Please Help!! trying to understand the collection my dad left me..

Started by Brandie85, September 03, 2017, 09:23:39 AM

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If anyone can please help me? My dad passed and left me his collection and id love nothing more than to learn and add to his collection however I recently went to a local collector and as a young woman he was very aggressive with me and trying to get me to leave him my collection now im terrified to go anywhere else and i came across this website thankfully. any help would be so much appreciated. Thank you for your time.
will be posting more just learning this site :)


Hi Brandie,

I think you should start to make an inventory of your collection first, if you know how to use Excel, that would be the best support tool. Yes, coin by coin. You should try to get hold of the Krause & Mischler numbers (KM#) for each coin.

How to do that? Connect to where you can either become a member, but to consult the coins on the site, you don't need to. You select the tab "Catalogue" and then "Search". Enter the country, the denomination and the year appearing on the coin, and you will then get data concerning the coin including the KM#.

To find the corresponding grade, the conservation of the coin, you have to follow this guide line:
For Brilliant Uncirculated grades, there will be no visible signs of wear or handling, even under a 30-pwer microscope. Full mint luster will be present. Ideally no bags marks will be evident.

For UNCIRCULATED (Unc.) grades there will be no visible signs of wear or handling, even under a 30-power microscope. Bag marks may be present.

For ALMOST UNCIRCULATED (AU) all detail will be visible. There will be wear only on the highest point of the coin. There will often be half or more of the original mint luster present.

On the EXTREMELY FINE (XF or EF) coin, there will be about 95% of the original detail visible. Or, on a coin with a design with no inner detail to wear down, there will be a light wear over nearly all the coin. If a small design is used as the grading area, about 90% of the original detail will be visible. This latter rule stems from the logic that a smaller amount of detail needs to be present because a small area is being used to grade the whole coin.

The VERY FINE (VF) coin will have about 75% of the original detail visible. Or, on a coin with no inner detail, there will be moderate wear over the entire coin. Corners of letters and numbers may be weak. A small grading area will have about 66% of the original detail.

For FINE (F) there will be about 50% of the original detail visible. Or, on a coin with no inner detail, there will be fairly heavy wear over all of the coin. Sides of letters will be weak. A typically uncleaned coin will often appear as dirty or dull. A small grading area will have just under 50% of the original detail.

On the VERY GOOD (VG) coin, there will be about 25% of the original detail visible. There will be heavy wear on all of the coin.

The GOOD (G) coin's design will be clearly outlined but with substantial wear. Some of the larger detail may be visible. The rim have a few spots of wear.

On the ABOUT GOOD (AG) coin, there will typically be only a silhouette of a large design. The rim will be worn down into the letters if any.

When all that is done you have to try to find the price for each coin. That can be done via the paper catalogues from Krause & Mischler, which you can borrow in any library in the States, I assume you live there.

In case on any questions concerning your inventory, km#, grading and prices, you can just us here, where we'll happy to help you become more knowledgable about this fine hobby.

Have fun and take care


Thank you Sooo Sooo much for all this incredible information this is a great deal of help to me. I started a Google Excel Collection Inventory list. Only have 1 page done so far and have a lot more to do, ill be constantly updating. If you wouldn't mind taking a look id be very interested on your thoughts as thus so far. Thank you again for your time.
heres the link


Hi Brandie,

no problem. Always there to help. Below you can see how I have organized my collection and the tools I use. I have not shown the magnifier, but the magnet, the scale and the caliper, yes. Everything can be bought at amazon and it's not a huge investment!!!

I constructed my own Excel structure according to my own needs, which also include the sending of my data to Krause & Mischler, since I'm a contributor to the catalogues, but your layout looks OK to me as well.

Take care and have fun with your collection.


I take it this is mostly a US collection? If so, you might want to pick up a copy of the US Redbook. It's comprehensive up to about a year before the publishing date, and you can pick up a ~2-3 year old edition for peanuts online.

