for sale or auction, including coins and bills.
A quick search for either returns thousands of items — and that’s the platform’s chief drawback. Although eBay exposes you to more than 130 million potential buyers, they have countless sellers to choose from, and the sheer volume of competition can depress prices.
Unlike a top-tier auction house like Heritage, which does everything for you, eBay sellers have to create their own listings, take their own photos, do their own market research and set their own prices — and eBay’s hefty seller fees add up fast. But the tradeoff is that you can have your coins and bills up for auction or listed for sale in front of one of the largest audiences on earth in a few hours.
Like Heritage, Stack’s Bowers has a long history, a respected legacy and a resume packed with record-breaking sales. It conducts live and online auctions, and you can consign your coins and bills for auction or sell them to Stack’s Bowers directly.
You can get free appraisals online or in person at its New York and Philadelphia offices, or, for large collections, one of its experts will visit your home, bank or office. Unlike many other auction houses, Stack’s Bowers doesn’t charge extra to photograph, secure, store, insure, market or catalog your coins and bills.
If it accepts your items, it will display them in its offices and auction venue, where thousands of bidders will compete for them as part of a lot. If your items sell, you’ll receive payment — minus the auction house’s commission — within 45 days of the hammer dropping.
The American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) is one of the biggest, best-known and most reputable online marketplaces for coins and currency. It is one of just 10 U.S.-based authorized purchasers of bullion coins from the United States Mint.
One of the country’s largest buyers of rare coins and currency, APMEX has purchased more than $1 billion worth from the retail market — and it makes selling a straightforward process.
Sellers can request a quote online or by phone, and the company guarantees payment within one business day of receiving your coins or bills. The primary drawback is that you have to ship products you haven’t been paid for, but APMEX is known for fair prices, a streamlined process, easy shipping and impressive industry expertise.
Your Local Coin Dealer
Although enormous global buyers and auction houses are always just a click away, the best place in the whole world to sell your rare coins and bills might be just a short drive away. When you sell to your local brick-and-mortar coin dealer, you get paid on the spot — but that’s not the only or even the best reason to consider selling your treasures the old-fashioned way.
According to CoinCollector.org, neighborhood coin dealers often extend preferred rates that match or beat the best online prices, because they want to establish long-term relationships with local hobbyists.
They can inspect your collection, assess its value and answer your questions face-to-face. Along the way, you’ll establish a rapport with an industry expert who is always just a phone call away — and unlike nearly every online and auction-based sale, the transaction will be private.
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