Old Coins Hiding in a Drawer? You Should Find Out What They Are Worth!

Sterling & Knight Jewelry & Pawn

Bolingbrook: 295 S. Schmidt   (630) 759-9100   

Villa Park: 109 E. St Charles   (630) 833-0800

      Hinsdale: 244 E. Ogden Ave   (630) 321-5600


Sterling-Knight-Jewelry-Pawn-US-CoinsDo you have an old coin collection that you haven’t looked at in years? Or maybe just some coins that you found when a loved one passed away? Here are a few tips on how to preserve the value of these coins, and to get the best return if you decide to sell them.

First of all, the number one rule when handling old coins is to never, ever clean them! Numismatists (coin collectors and experts) want coins to be in original condition. Once coins are cleaned, they will never revert to their original state. A numismatist can tell if a coin has been cleaned, even if it was cleaned over 20 years ago!

Secondly, you need to determine if what you have is an actual “coin collection” or just an “accumulation”. A “coin collection” is put together by a collector who is buying coins for their numismatic value. A serious collector will seek out and purchase rare date coins, and will be constantly buying better coins to add to their collection. These types of coins increase in value over time, and are always in demand in the numismatic community.

When selling a coin collection, you should do some research before venturing out to get offers from dealers. Most public libraries will have resources available to help you understand which coins in the collection are rare, and will give you a rough idea of value. You must remember, however, that any values listed are “retail”, and that any buyer will be offering less than the prices listed in the publications. Once you are armed with a little knowledge, you can take your collection to some dealers to get offers for them to buy your collection.

An “accumulation” of old coins is a group of coins that someone gathered together in a haphazard fashion. After the United States stopped making silver coins in the 1960’s, many people started saving any silver coins that they found in change. Often people who lived through the Great Depression would save old coins, because of their distrust of banks. Gold coins from the 1800’s thru the 1920’s were saved by many during this time.

When dealing with an accumulation of old coins, it is highly unlikely that you would have any rare dates. When taking these coins to a dealer, they are not going to take the time to look at each individual coin, because the odds of finding something rare in an accumulation is about the same as winning the lottery. If you want to take the time, get a book at the library that tells you which dates are rare, and start looking!

Generally speaking, coins of this type will be valued based on their silver content. At the time of this writing, $1.00 worth of old US silver coins is worth $20.00. That’s 20 times the face value of the coin.

As with selling any items of value, it always pays to get two or three offers, and bring them in to Sterling & Knight Jewelry & Pawn to get the highest price!

  1. Ford Sunderland is the Chief Operating Officer of Sterling & Knight Jewelry & Pawn, and has over 30 years of jewelry, rare coin and estate buying experience. For more information log on to:

We have three locations to serve you! We are located in:


295 S. Schmidt Road Bolingbrook, IL 60440  630.759.9100

Hours: Monday 10 – 7:00 Tuesday – Friday 10 – 6:00 Saturday 10- 3:00

Villa Park

109 E. St Charles Road Villa Park, IL 60181 630.833.0800 

Hours: Monday 10 – 7:00 Tuesday – Friday 10 – 6:00 Saturday 10- 3:00


244 E. Ogden Ave. Suite 114 (In the Courtyard of Koshgarian Plaza) Hinsdale, IL  60521 630.321.5600


Hours: Monday – Friday   10 – 6:00 Saturday  10 – 3:00

Sunday by appointment.

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Thank you for your business and continued faith in our local, family owned business. We’ve had the privilege of working with wonderful customers and helping them in these troubled times.


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