From what you have posted, the 1878 Morgan is the most valuable so far, but really can't comment further without pictures. Assuming it isn't a complete slug, they usually run between about $18 (common, low grade) and low $30s (uncirculated common dates, or circulated scarcer dates). 1921 Morgans are an entirely different beast and usually don't go for much above melt, due to their extremely high mintage and survival rate - they were made following an 18 year gap in production and were made using silver from melted 1878-1903 Morgans.

The walking liberty halves go for a little premium over melt, but yours are all common. Fully uncirculated examples bring a nice premium.

The Silver Eagle and the bullion round are worth about melt; I think that's about $17/oz right now.

Except for the key dates and fully red, uncirculated examples, Indian Head pennies are only worth a dollar or two each.

Non-silver Kennedy halves are worth face. They were last produced for circulation in 2001, so all later dates (including your 2004) have low mintages, but no added value.

Ike dollars are, on a good day, worth about $1.25, but often go for face. Check the earth on your 1972's; there are a few types, and some are worth a small premium.

Ebay is an excellent tool to research real-world values for your coins.


Thank you guys so much, your help is amazing you have no idea. yes wasnt sure with my layout kinda been editing it as i learn more thank u for sharing yours. I actually havent gotten into the best part of the collection ill start on that now, i have alot to fo thru. The draped bust confuses me because it says to look for the errors? ill start there im continuing to update as we speak. thank u again :):) you have no idea how scary that guy was i went to im extremely terrified to go elsewhere now. now i dont have to yall are the best


Welcome to coin collecting, Brandie. By taking good care of his collection and expanding it, you'll do honor to your dad's legacy.

I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with Mr. Pushy. In my experience, there are a lot of socially awkward coin collectors and dealers. Some can be pushy, some intimidating, some both. I don't blame you a bit for backing off from face-to-face contacts, especially given the gender factor. Bullying is a reality, some men do feel entitled to bully women, and as loathsome as that is, it is the reality and has to be guarded against.

If you live in an area that has a coin club, you might think about visiting a meeting. You don't have to bring any coins. See how it feels--if you get a read of a bunch of snobs, maybe it's not a very good club. I'm proud of ours here in Portland, which I have seen treating visitors, novices, and YNs (young numismatists--i.e. kids) very well. The value of a coin club is that you can benefit from others' knowledge, and it'll expose you to expertise not easily found in other ways. When I have an ancient or Byzantine piece I'm not sure about, I bring it to our best ancients guy at the club, who has become something of a mentor. If you need help finding a coin club, mention a region (no need to be specific in any way that would feel scary), and I'll be glad to dig for the information for you. Areas with several hundred thousand people tend to have coin clubs, but sometimes smaller areas do. The Salem folks usually come to our meetings, and a lot of us go to the shows down around their area and support what they do--and Salem is an hour south of Portland, plus much smaller.

Given that you've got mainly a US collection, there isn't any substitute for a good ANA standards grading book that will go into each coin type and what is expected for each grade in each coin type. I take Coin Values magazine, not just for the values, but for thoughtful articles and especially the grading ones. I actually clip them out, three-hole them, and put them in binders.

It seems like you're off to a good start quantifying what you have. That'll be good education in itself. Happy collecting, and do by all means ask away when you have questions.


Good pictures of the coins always help. They can even be linked into the spreadsheet. This  forum has a wide variety of collectors and are happy to assist.



I see Brandie hasn't posted in a year and a half or so, but I'd love to know if she continued her collecting interests. Maybe she'll see your post, Bruce, and get back to us. I'm glad you bumped this thread up.

Bruce too
Always Faithful



Hello everyone,

It was great to read about the supportive replies in this thread. Untill I read the reply by Bruce, and realised that this is originally from 2017. About 3 years have passed by. I just hope that she found some interest in the coins, and numismatics in general.
Been over a couple of year she has been online on numismatic online forums and sites.


Ref:- Numista: Brandie, WoC: Brandie85
Numismatics is the window to the history of the human civilisation.