Ready to Sell Your Coin Collection? Here’s What You Need to Know

Coin collecting was once a popular pastime. These days, however, even the most robust coin collections are more likely to collect, well, dust than anything else. Whether you are a “retired” coin collector or inherited a relative’s collection, chances are you no longer want or need your untended coin collection. If that’s true, you may be wondering about how to sell your old coins.

Read on to learn more about what makes coins valuable — and what you should do if you want to sell your collection.

What Makes Coins Valuable?

The vast majority of coins are simply worth their weight in gold or (less commonly) silver. However, when a coin is collectible, it has numismatic value, which means that it has worth over and above its precious metal value. The precise value of a collectible coin is determined by the following factors:

  • Coin type, year, mint mark, and mintage. Some types of coins are more valuable than others. This depends on where they were minted, when they were produced, and their mintage (the total number of a certain kind of coins produced at a particular location during a given year). Certain coins from particular years and mintages are more valuable than others — sometimes by a long shot.
  • Condition. Coin condition ranges from uncirculated mint state to so worn out that you can’t read the date or mint mark. To be rated as mint state, a coin must be as perfect as if it just came off the press. It should have no flaws in the way it was struck and no post-production blemishes, either. Dents, scratches, blemishes, wear, dullness, and other imperfections all serve to degrade a coin’s condition — and value.
  • Scarcity. The rarer a coin is, the more it may be valued (though this isn’t always the case, as you’ll see below). For example, the rarest of all collectible pennies, the 1909 SVDB penny, may be worth thousands.
  • Demand. In order for a coin to have numismatic value, it must be in demand. Not all rare coins are in demand. For example, so-called “large cents” are low mintage, but few people collect them, so they still aren’t worth much. On the other hand, Morgan silver dollars (produced from 1878 to 1921), twenty dollar gold pieces, and pre-1933 US gold coins are generally more valuable than quarters, nickels, and dimes of any vintage.

Should I Sell or Save My Old Coins with Numismatic Value?

Unfortunately, as the “king of hobbies” becomes less and less popular, the value of collectible coins is steadily degrading. That means the value of collectible coins is unlikely to go up anytime soon. From an investment standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to hang onto your collectible coins in the hopes that they will someday fetch a higher price. The truth is that the price your numismatic coins fetch today is probably the best you will get, now or in the future.

You might be surprised to learn that coins without numismatic value are actually more likely to hold or gain value over time. The truth is that precious metal prices are more likely to remain steady — or rise — than even the most in-demand numismatic coins.

How to Sell Your Old Coins

Use the following tips if you’ve decided to sell your coin collection.

  • Don’t try to calculate your coin’s value online. While you may be able to get a rough idea of a particular coin’s value based on year and mintage, only an in-person inspection can reveal the true value of any individual coin. There are many subtle differences that affect a coin’s grade and condition. These small differences can have a huge impact on a coin’s value.
  • Touch your coins as little as possible. If your coin collection is stored in a booklet or in individual sleeves, do not remove the coins before bringing them in for evaluation. Touching and handling coins improperly can quickly damage their condition — and degrade their value. You should avoid holding the coins in your hands, rubbing them together, or wiping them with a cloth or paper towel. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to clean your coins. A seasoned coin expert can tell the difference between a properly preserved coin and one that has been cleaned. Attempts to clean your coins will only harm their value. Ironically, if your coins are dirty, they are probably worth more in that condition than they would be cleaned up.
  • Preserve all notes and packaging that came with your coins. These documents may add to the value of your collection.
  • Don’t mail your collection to an unknown coin dealer. If you do, you risk falling prey to fraud. Whatever you do, plan to sell your coins in person and locally. Make sure to go to a reputable dealer with a high BBB Rating and excellent online reviews. The more knowledgeable your buyer is about coins, the better.

Which Coins Does JewelRecycle Buy?

At JewelRecycle, we are pleased to buy gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bullion, as well as numismatic coins. For a full list of the coins we purchase, check out the coins page on our website.

Note, however, that we do not buy “loose change” coin collections from international travel, unless those coins are made of gold. Most coins in these collections are made of low-value metals such as copper, nickel, and zinc.

How We Calculate the Value of Your Coins and Make an Offer

When you bring your full or partial coin collection to JewelRecycle, our highly trained staff will start by assessing your coins right in front of you.

