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Determine the coin type (penny, nickle, dime, quarter, half-dollar, dollar) and the year it was produced. These are the most important information that determines the coin's worth. Some years are worth more than others, and some coin types are rarer than others as well. Consider the grade of the coin to further narrow down potential worth. A grade is the coin's condition. "After rarity and demand, coin grade is the most critical factor assessing coin value. grading coins accurately is one of the most valuable skills a coin collector can learn," according to the U.S. Coin Value Advisor.
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Check whether the old coin is a rare American coin or not. This can be done by consulting a coin value table, one of which is provided on the
U.S. Coin Advisor website. The value and rarity of coins are always changing with market demand, so check back from year to year to see if a coin's value has increased or not. When consulting the table it is necessary to know the coin's type, year and grade.
The coin values table provides you with historic value trends over the years for each coin. This allows you to ascertain if it is beneficial to keep the coin or toss those with uncertain potential.
Consult a coin dealer for exact coin value. Unless one is a skilled numismatist, it will be necessary to consult with a professional to further determine value. A coin appraisal usually costs money, so check with a coin values table, a coin collecting book or question the dealer before having the coin inspected to ensure that it will be worth it.