Your favorite Aunt Gertie just bequeathed you her prized coin collection, and you are over the moon that she trusted you with it. But the responsibility is also a little anxiety producing. What if one of the coins has an almost-imperceptible difference that rockets the value from a few dollars to several thousand dollars? You only know what a numismatist (coin scholar and dealer) tells you. So how do you know if you’ve found a trustworthy coin appraiser? Here’s what to consider.
Professional Numismatic Accreditation
Start by researching a numismatist’s professional accreditations, and be wary of credentials that only require the member to pay dues to join. You should seek a coin appraiser who has met strict guidelines before being accepted for membership in professional organizations, like the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) whose members voluntarily agree to a set of ethical standards when evaluating coins.
The requirements for this organization are rigorous, expensive, and strict. I am proud to have been a member of the PNG since 2006 as only 1 of 5 PNG dealers in the entire state of Connecticut. I am also a Life Member in the ANA, which I joined in 1978. I am a Professional Coin Grading Service Authorized Dealer, a Numismatic Guaranty Corporation Authorized Dealer, and a Paper Money Guaranty Authorized Dealer.
Years of Coin Appraisal Experience
When you come to me for an appraisal, or to add to your collection, you’re working directly with me and gain the advantage of my decades of experience Through hard work and many years of study and experience, I am grateful to be considered a recognized authority in the world of coins today. Journalists rely on me as an expert when they need one, and I am honored to perform appraisals for a multitude of museums, banks, attorneys, and even the U.S. Marshals Service.
Because some coins can fetch thousands of dollars and more, it’s crucial that whomever you choose as an appraiser will be able to underwrite transactions should something go awry during the process. For instance, I once purchased a single coin for 1.5 million dollars at auction in 2019 because my business had the capital to do so. Whomever you choose as your expert, ask the hard questions about their ability to pay you what your coin or collection is worth and what systems they have in place to guarantee your payment.
Areas of Expertise
Ask a dealer what coins they specialize in. There is too much to be known about every coin and collectible for someone to claim they are an expert at them all, so steer clear of those who claim to be experts across the board. For example, I specialize in US coins and currency collections, rare silver and copper coins, Colonial coins and currency, world coins and currency, bullion and 90% US silver. Be sure you find someone with expertise in the type of currency or collectible you are buying or selling.
Next, consider a coin appraiser’s reputation. Ask around in coin-collecting circles and clubs about the experience others have had with coin appraisers. Research scores from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating and Accreditation. Dave Wnuck Numismatists has been accredited with the BBB since 2019 and has an A+ rating! I also encourage you to read some of the testimonials from my clients. It’s so gratifying to hear the feedback, especially when it comes to the values on which I stake my reputation, like being characterized as “fair, honest, and trustworthy” and thanked for doubling the offers made by less-experienced or less-reputable dealers.
Once you have done your due diligence in each of these areas, select a trustworthy coin appraiser who instills confidence in you. At Dave Wnuck Numismatists, we know that Aunt Gertie was so much more than a collection of coins to you, and we promise to honor her memory with fairness and generosity.