Coins can pop up at the moment you least expect it. They are discovered by metal detectors, on attics or as part of an inheritance. If you are the lucky 'finder' of a coin collection, do not hesitate to have your coins appraised. It may well be that you have stumbled upon a rare or valuable coin!
Coins have always been popular with collectors and, because of their value retention, are increasingly becoming so with investors. The attraction to coins is easily explained. Coins make history from up to 2.5 thousand years ago tangible. They can be of a fascinating beauty, and in fact, coin makers were the greatest artists of antiquity. Their craft enjoyed enormous prestige.
Estimating the value of coins requires knowledge of the history and the metals that were used. Heritage Auctions Europe has top experts in all possible coin categories. They can tell you more about the quality and rarity of your coins and recognize what is unique.
Do you want to know the value of your coin or collection of coins? Then have it appraised by one of our experts. Such an assessment is free of charge and does not come with any further obligations. At your request, you have the option to sell your coins in one of our auctions. We can also advise you about having the coins auctioned at home or abroad.
The value of a coin is determined by 3 things: the type of metal, the rarity and the quality. A gold coin ALWAYS has the gold value. However, if the year that the coin was minted is rare, the value immediately increases. If the coin is also very beautiful (high quality), then you may have something really valuable in your hands!
Before you read anything about coins here, a word of advice (for newcomers): never polish your coins! Especially not with caustic cleaning products. This can tarnish them and significantly reduce their value. A polished, processed or damage coin does have value, but is lower than the same coin in its original condition.
Time and again people come to our office for a valuation and tell us 'I polished the coins this morning, now they look beautiful again'. Indeed, they may look more beautiful, but the actual value of the coins has decreased drastically. So don't. Leave everything in its original condition before having it appraised by us.
We often think about our perfectly rounded copper, nickel, silver or gold discs when we talk about coins, but coins have a long history that is of interest to many collectors. We have been paying with coins for almost 3000 years. They once provided a great replacement of the barter system, making trade and saving easier. Over the centuries, there have been many types of coins and currencies, each with their own names, history and value.
One of the earliest types of currency is so-called 'primitive money', whereby payment is made with shells, copper bracelets, etc. And have you ever heard about money made from herbs, also called tea money? Even necklaces with beads were once used as a type of payment.
As early as the 7th century BC, people in Ionia and Lydia (Asia Minor, the time of Kroisos or Croesus) began to mint the first coins from electrum, an alloy of gold and silver. The rarity of the material alongside the longetivety of this precious mix of metals made these early coins a perfect form of currency.
The later Greek and Roman coins were minted in bronze, silver and gold. The Greeks paid for their more expensive purchases with the dekadrachm, tetradrachm, stater, litra or drachma and their smaller groceries were paid for with an obole, trihemi-obole or a trihemitartemorion. A Roman soldier received a denarius (silver coin) per day, and the rich Roman elites paid with an aureus (gold coin with the highest coin value). For a snack during the games in the amphitheater, the middleclass spectator paid with small bronze coins. Depicted on these ancient coins was usually the emperor, and since these ancient coins were all minted by hand, each coin was unique.
Nowadays we pay with Euros, but this hasn't always been the case. In the Netherlands, for example, we used to pay with our beautiful guilders, rixdollars, quarters, dimes, nickels and cents.
You use Euro coins on a daily basis to make small purchases. They are meant to be spent, unless you have an error coin. The value of these error coins can rise very high, because they are in great demand among collectors and enthousiasts. For example, a Euro that consists of one type of metal (instead of the usual two) sometimes sells for hundreds of Euros at our auctions. We also come across half minted coins, or copies that portray the same image on both sides. These kinds of deviations are rare and thus have a high value to collectors. In case you own any error coins, always have them appraised by us!