Coin Selling: Do’s, Don’ts, and Frequently Asked Questions


With the new year underway, many people are carving out time to organize & clean their homes post-holiday. A few brave souls may even venture into old storage boxes, attics, and long-lost corners of the basement! As you are cleaning, you may find some old coins here and there among forgotten items – and we at CT Gold & Silver would love to help you with them!

Here are a few tips, tricks, and some knowledge to help you sort your found possible treasures before you bring them into us for evaluation:

If you are finding older U.S. coinage, there are some quick and easy ways to sort out the ones with silver value:

  • Dollar coins, half dollars, quarters, and dimes are all 90% silver up to
    1964. In 1965, all of these coins changed to copper-nickel clad, except:
  • JFK half dollars from 1965-1970 remained 40% silver. From 1970
    onward, all coinage was clad, unless it was in special proof sets issued by
    the U.S. Mint.

An older date coin does not always mean it is rare!

When you bring your coins in for evaluation, our buyer will always evaluate them based on two factors: rarity (rare dates/mints are referred to as ‘key dates’), and precious metal1. Our buyers in-store are trained to evaluate all your coinage based on these factors; if we find a key date in your collection, we will consult with one of our coin specialists (called numismatists) to verify and evaluate that coin further.

You may find foreign coinage in your adventurous cleaning; these we evaluate on a case to case basis. Quite often, they are not silver, and only a few have numismatic (collector) value. Again in this case, our buyer will consult with one of our numismatists to verify either the precious metal content or rarity.

Finally, and VERY importantly –


If you do, you will very likely devalue the coin if it has any numismatic value.

On that note, our buyers at NY Gold & Silver are ready to help you! You can contact us via email, phone, or even text message! We look forward to hearing from you, and happy new year!

  1. Links to our three part blog series on rare/key dates for US coinage can be found here:
    Dollars & Half-Dollars
    Nickels & Dimes ↩︎
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