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Appraisals for Coin and Currency Collections

United States Coins and Currency:
Your appraisal will be presented at current wholesale dealer prices using weekly-published prices for United States coins and currency.  Appraisals can usually be done at your home or office location, providing either address is listed in the telephone directory.  If necessary, the appraisal of extensive or  or exceedingly valuable collections can also be conducted at a bank location in a private room.  Click here for instructions to prepare your collection for appraisal.

World and Ancient Coins:
These types of coins or currency are appraised at my experienced opinion. These appraisals can also be done at your home or office location, providing either address is listed in the telephone directory.  Occasionally a very rare or valuable item may require additional research from our extensive source material, located at our secure facility.  This slightly more lengthy process, However, normally is not necessary.

Books, Antiques and Civil War Items:
We are active market makers in Coin and Civil War books and items from the Civil War and will assist you in determining the values of these items.  In addition,  we are very familiar with antiques and have other associates in specialized areas who can assist with the current market value and appraisals.  This research may require additional time.

Appraisal Rates:
Most collections of United States Proof, Mint or circulated coins can normally be done within an hour, providing they have been organized and sorted and organized as per our general instructions.   

Hourly Rate: Our rate is $85 an hour for verbal appraisals and $175 an hour for detailed written appraisals and certified estate appraisals. There is a minimum charge of $175 for all appraisals. Most collection of United States Proof, Mint or circulated coins can normally be appraised within two hours, provided they have been organized and sorted according to our general instructions.

Travel: Travel is billed at $ .58 per mile, to and from Fairfax, Virginia, plus any tolls and parking.  Armed escort service is available at $225 an hour, plus travel costs, within twenty-seven states, including Virginia and Maryland.  If air-travel is required, we bill for First Class travel and expenses.  Consult our web site at www.butternut.org for our tentative show schedule.   If we can coordinate an appraisal while attending a show near your location, travel costs billings to you would be minimal.. 

Selling Your Collection:
Once your appraisal is completed, if you are interested, we will be happy to make you a fair offer for part or your entire collection.  Unlike most appraisers who will make an offer for only the most popular items, we will make an offer to purchase the entire collection.  Payment is normally by check, drawn on US funds.  When necessary, payment can also be made in cash, if prior arrangements have been confirmed and appropriate IRS requirements have been met. 

Should you decide to accept our offer for your collection within 180 days of our appraisal, you will be given full credit for the fee charged for the inventory and appraisal of the coins.  Travel time and expenses, however,  will still be charged.

Upon your request, we would also suggest any particular items that we would be willing to take on a consignment basis, for a 20% commission.  We are insured in excess of $500,000 in the event of any loss.  Once the items sell, full payment is made to you within 45 days. We can also suggest, in our opinion, any items that would benefit you by a third party certified grading service.  We are authorized dealers for all certified grading services. 

If you have extremely rare items, we can also recommend the best auction source for the type of material you possess.  We have close working arrangements with most major auction firms.  We can also negotiate a favorable consignment rate and establish the proper reserve in your behalf for a nominal 5% fee, based on the "hammer" price.  

The Decision to Sell a Collection:
It is sad commentary, but in most instances, spouses or children will sell a parent's or grandparent's life-long coin collection to a pawnshop or estate liquidator for a fraction of its worth.  While many trust officers, estate planners and attorneys are experts concerning financial instruments and real estate, few have expertise in collectables. It is also sad, but true, that I have personally overheard numerous times a less than ethical coin dealer boast how they “scored” or “ripped-off” some great coins from a grieving relative.  With our help, you will be far better prepared than most people facing the disposal of an estate that includes a coin or currency collection.

Many times collectors enjoy the hobby so much that they plan to leave their collections to children, grandchildren or other relatives.  That’s a great idea—providing that the recipient is already a coin collector or at least, interested in the hobby.  Otherwise, it may be better to leave them a vintage automobile (even that may not be appreciated as much as it was by the original owner.)  Unfortunately most collections are liquidated at a fraction of their value unless detailed instructions are left.

Coin collecting is a hobby and only provides a marginal investment for most coin and currency collectors. If purchased at a fair market price, properly graded for condition, stored carefully in inert containers and left without being cleaned or chemically treated, most coints have averaged about a 4.5% increase a year during the previous twenty years.

Whatever your decision is, be sure to secure the collection.  It has been estimated that one in three collections will be stolen.  If possible, bank safety boxes are excellent for the most valuable items. For additional security considerations, please consult our web site at: www.butternut.org. Please review “Tips for Collectors” Butternut Bites #4 and #5.

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