Using a metal detector to find objects that have been buried beneath the surface can be exciting. Metal detecting enthusiasts often find coins that have significant historical and monetary value. If you are planning to do some metal detecting in the near future, it can be beneficial to know how you should handle any coins you find prior to appraisal.
Here are three tips to help you care for your found coins and get the most value for them after your next outing with a metal detector.
1. Don't clean your coin.
Old coins that have been dug up from the soil can be extremely dirty. While you may be tempted to use baking soda, vinegar, or other cleaning solutions to shine up your coins before getting them appraised, it's important that you resist this urge.
Coin collectors value the natural patina that old coins develop over time, and cleaning the coins you find with your metal detector could actually reduce their value. Use a soft cloth to remove excess dirt, but don't do any additional cleaning before you take your coin to an appraiser.
2. Take the time to identify your coin.
Coins have been minted by various societies throughout the world since the 6th Century B.C. As you take your metal detector for a spin, you may encounter buried coins that are no longer in circulation. You may even find some foreign coins that could be valuable.
By taking the time to locate identifying marks (like mint locations, famous figures, or dates) you will be able to consult collector's manuals and websites to determine which type of coin you have uncovered. Armed with this information, you can locate a reputable appraiser who has experience evaluating the type of coin in your possession.
3. Have potentially valuable coins slabbed.
Once you identify the type of coin you have, you will be able to find information on the rarity of the coin. If you feel that your coin will be highly collectible due to higher demand than availability, you will want to take the time to have your coin slabbed.
Once professionals working at a coin authenticating company have evaluated your find, they will enclose the coin in plastic and include their opinions as to the authenticity and rarity of the coin in question. Buyers view slabbed coins as being safe investments, which can add to their appraisal value. Having your coin slabbed prior to appraisal could increase the estimate placed on the coin in the future.
Make sure that you are handling the coins you find with your metal detector with care prior to having them appraised. Don't clean them completely, identify the type and rarity of the coins you dig up, and have coins with potential value slabbed to ensure a successful appraisal. Contact a company like American Precious Metals Inc for more information.