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What is an Antique Coin?

The term "antique" is simply a loose generalization applied to old coins, namely coins that are more than 100 years old. This can be a useful starting point for anyone interested in trading and collecting coins of a different era.

Calculating antique coin values

The first step toward calculating antique coin values is to accurately identify your rare coins. Closely examine the coin for legends, including its country of origin, date, mintmark and denomination. Does the coin include any designs, like the face of a prominent individual or animal? What type of Precious Metal appears most prominent in the coin: Silver, Gold, Copper or Bronze? Use the Internet to search for information about the coin or consult a coin expert in person. The APMEX search bar is an excellent place to enter information and explore coin categories.

Beginning coin collectors may be surprised to learn that age does not necessarily guarantee a high premium for a coin. For example, APMEX carries Bronze drachm coins from between 35 B.C. and 5 A.D, from the reign of Azes II, the king of Bactria in present-day Afghanistan. While collectors appreciate these ancient coins, they are relatively inexpensive, at less than $15 per coin. In contrast, an ancient Silver Macedonian Alexander III tetradrachm, from between 336 and 323 B.C., is priced at roughly $2,500 per coin through APMEX.

What accounts for the drastic price difference? First, consider their Precious Metal content. A Silver coin is generally valued higher than a Bronze coin. Second, look at their conditions. The Silver tetradrachm shows exquisite detail in the laureate head of Zeus, while the Bronze drachm shows just the rough outlines of Greek and Indian script. Third, and most importantly, the Silver tetradrachm is a very rare coin with rich historical value, while the Bronze drachm is relatively more common and easier to obtain.

Searching the APMEX website for your coin is a simple way to gauge antique coin values. Collectors may also consider meeting with an expert coin appraiser or seeking guidance from the American Numismatic Association, the Professional Coin Grading Service or other reputable organizations.

Antique coins for sale at APMEX

APMEX carries a wide variety of antique coins from throughout human history. Colonial and early American coins are especially popular among collectors, including Civil War tokens and Connecticut Copper cents.

APMEX also features a number of ancient coins, from about 600 B.C. to 476 A.D., medieval coins, from about 500 to 1500 A.D., and Chinese dynasty coins. APMEX categorizes antique coins minted after 1500 A.D. by region and country.

Ancient and Medieval Coins at APMEX

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