Our first step is to screen your coin collection for coins that are still considered collectible and have numismatic value. We then closely evaluate those coins to determine their worth.

Next, we take the coins that are worth their metal value and put them through our usual process. First, we use our non-destructive X-Ray fluorescence technology to determine their exact purity. Second, we weigh the coins to identify their precise weight. Finally, we make you an offer based on the current price of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

Ready to find out what your coins are really worth? Come into one of our four JewelRecycle locations and let us make you an offer.

Every day there are people wondering how to sell their unwanted jewelry, diamond engagement rings, fine watches, sterling flatware, and other items. At JewelRecycle, we know from experience that these customers interactions are far from simple transactions. That’s because all of our possessions have a story. And that includes the items we no longer want or need.

We get it: There’s a reason you’re considering selling that diamond ring or sterling teapot. Whether you are grieving the death of a loved one or simply decluttering, the story behind your decision to sell your item matters.

In fact, we’ve found that there are four primary reasons why our customers sell their items. We call them the “Four D’s.”

The Four D’s: Downsizing, Divorce, Death, and Decluttering

Everyone’s story is unique. But when it comes to selling precious metals, jewelry, fine watches, coins, and silver, there are a few common causes. The “Four D’s” — downsizing, divorce, death, and decluttering — account for the majority of our customers when it comes to explaining why they are seeking to sell their items.


When it comes to homes, most people assume that bigger is better. But depending on your preferences and stage of life, you might be more interested in downsizing. It could be that your children have moved out. Or that you’re tired of taking care of a such a large home. Perhaps you’ve simply come to prefer small-house or retirement living.

Regardless, downsizing means it’s time to pare down your possessions. In fact, if you are in the process of downsizing, you may be seriously scaling back your personal belongings for the first time in your adult life. That’s no small task!

The good news is that downsizing gives you the opportunity to reassess which items still matter to you — and which you wouldn’t mind parting with. That old brooch collecting dust in a jewelry box? You haven’t worn it in ten years. Your Aunt Mary’s heirloom sterling flatware and tea set? Beautiful, but you no longer in use, and the kids don’t want it.

In order for your life to run smoothly in your new, smaller accommodations, it’s time to sort, donate, and sell what you can. Downsizing is the perfect time to make some extra money from the fine jewelry, watches, flatware, coins, and other precious metal items you no longer want or need.


Divorces represents a major life transition — one that no one expects or hopes to go through. It can be a time of intense disappointment, sadness, and change. If your relationship has recently come to an end, you may be taking stock of the items in your home as well as your life. Many divorcees consider selling their diamond engagement rings, for example.

Our kind and caring staff is ready to help if you are going through a divorce or break-up and would like to sell your ex-jewelry and other “bad juju” items.


The death of a loved one represents a challenging season of loss and grief. And if you’ve recently lost a, parent, grandparent or other close relative, you may be tasked with going through their belongings and figuring out what to do with them. Conversely, you may have inherited certain belongings from a parent, grandparent, or even a more distant relative.

Either way, this means that you must carefully consider which items contain enough sentimental value to keep forever — and which should be donated or sold. While going through a loved one’s personal belongings or inherited items can be difficult, this process can, in the end, be part of the healing journey.

If you are considering selling inherited jewelry, diamonds, silver flatware, coins, or other precious metal items, our staff is ready to help.


With the rise of Marie Kondo’s book (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and Netflix show, more young people than ever are interested in decluttering and tidying. If you’re one of the people taken by Marie Kondo’s advice, you may be making a concerted effort to reduce clutter in your home and embrace minimalism. Your efforts may be driven by the desire to experience the joy and simplicity of owning fewer belongings.

If you are in the process of following the KonMari method or generally decluttering and organizing your home, then it’s time to decide what to do with the items that no longer spark joy or serve you well. That may include fine jewelry that looks outdated, silver flatware that never gets used, or even an old coin collection. Now is the perfect time to realize some value from these items and add to your bank account while you subtract from your personal belongings.

If it no longer sparks joy, JewelRecycle is here to listen and serve you.

If you have a diamond engagement ring to sell, you probably already have an idea of the price you think it ought to fetch. After all, you know the original purchase amount and the size of the diamond. You may even have a GIA report and an insurance appraisal to back it up. Your diamond engagement ring doesn’t just have lasting sentimental value — it has lasting monetary value, too. Right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.

