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Frequently Asked Questions

How much are wheat cents worth?

In general most wheat cents are worth from 2 to 3 cents each. They were produced by the hundreds of millions from 1909 to 1958. But like in all series of coins there are some that have greater value, not due to age, but due to the fact that there were a fewer number of them produced.

How old does a coin have to be to become valuable?

The age of a coin actually has little to do with the value. The criteria for value has to do with how many were produced, the fewer made the greater the chance for increased value. Also how well the coin is preserved is important in value. The former two items along with how many people collect this type of coin is what is used to determine the value of an individual coin.

How do you clean coins?

The truth is that in most cases it is better not to clean coins. This is considered an unacceptable practice by most collectors. Hard to believe for most, but dirty and original is better than cleaned. In most cases cleaning a coin will devalue it.

How much are silver certificates worth?

1935 & 1957 series silver certificates were produced in huge numbers which makes these pieces of currency very common. In most cases they worth only a small amount over their face value.

How can you tell a coin has been cleaned?

This is a problem on a large number of coins. Deciding that a coin has been cleaned relies on a special area of expertise because there are so many ways that coins have been cleaned over the years by hobbyists. They can be chemically cleaned, polished, abrasively cleaned, thumbed, rubbed, laser altered and many other types of cleaning or altering the coins surface.

It takes a lot of experience and viewing thousands of coins to become good at detecting a cleaned coin. Most collectors are just not exposed to enough coins to be able to make this determination. Sure, highly abrasive cleanings that leave a huge number of parallel lines on the surface or rubbing the coin with a pencil eraser is pretty easy to detect, but chemical and laser altering are much more difficult and need experience to detect. When in doubt, always ask a dealer, as most will be able to tell you very quickly if it has been cleaned.

How can I tell how much my coins are worth?

One of the best ways is to have a local dealer appraise your coin or collection. Contrary to popular belief, most coin collectors are just not well enough educated in the art of appraising coins to be able to make a valid appraised value. We also recommend that you have more than one dealer do an appraisal, as this will give you a better range of the coin or collection's value.

Coin grading and appraisal is not a science, but rather an art. One dealer may see something that will either add to or detract from the value of the coin or collection that another might miss. Most of the difficulty involved in coin grading stems from the time it takes to learn the trade; it takes the examination of thousands of coins to be able to recognize all the natural characteristics of a coin, such as strike, luster, grade, eye appeal, varieties and a host of other qualities that give a coin its value.

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