How to Get Appraisals for Old Coins & Stamps

By T.J. Black
Old stamps can have monetary value

If you own a coin or stamp collection, you may want to get appraisals for old coins and stamps. Most appraisers base the current value of a coin or stamp collection on the combined value for the pieces in the collection. The rarer an item is, the more value it will have. By understanding the basic theory of supply and demand and by taking into consideration the condition of the item, an appraiser can give an estimated value for old stamps and coins.

Conduct research to get a baseline estimate. There are many websites that provide information on old stamps and coins. You should be able to compile an estimated value, which the appraiser can confirm.

Work with a company that has established a reputation for accuracy. There are many factors that affect the value of a coin and stamp collection, so you’ll want to use an experienced company. There are several coin and stamp collecting associations, and many appraisers will have a membership in at least one of them.

Find out how the company provides its appraisals. In some cases, an appraisal company will work from photos of the collection. Other companies prefer for a coin or stamp appraiser to see the item in person.

Determine whether or not you would be willing to ship your collection to an appraisal company. Many companies receive and return old coins and stamps through the mail. While U.S. shipping options usually offer some type of insurance, you need to determine whether or not you feel comfortable with this option.

Deliver the coins and stamps to the appraising service. The amount of time it will take the appraiser to give you a value will depend on the size of your collection. The appraiser may need time to evaluate the condition of an item, in addition to taking time to research certain facts.

Consider attending events hosted by coin collecting or stamp collecting associations. In many cases, these events will have experts on hand who will be willing to give appraisals on coins or stamps you bring to the event. You can also consider attending events with antique dealers, though they may not have quite as much knowledge as those who specialize in coins and stamps.

Ask questions regarding the results of the appraisal, especially if it varies from your baseline expectations. Most appraisers can answer any questions you have about the value. If in doubt, consider getting a second appraisal.