Even the most beautiful, well-preserved engagement rings lose a healthy portion of their retail value on the resale market. Whether your diamond engagement ring is a family heirloom or a painful symbol of a relationship gone sour, here’s what you need to know before you try to sell it.

Diamond Ring Resale Value: The True Worth of Pre-Owned Engagement Rings

Everyone understands that a brand new car will lose value the moment you drive it off the lot. But what most people don’t know is that the same principle applies to diamond bridal jewelry. In fact, most consumers have been primed to believe that buying a diamond ring is actually an investment — something that will hold value for years to come.

The three main reasons for this misconception are:

  1. Luxury retailers lead customers to believe diamond rings hold more value than they do. Salespeople at jewelry stores are trained to use words like “investment” and “value” in reference to diamond engagement rings. It’s true what they say: Engagement rings technically do “hold value” — just not the amount they want you to believe.
  2. Insurance appraisals. Did you have your engagement ring appraised for insurance purposes? If so, the appraised value was probably comparable to the amount your fiancé spent at the time of your item’s purchase. If your engagement ring appraised at $5000, then you likely assumed it would be worth something close to that amount on the secondary market. However, an appraisal doesn’t reflect your engagement ring’s inherent value on the open market as a pre-owned item. Instead, it reflects the cost of purchasing a comparable ring at the fully inflated retail price — markup included.
  3. Sentimental value. Engagement rings are steeped with emotions. That’s bound to be true whether the ring you want to sell was your great-aunt’s or once belonged on your own finger. Most people place a lot of sentimental value in diamond engagement rings because of what they represent. In many cases, the personal value of an engagement ring may well be priceless. But the fair market value? That’s another thing entirely.

Why Do Engagement Rings Lose Resale Value so Quickly?

When you buy a new diamond ring on the luxury retail market, you pay luxury retail prices. And the truth is that the markup on engagement rings is exceptionally high. Mall jewelry chains charge the highest markups (and tend to carry lower-quality diamonds, to boot).

Even if your engagement ring has never been worn, it turned into a pre-owned or used diamond ring the moment it left the store. When you go to sell your ring, you must sell it on the secondary or wholesale market. And the prices in the diamond resale market are totally different than the prices in the luxury retail market. Remember that big markup? It’s gone.

What does this mean? It means that the damage isn’t done when you go to sell a diamond ring. Unfortunately, the damage is done at the time of purchase. When it’s time to sell, the ring’s value is determined by the wholesale value of the parts that make up the ring.

What is My Used Diamond Engagement Ring Really Worth?

Your diamond engagement ring’s actual value on the resale market will vary depending on a number of factors.

However, the majority of engagement rings — those that were purchased for between $3000 and $5000 from a chain store — are often only worth ten to thirty percent of the initial purchase price. If your ring cost more than $10,000, or if your fiancé was an exceptionally smart deal shopper, then you might get up to 60 or even 70 percent of your ring’s purchase price. However, this is rare.

Other factors that will impact your ring’s value on the secondary market include:

  • The 4 C’s. All diamonds, new and pre-owned, are at least partly assessed based on their cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. In addition, diamonds that are lab-grown or “laser drilled and fracture filled” are not as valuable as natural diamonds. “Drilled and filled” diamonds have been drilled to remove naturally occurring inclusions and filled with a clear substance so that they appear more pristine. Many consumers are not aware that they own a diamond treated with this method.
  • Your diamond’s shape. Different diamond cuts go in and out of style over time. Marquise and princess-cut diamonds are currently less sought after and fetch lower prices than round diamonds and other, more fashionable cuts. Cut quality is another very important variable in determining a stones beauty, and value.
  • The ring’s condition. Is your diamond chipped or nicked? Are the prongs on the ring worn down? As with any pre-owned item, the condition of your ring will impact its current price.
  • The diamond’s provenance. A diamond with a recorded provenance will be valued higher than a diamond without. Your diamond may have come with a GIA report certifying its authenticity and describing its characteristics and weight. It may also have been laser-inscribed with a unique code, much like a vehicle’s VIN number. Rings from highly desirable brands like Tiffany and Cartier are also more valuable on the secondary market.

Ready to Sell Your Diamond Engagement Ring?

