15 Tips – How do I find coin dealers and auctions for my collection?

Finding Coin Dealers and Auctions for Your Collection

Building a coin collection is a fulfilling hobby that can provide both personal satisfaction and financial rewards. However, finding the right coin dealers and auctions to purchase coins from can be a challenge, especially for new collectors. In this article, we will explore some useful tips for locating coin dealers and auctions for your collection.

1. Utilize Online Resources

The internet is a great place to start your search for coin dealers and auctions. Many reputable dealers have an online presence, and you can often find auction listings and information about upcoming sales on websites such as eBay, Heritage Auctions, and Stacks Bowers. Additionally, websites like the American Numismatic Association and the Professional Numismatists Guild offer directories of reputable dealers and auction houses that specialize in coins.

2. Join Coin Collecting Organizations and Forums

Joining a coin collecting organization or participating in online coin collecting forums can provide valuable insights into the coin market and help you identify reputable dealers and auction houses. Members of these groups can offer recommendations and provide information about their experiences with different dealers and auctions. Some organizations even hold regular auctions for members, giving you the opportunity to purchase coins directly from fellow collectors.

3. Attend Coin Shows and Conventions

Coin shows and conventions are events where dealers, collectors, and auction houses come together to buy, sell, and trade coins. Attending these events provides an excellent opportunity to meet dealers and see coins up close before you buy them. You can also attend auctions and bid on coins in person. Some of the largest coin shows and conventions include the World’s Fair of Money, the New York International Numismatic Convention, and the FUN Show.

4. Research Before You Buy

Before you purchase coins from a dealer or at auction, it is important to do your research. Check the reputation of the dealer or auction house, and read customer reviews and feedback. Make sure to verify the authenticity and condition of the coins, and consider having them appraised by a professional numismatist if you have any doubts. Finally, be sure to understand the terms and conditions of the sale, including any warranties, returns, and shipping policies.

5. Know Your Niche

Coin collecting can encompass a wide range of interests and specialties, from ancient coins to modern commemoratives. Knowing your niche and focusing on a specific area of coin collecting can help you find dealers and auctions that specialize in your area of interest. For example, if you are interested in ancient coins, you can look for dealers that specialize in ancient Greek, Roman, or Byzantine coins. If you are interested in modern commemoratives, you can look for dealers and auctions that specialize in U.S. Mint issues.

6. Check Local Coin Shops

Local coin shops can be a great source for coins and information on coin collecting. Many local shops have knowledgeable staff that can answer your questions and help you find the coins you are looking for. Some shops also have a selection of coins available for purchase, and they may even hold regular auctions or events. Check your local yellow pages or search online for coin shops in your area.

7. Consider Estate Sales and Auctions

Estate sales and auctions can be a valuable source for coins, especially if the person who owned the coins was an avid collector. You can find estate sales and auctions listed in local newspapers, online classifieds, and on websites such as EstateSales.net and LiveAuctioneers. Keep in mind that estate sales and auctions can be competitive, so be prepared to bid on coins that you want to add to your collection.

8. Be Careful of Scams

Unfortunately, there are many scams in the coin collecting market, so it is important to be cautious when purchasing coins. Some common scams include fake or altered coins, misleading grading, and overpriced coins. To avoid scams, always do your research and deal with reputable dealers and auction houses. Additionally, consider getting a second opinion from a professional numismatist before making a significant purchase.

9. Build Relationships with Dealers and Auctions

Building relationships with dealers and auction houses can be beneficial for your coin collecting hobby. Dealers and auction houses can notify you of upcoming sales and events, and they may even hold coins for you until you are ready to purchase them. By establishing relationships with reputable dealers and auction houses, you can stay informed about the coin market and have access to the coins you are looking for.

10. Attend Coin Shows and Conventions

Coin shows and conventions are great opportunities to meet with dealers and other collectors, view and purchase coins, and learn about the latest trends and developments in the coin collecting world. Coin shows and conventions are held regularly in many cities across the United States and around the world. To find a coin show or convention near you, search online for events or check with local coin collecting organizations.

11. Consider Joining a Coin Collecting Club

Joining a coin collecting club can be a great way to connect with other coin collectors, share your passion for coin collecting, and learn about the hobby. Coin collecting clubs offer educational programs, regular meetings, and opportunities to buy, sell, and trade coins with other members. To find a coin collecting club near you, search online or check with local coin shops or coin collecting organizations.

12. Utilize Online Coin Forums and Communities

Online coin forums and communities can be a valuable resource for coin collectors. These platforms provide a space for collectors to share information, ask questions, and connect with others who share their interests. Some popular online coin forums and communities include the American Numismatic Association (ANA) forum, the NumisMaster forum, and the PCGS CoinFacts community.

13. Research Before You Buy

Before making a purchase, it is important to research the coin and the seller to ensure that you are getting a genuine and fairly priced coin. Utilize online resources, such as the PCGS CoinFacts website, to learn about the coin you are interested in and its market value. You can also check the seller’s reputation and history by searching online or asking other coin collectors for their opinions.

14. Use a Professional Grading Service

Professional grading services, such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), provide third-party assessments of the condition and authenticity of coins. Using a professional grading service can help ensure that you are getting a fair price for the coin you are purchasing and can also increase the value of your coin collection.

15. Keep Records of Your Collection

Finally, it is important to keep accurate records of your coin collection. Keeping a detailed inventory of your coins, including information about each coin’s type, date, condition, and purchase price, can help you track the value and growth of your collection. This information can also be useful for insurance purposes and for tracking your collection for future sales or trades.


Building a coin collection can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, but it requires careful research and consideration. By utilizing online resources, joining coin collecting clubs and organizations, attending coin shows and conventions, researching before you buy, being cautious of scams, and building relationships with dealers and auctions, utilizing professional grading services, and keeping records of your collection, you can build a valuable and trustworthy coin collection. Happy collecting!

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