Many coin collections are handed down from generation to generation. Even though you may have had a mother or father show you the ropes, collecting can seem like a strange practice. What ultimately determines the value of a rare coin and where can you find the opportunity to purchase coins like these? There are few simple answers to these questions. Knowing a coin dealer you can trust is a way to get educated and upgrade your collection. Here are tips for settling on a trustworthy dealer.
• Ask the advice of other collectors. Knowing other coin collectors is important when you want to expand your collection and start taking it seriously. Where do they go when they want a reliable opinion? Who are some of the dealers from whom they wouldn’t hesitate to buy a coin? Answering these questions will give you a short list of dealers that might fit the bill as you build up your collection.
• Start with a small purchase and have it examined by a third party. You might want to kick off a relationship with a dealer by making a purchase and having it examined by a reliable third party. Does the coin come from the source the dealer claimed? Does it have the attributes he or she sold you on? Start with a purchase on the smaller side if a deal seems right – that way, you aren’t taking a huge risk.
• Look for membership to professional organizations. When a coin dealer is the member of a guild like PNG, you can trust that his or her professional reputation is riding on every transaction. Membership privileges can be revoked if a dealer engages in dishonest practices. While belonging to the PNG is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t mean you should end the vetting process there.
• Check for an online presence. Once a coin dealer sets up a website with the store address and all other pertinent information, it would be hard to slip off and disappear to the Caribbean. Online presence can add a certain level of legitimacy to a dealer’s practice. It might be the point that tips the scale when deciding whether to make the purchase or pull back.
As with all facets of coin collection, those that do their homework and avoid rash decisions will end up finding trustworthy dealers. If you have a bad feeling about a certain dealer, keep looking until you are comfortable.