Coin collecting or “numismatics” is a wonderful hobby that offers you years of enjoyment along with the added bonus of potentially making money on your investment. One of the true joys of the hobby is searching for the pieces you are interested in when building your rare coin collection. You can spend months or even years searching for the perfect specimen to fill a gap in your collection and the hunt is a large part of the fun!
If you are just getting started or if you are advancing and find yourself having trouble locating specific coins for your collection, finding a local dealer near you to work with can be a great benefit. Unfortunately, not all dealers are created equal. Some are less then reputable and might not give you the best price, or if you are collecting raw coins, maybe a bit liberal when it comes to grading.
If you are a beginner, one way to avoid grading issues is to buy pre-slabbed certified coins that have been graded by one of the reputable coin grading services like the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), or America's Oldest Coin Authentication and Grading Service (AOCAGS). These coins are certified as authentic and accurately graded making them a little easier to price and when the time comes, sell.
Regardless of whether you choose to buy raw or pre-slabbed coins, it’s important to find a reputable, reliable coin shop to do business with. Let’s looks at a few ways you can narrow the search and answer the question “How can I find a coin shop near me?”
Finding A Knowledgeable and Reputable Local Coin Dealer
It is fairly easy to find a coin dealer. Finding an honest, reputable, reliable one is a bit tougher. There are certain characteristics to look for and questions to ask when looking for an honest dealer. Here are three tips to consider.
- Are they experienced? – There’s an old saying among coin collectors, especially for newbies to the hobby: “buy the book before you buy the coin!” When it comes to coin collection, knowledge is your best friend. There are so many variables that can affect the price of a coin from its rarity and condition to if it’s been cleaned or “artificially toned." If you are investing your money into coins, you want to work with a dealer that is knowledgeable and honest. The best way to gain knowledge yourself is to work with someone who already has it and is willing to share it with you.
- Do they have any assets? – Most coins on the market are genuine, but fakes do exist. You want a dealer that has some assets and inventory to make sure that they will still be around in five years. Financial stability is a good sign that your dealer will last and that in the event of a problem, they can provide recompense.
- Is your dealer known and respected among his peers? – The coin market is a relatively small community. One of the best ways to determine if your local dealer is reputable is to ask around. Collectors and other dealers are always a good source of information. Another way to tell if a dealer is respected among their peers is to check with the guilds.
Where to look Among Guilds and Trade Organizations
There are several organizations that require dealers to be vetted by a committee of their peers before they are able to join. The first place you should look when researching dealers is the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). If a dealer proudly displays they are a member of the PNG you can be sure you’ve found an honest, knowledgeable and reliable dealer. The PNG is the oldest coin guild in the nation and members are required to meet several stringent criteria before they are considered for membership, including vetting by a board of their peers. The PNG offers an online coin dealer directory where you can search for a dealer using several different criteria, including location.
Two of the certification services are also great resources when it comes to choosing a reputable dealer. Both the PCGS and the NGC offer resources that can help in your search for a local coin dealer. While not as stringent as the PNG, both PCGS and NGC have fairly strict guidelines for member dealers. You can get more information by visiting their websites online.
Building a coin collection is a wonderful hobby that can provide you with years of enjoyment. Finding an honest, reputable dealer takes some legwork but once you do you will be rewarded by having a partner that can help you to find and buy the coins you’re looking for. Along with doing online research and consulting the guilds and trade organizations, finding a reputable local dealer can be as simple as joining a local coin-collecting club or visiting a local show. One of the best sources for information are other coin enthusiasts. Many communities have local clubs that sponsor shows throughout the year. You can check for local clubs using the American Numismatic Association’s coin club directory. The directory is searchable by location and is a great resource for finding other like-minded collectors in your town.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BUILDING YOUR COIN COLLECTION, CONTACT U.S. COINS AND JEWELRY, HOUSTON'S MOST TRUSTED SOURCE, AT 8435 KATY FREEWAY IN HOUSTON OR CALL 713-597-6367.