A silver coin collection can be an excellent investment. Silver is a scarce resource in high demand. It’s used in jewellery, solar panels, auto manufacturing, smartphones, computers, touch screens, wood preservatives, medicine, and plenty of other industries.
Silver bullion is a simple and direct way to invest in the precious metal. It comes in the form of silver coins and bars, and there is a wide universe of commemorative and collectible silver coins that pique the interest of collectors looking for more than just bullion value.
Given the many different types of silver coins out there, selling your collection is not necessarily straightforward. This guide will help you find local places to sell your silver coins, identify the types of coins you have, and prepare you for what to expect.
Identifying Your Silver Coins
If you’ve assembled your personal coin collection yourself over the years, you likely won’t need this part of the guide. However, if your silver coins are inherited, you may not know what you have or what to expect.
There are several main types of silver coins you can expect to find:
- Bullion silver coins. These are 99.9% pure silver coins (or higher) produced by a national mint like the Royal Canadian Mint, the United States Mint, the Perth Mint in Australia, or another mint authorized to make circulation currency in its country.
- Silver rounds. These are also considered bullion because of their high purity, but they are not made by a national mint. Instead, they’re made by private refiners and do not have a face value. Unlike silver bars, though, they tend to have interesting and unique designs.
- Junk silver. These are coins that were actually circulated at one time in the past but are now worth more than their face value because they were made when real silver was still used. These have a much lower silver purity and will sell for much less.
Look Up the Spot Price of Silver
When you’re selling bullion, the main factor that will determine how much you can get is the silver spot price. The buyer won’t pay the full spot price because they have their own costs and need to make a margin, but your goal as a seller should be to find a buyer who will pay as close to spot as possible.
The price you get for most silver coins will mostly be based on spot prices, but there is a collectibles market out there for rarer pieces. You can usually do some research online to see if there’s interest in any pieces you have, or you can have the collection evaluated by an expert in numismatics.
Find a Local Bullion Dealer or Coin Shop
The best buyer for silver coins deals in either bullion or numismatic coins (or both). Should your collection include any pieces that would interest collectors, you want to take it to someone who has a network of collectors and a feel for the current marketplace.
It’s usually wise to avoid pawnbrokers if you’re looking to get the best possible return. Stick to dealers and experts in coins instead.