7 Factors That Affect The Value Of Old Coins And Jewelry

Do you have rare coins such as ancient coins, certified coins, gold coins, dimes, and nickels? Or do you have high jewelry pieces? If yes, then you have tangible treasures. More than just a simple hobby, collecting old, rare coins and jewelry can be a long-term investment. Regardless of what type of collector you are, it’s crucial for you to know the factors influencing the value of these items to ensure you’ll get the most out of your investment. 

value of old coins

Whether you’re a collector, an heir of coins and jewelry, or someone who’s just curious about buying and selling old coins and jewelry, this article is a must-read. Moreover, if you’re looking to sell your old coin or jewelry collection or get them appraised, you can click here to find out more.

Old Jewelry Values

Learn the different factors that affect the value of old coins and jewelry below:

1. Demand Or Popularity
Rare coins are high in demand and are popular in the coin collection industry. The demand and popularity of coins are directly related to their prices. If an old coin is very difficult to find and many collectors are looking for it, then the high demand will increase its value. 

In addition, the demand increases when coin dealers promote and popularize certain coins.

When it comes to old or vintage jewelry, it’s important to take note of the craftsmanship. In the middle of the last century, large-scale manufacturing processes became popular. Check if the jewelry piece shows signs that it was handmade. Handmade vintage jewelry tends to cost higher. 

In summary, when assessing the value of a coin, you need to consider the following demand or popularity factors:

• Availability in the market in online and offline marketplaces
• Marketing campaigns by coin numismatists (coin collectors and dealers)
• Unique craftsmanship (learn more below)

2. Initial Mintage
The value of a coin can be highly influenced by the supply of a particular grade and its availability. When it comes to supply and availability, people tend to refer to a coin’s mintage. This refers to the number of copies issued for a particularly rare coin, wherein the initial mintage determines the estimated number of coins available in the market.

Of course, the higher the initial mintage and available supply of a particular coin in the market, the lower its price. A coin may be discontinued, which causes fixed supply and affects its price. 

The supply of a particular piece or style of jewelry is highly dependent on the era it was made. For instance, a good number of vintage jewelry pieces were mass-produced in the 1940s, which makes them very popular. 

Jewelry pieces created prior to that year are considered vintage and hard to source. A rare-to-find jewelry piece costs higher than currently produced ones with plenty of similar styles in the market.

3. The Metal’s Intrinsic Value 
The type of metal used also affects the value of coins and jewelry. When a coin or jewelry has a higher gold content, it will also be pricier. Less precious metals have a lower value. Because of the intrinsic value of the metals used in creating coins, their actual spend value can be lower than their intrinsic value. 

For instance, U.S. half-dollars and dimes that were minted before 1965 are made of 90% silver. When you consider their intrinsic value, these coins will sell higher than their spend value in the market. Hence, these types of coins are a good long-term investment.

For old jewelry, you also need to focus on the material because it directly affects its actual value. A popular antique or vintage jewelry might feature expensive diamonds, gold, platinum, and sapphires, or less expensive materials like silver, rhinestones, amethysts, and other precious stones. 

4. Craftsmanship
When it comes to old coins, imperfections in the manufacturing process can be an edge for a coin collector. Mint error coins emerged due to various reasons such as minting equipment failure, minting process accidents or malfunctions, or intentional interventions. The rarity of accidental error coins makes them valuable to coin collectors and dealers. 

value of old coins

For fine jewelry, the mark, cut, and shape of the piece reveal a lot about its value. You can use a magnifying glass to look for marks in old jewelry pieces. Vintage jewelry pieces made from gold, silver, or platinum usually have a stamp. 

In addition, you also need to consider the gem’s cut, which points to certain eras. For instance, ‘European cut’ and ‘old mine cut’ jewelry are no longer produced. Hence, these old cuts can help you identify the era the vintage jewelry was crafted, which can raise its value.

5. Lifetime Or Surviving Population
The surviving population of old coins pertains to the number of available coins still existing in the market. When determining the surviving population of coins, it’s crucial to find out how they were treated over the years. Coins get worn out over time and some were even melted, particularly in the 1980s when coin melt values were popular. 

A coin becomes rare when its surviving population is lesser, which increases its price. Except for a few coins secured by collectors, they’re no longer available in the market.

6. Grade And Actual Condition
While you may have high-market valued old coins at hand, you should still consider their grade and present condition. The grading of a coin determines represents its condition and determines its value. Coins with good mint grades have higher values than those with blemishes and other alterations.

Third-party grading agencies certify coin grading, thus determining the grade without bias. So, when you buy or sell coins as collectibles, make sure you first check their grade and find out if they’re certified. In 1948, Dr. William Herbert Sheldon, a well-known numismatist, developed a standardized coin grading system called the Sheldon coin grading scale. 

This is the grading used in sourcing proof coins. The Sheldon grading system provided more precise grading descriptions and resulted in more precise coin pricing during the 20th century’s booming coin collector market. 

Coin grading, or the process of determining the condition of coins, can be determined using the following criteria: 

• Strike
Striking a coin involves pressing an image into the planchet or blank metal disc. In the past, the hammers struck dies to deform the metal. First strike coins refer to the first set of coins formed from new dies, which are coveted by many collectors because of their sharper details and proof-like qualities.

• Preservation
Coin collectors use special materials and tools to preserve coins. Some examples are coin flips, precision handling tools, and coin holders. A well-preserved coin obtains a higher rating when it comes to preservation.

• Luster
Mint luster, frost, mint bloom, or cartwheel effect refer to the same thing. These terms pertain to the quality of a coin's surface, determining a coin’s reflective quality or sheen during minting. Simply put, a coin’s luster refers to how light interacts with its surface.

A coin in pristine condition is often described as ‘flashy’ or ‘shiny.’ The luster of a coin affects its market value and aesthetic appeal. It’s determined by the manufacturing process and handling, wherein certain luster types are exceptionally desirable.

• Color
The process of grading uncirculated coins includes determining their color. The color of a coin is often the result of environmental deterioration, which causes stains, haze, and corrosion.

• Attractiveness
The general attractiveness of a coin is the result of the combination of the above criteria.

7. History
The history of a coin is a vital factor in determining its value. Coins with a unique history or story to tell command higher value. Hence, it’s ideal to invest in coins with great historical significance, even if they’re just penny coins

Choose coins that can be traced back to well-known historical events or a renowned ruler. For instance, the 1894 O Morgan Silver Dollar was the very first standard silver coin dollar minted after the Coinage Act of 1873 was passed. 

Jewelry pieces also have stories to tell. The clasps used on pins, bracelets, and necklaces can indicate specific jewelry time periods. For example, necklaces and bracelets might be antique or vintage if they have ring clasps or box clasps. 

The lobster clasp only became popular in the 1970s. Pins and brooches popular in the past feature trombone clasps and C clasps. 

Because trends and styles changed dramatically in the 20th century, you need to check if the vintage jewelry is big and bold or delicate and demure. Remember that the overall appearance of the jewelry piece can help determine its value. 

For instance, jewelry styles were extravagant in the mid-20th century, so they feature larger sizes and brighter colors.

Here’s a shortlist of important factors to consider when checking the history of a coin or jewelry piece:

• Date it was created 
• Historical significance 
• Historical evidence 
• Unique features attributed to significant people, places, and events

Now that you know the different factors that affect the value of old coins and jewelry, you’re in a better position to take your collection for sale or appraisal. Seek the help of reputable graders to get the best value for your treasures. Considering all the above factors will help you achieve your investment goals.

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