Rare Coins Definition: Technically, "rare" means very few examples are known (e.g. no more than 75 to earn that designation on the Sheldon Rarity Scale), but with these coins becoming not affordable for the general collection coins with much higher mintages are becoming "rare coin investments".
Rare coins prices depend on a lot of factors and we will discuss some of them here:
1) Coin Grading. Value of rare coins depends a lot on the coin grading. Usually, even a difference in 1 grade makes coins 2-3 times more expensive.
2) Mintage or how rare the coin is also affects the value. Coins minted in low mintages would have a better value in the series. Even if 2 coins look and grade identical and only differ in 1 year, the coin with the lower mintage for the year will have higher value.
3) Coin Market. - Demand and Supply for coins creating a coin market, where value of the coin would be influenced by a lot of political and economical factors. For ex: Some of the rare old coins from Eastern Europe would cost very little only, because there is a little demand and people can't afford to have the luxury of collecting coins. NOTE: We can see that
this is changing now and some coins from Eastern Europe, especially Russian coins have a huge opportunity to increase in value and already started to become expensive even for serious investors.
4) Rare Silver Coins and Rare Gold Coins - There is an increasing demand in rare coins made from precious metals, such as silver and gold. The value of these rare coins grown dramatically in last years affected by increase in commodity prices and high demand. Refer to Silver Coins page and Gold Coins page for more information about rare silver coins, rare gold coins and rare gold coins value.
5) Error Coins - Some collectors specialize in so-called error coins. These are the coins that have been minted in error or with some unintended mistake in design. Prices of error coins vary considerably, and are based on denomination, date (if the date is visible), how significant the error, error type, how scarce the error is, and the dealer's demeanor.
NOTE: Be aware that values of error coins have been stable and steady over the decades. This is not an investment hobby, but an enjoyable and educational experience, and a good illustration of our imperfect world.
Please refer to the Coin Values page for more information about rare coin value and rare coin prices.