Gold and Silver Coins: What to Know Before Buying or Selling

For over 2,500 years, gold and silver coins have circulated throughout civilizations and empires as a primary currency. As prices for these precious metals are now reaching some of their highest levels in recent history, investors and collectors are scanning the markets to capitalize on the boom. Before heading to ebay or a pawn shop near you, consider these key tips to smartly
buy or sell your gold and silver coins.

Know the market


Since November 2018, the price of gold has skyrocketed from $1,315.65 an ounce to its current value of $1,798 as of July 2021. It’s no wonder coin sales are seeing trending sales and trades, but prices fluctuate on a daily basis, which means monitoring these trends can indicate when to sell or when to buy. So what’s caused these recent spikes in gold and silver prices throughout the world?

As the surge of Coronavirus buckled global industries and private businesses, precious metal investments rose to all-time highs in August of 2020, leading to a 22% increase in the spot price of gold reaching over $2,000 an ounce. The safety of raw metal values and the decline of the greenback provoked gold investment like never before, causing a peak which has since seen gradual declines as markets have begun to level. These trending causes are invaluable in determining when to invest, or when to sell to maximize bullion profits.


Record levels of silver value in January of 1980 reached an unprecedented $49.45 an ounce—roughly $163 an ounce adjusted for inflation—after a monopolization by the Hunt Brothers, a history lesson worth its own read. U.S. market trading has since enacted margin requirements to balance bulk investments. Its purchases, although monitored via 1099B tax forms for sales of 5,000 ounces plus additional restrictions, have seen incremental climbs in its everyday uses and investing potential. Silver is now one of the most common metals used in electronics, vehicles and everyday appliances, making its value largely determined by industrial production.

Additionally, CNBC reported that “around 50% of the demand for silver was industrial, the rest came from investors. Still, its uses in industry was one of the main reasons driving its recent rise in value.” Regardless of the industrial boom from silver, investors and coin collectors are still impacting and recognizing the increase of silver value from $17.37 an ounce in July 2019, to its current price of $24.74 as of July 2021. Monitoring these movements within the market will equally determine when or when not to buy or sell your silver coins.

Know where to buy and sell

Reputable businesses and industries of all kinds are usually backed by certified organizations, including the world of coin collecting. The study of coin collecting and currency is known as numismatics, which is universally monitored by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association (ANA). Trustworthy dealers who buy and trade coins, such as Infinity Coins, are certified by the ANA, making buying, selling or trading your gold or silver coins the safest and most secure route.

The standards and criteria set by the ANA are considered top in the nation, which means their certified dealers are equally as stringent. Even if you believe your gold or silver coins are of pristine quality and unmatched rarity, receiving an evaluation from ANA dealers should be your first stop before ever relinquishing your precious coins.

In addition, the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) also serves the coin collecting community as an accredited non-profit organization specializing in the knowledge, integrity, and responsibility of buying and selling coins. Since 1955, recognized dealers and members under the PNG have undergone background checks, strict ethical evaluations, and verification of net worth. This equally strict organization has spread globally to resolve disputes among buyers and sellers as a primary source of credibility.

Know your coins

G.I. Joe said it best, “Knowing is half the battle.” Consider this nostalgic phrase as you sift through your coin collection looking for errors, unique devices (coin images), mint marks, dates and legends (coin headings). Some coins are inherently valuable due to their age or limited availability from past production, including the 1804 Silver Dollar, which can be read about here. Taking any coins you believe valuable or rare to a certified dealer could be worth more than the few cents you may have initially believed.

As stated before, the market value of precious metals can determine when you should sell coins, especially those of utmost rarity. Although you may have coins worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, selling your coin at the right or wrong time is affected by current precious metal market values in addition to a coin's natural rarity. This amplifies the value of your coins regardless of its rarity, which should always be a consideration before choosing to sell or buy rare coins.

These takeaways could be the difference between the hundreds or thousands of dollars you may or may not yield. Although learning these key factors can help determine basic value and rarity, taking coins to certified ANA and PNG dealers should always be your first step before buying, selling or trading your gold or silver coins.

Published online: Aug 06, 2021