The good news is that your diamond engagement ring does have value on the secondary market, even if it’s not as much as you’d initially hoped.

If you’re ready to sell your diamond engagement ring, we’d love to help. When you come to JewelRecycle, our highly trained staff will assess your diamond engagement ring using our simple and transparent process and make you a fair, pressure-free offer. It’s fast and easy — and no appointment is necessary.

    April 02, 2020
    Ready to Sell Your Coin Collection? Here’s What You Need to Know

    Coin collecting was once a popular pastime. These days, however, even the most robust coin collections are more likely to collect, well, dust than anything else. Whether you are a “retired” coin collector or inherited a relative’s collection, chances are you no longer want or need your untended c...

    Read More
    March 13, 2020
    Selling Your Diamond Engagement Ring? Here’s What You Need to Know

    If you have a diamond engagement ring to sell, you probably already have an idea of the price you think it ought to fetch. After all, you know the original purchase amount and the size of the diamond. You may even have a GIA report and an insurance appraisal to back it up. Your diamond engagement...

    Read More
JewelRecycle, LLC is a BBB Accredited Jewelry Buyer in Chapel Hill, NC
In Pursuit of Ethics

What Our Customers Say

Happy Repeat Customer--A Great Place to Call Home!
09/16/2017 by Margaret W.
A few days ago, on September 12, I stopped by for my second visit. I tend to be verbose. Now, I'm nearly speechless because, actually, how does one improve upon near perfection? I used the 'Home' metaphor because one can relax at home; it's a place of trust and comfort...that's what JewelRecycle represents to me.
Highly Recommend!!
01/28/2020 by Judi Sunshine
I brought in some heirloom and dated gold and sterling jewelry with hopes to clear at least $100 in order to use the $10 coupon I printed from the website. Imagine my utter surprise when I walked out the door with a check for over $2,400! Fred was so friendly, helpful and attentive during the process and was a pleasure to do business with...Thank you Fred—I’ll be back!
2nd time customer
01/04/2020 by Jonathan Felber
As a 2nd time customer, I have found both of my experiences at this store to be quick and easy. Fred analyzed all of my silver pieces and gave me a great price for both the sterling and silver plate. Highly recommend!
Fred was just really chill
11/04/2019 by Gabriel Banks
Fred was just really chill. I was actually able to ask questions on how all the pricing worked without him getting annoyed. I'm new to buying and selling and had never actually sold any of my silver before. He was very kind and patient. He was able to explain the whole process giving me peace in mind after selling a few ounces. If I ever would like to sell any of my precious metals, I will be going back to him for now on.
Was not disappointed
02/05/2019 by A W.
Brought in several pieces of old jewelry and silver, and was not disappointed. The lady that assisted me was very informative, explained everything as she was doing it, and was very pleasant and efficient. I feel I got a very fair price for my items and would highly recommend this business.
Jill was very helpful
08/31/2019 by Georgianna J.
Jill was very helpful, friendly, professional and knowledgeable. I highly recommend this business. It is nicely designed, comfortable, easily located.
Friendly, Knowledgeable
09/21/2019 by Joy C.
Cheryl was friendly, knowledgeable, and took time to evaluate my items and explain my options. Based on my experience today, I would recommend JewelRecycle!
Got More Than I Expected
02/07/2019 by Joel W.
Took in a bunch of dinnerware that I thought was likely junk and ended up getting way more than I expected to get. Highly recommended!

Our Locations

Saltbox Village

1259-A Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC 27511

Monday-Saturday, 11am-3pm
Sunday, Closed
(Temporary Hours)


Next to Trader Joe's

Holly Park Shopping Center
3072 Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC 27609

Monday-Saturday, 11am-3pm
Sunday, Closed
(Temporary Hours)


University Place

(Inside mall between Chick-fil-A and Carolina Corner)
201 S. Estes Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Temporarily closed due to mall stay at home shutdown. Visit our Raleigh or Cary stores.


The Forum

1113 Military Cutoff Rd. Suite D
Wilmington, NC 28405

Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm
Saturday-Sunday, Closed
(Temporary Hours)

4/10/20 UPDATE: Raleigh, Cary and Wilmington are open adjusted hours today, 11am-3pm. Chapel Hill is closed due to mall shutdown. Call if appointments are needed at other times. We are designated as an essential business.CURBSIDE SERVICE PROCEDURES