FAQ

Search FAQ:

Reset

Basics

Does Rarities Vault buy coins?

We are always buying.  Single coin, full collection, inherited pile of coins – we would very much like to hear from you.  A comprehensive description of how to sell your coins to us and how it all works is here.

How do I know if I have a rare date coin?

One of the best resources you should have is a current copy of Whitman’s The Official Red Book.  Published annually, The Red Book lists and values every U.S. coin in every grade that one would likely encounter.  Available at any bookstore or online book seller.  A digital subscriber version of the book is available on the Whitman website here.

What determines rarity?

There are two types of numismatic rarity:

  • Absolute: rarity to a date or series because of low mintage figures and the number of surviving examples.
  • Condition: rarity due to very few examples of a coin in a specific condition.

How can I learn the value of my coin collection?

Again, the Red Book is your friend.  Also, searching auction archives at the major auction houses and even ebay can give you a good idea of what your coin(s) have realized at auction.

Should I clean my coins?

Please don’t!  This is the cardinal sin of numismatics.  Even the most well-intentioned and gentle cleaning of a coin will certainly change the coin’s surface, adversely affecting value.  Should you have a rare coin that is in need of professional conservation, such services exist and we will be happy to refer you.

What is grading?

The big question!  Grading is very subjective and there is so much to know.  Visit our comprehensive page on grading here.

What are grading services?

In the mid-1980s, two companies began professionally grading coins and offering their services to the numismatic community:  Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) of Newport Beach, California and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) originally of Parsippany, NJ, now of Sarasota, Florida.  There are various other certification firms out there, but PCGS and NGC are the only two used by Rarities Vault.

The grading services examine rare coins, assigning grades and unique serial numbers, and then encapsulating the coins and the tags in sonically-sealed, tamper-evident encapsulation holders.

Holdered coins are now traded on the market, although there are still a vast number of raw, unencapsulated coins available.  With these certified coins, a buyer can be assured that market value and the condition of the coin in question is established and accepted as an industry standard, and the coin can be safely purchased with no fear of misrepresentation. 

It should also be noted that any individual who plans on buying raw, uncertified coins learn as much about grading as possible!  The old Latin adage of Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) still rings true today.

What is CAC?

The little green decal you see on some of our coins is the Certified Acceptance Corporation’s (CAC) stamp of approval.

In 2007, CAC was founded by John Albanese, one of the world’s most highly regarded numismatists.  Albanese was a founding member of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), after which he left to create Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).  These are the top two grading firms today, and the only two used by Rarities Vault.

A coin holder featuring the CAC holographic decal represents the official opinion of Albanese and is CAC’s seal of approval that the coin in the holder is accurately graded.  When you purchase a CAC coin, you are getting their official opinion that this is a solid coin for the grade.

Why do CAC coins sometimes sell for more?

Some CAC coins bring a premium because they are guaranteed to be solid for the grade and a premium quality (PQ) example.  Relying on the CAC sticker adds a significant degree of security to the collector who may be new to numismatics.  CAC has evaluated the coin independent of PCGS or NGC and determined it to be properly certified and an excellent market example for that particular issue.  Advanced collectors with a better eye may not feel such a need to rely on the CAC approval as they are comfortable with their own evaluation of the coin being considered.

Additionally, CAC establishes a two-way market for most of the coins they've stickered, so there is an added element of liquidity in buying CAC coins.  Buyers who are buying strictly for investment will enjoy this added liquidity factor of CAC coins.  Learn more about CAC here.

Why should I have my coins certified / graded?

Simply stated, third-party certification adds greater value to your coins.  This is because the coin has been authenticated (yes, rare coins are counterfeited) and accurately graded by a professional numismatic expert with a trained eye and years of experience grading to accepted industry standards.  Of course, the cost of such services is not for every coin – the cost would outweigh the value of the coin – but as long as the value of your coin(s) supports it, certification is truly beneficial.

The Company

Who buys your inventory?

Andy Wedding, our senior numismatist.  Read about Stephen on his bio page.

Where do you buy your coins?

Andy is at every major coin show and auction and is always buying.  Additionally, he is always buying from other dealers before their newest coins are revealed to the public marketplace.  He regularly has chances to buy coins that have been off the market for years, often before anyone else has a chance.  Rarities Vault is known for always having fresh and interesting coins due to this network.  Put Andy’s eye, reputation, and  aggressive buying schedule to work for you today.  First shot? You’re soaking in it.

My Account

What is your return policy?

We provide a five day unconditional return privilege.  You can read more about all our Terms here.

Do you buy coins back?

Sometimes a client changes the focus of their collection or needs to raise capital.  Always be sure to contact us if you’ve purchased the coin from us previously so that we may provide a fair offer.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept credit cards:  Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

We accept PayPal and PayPal e-check.

We accept cashier’s checks and money orders.

We accept bank to bank wire transfers.

We accept personal checks on a case-by-case basis.  Call or email to discuss.

Trades encouraged – don’t hesitate to ask.

How do you ship?

All coins over $1,000 in value ship for free overnight domestically, signature required.  Coins under $1,000 in value will incur $15 shipping fee.  Should you have other shipping requirements, please call to discuss.

When do you ship?

Monday through Thursday.  Orders placed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ship the following Monday unless it is a holiday.

What shows do you attend?

You will find us at all the major shows:  F.U.N. Show, ANA conventions, Central States, Long Beach Expos, the Whitman Baltimore Expos, and we also attend most PCGS and NGC invitationals.

What does ON HOLD mean?

When you see a coin in our website inventory marked ON HOLD it means that we are either 1) waiting on a payment or 2) it is out on approval.  When a coin is out on approval it may be returned to us and become available again.  If you are interested in an item marked on hold, be sure to sign up for an alert via your account settings and we’ll let you know if it is available for acquisition upon return.

Will you purchase coins for me at the auctions you attend?

We welcome the chance to represent you at auction.  Andy offers a professional eye on an actual coin you may not be able to see in person.  Basing your bid only on a photograph in a catalog can present a serious disadvantage.  Added benefits of his personal service are years of experience in major numismatic auctions.  Competing in this world of seasoned professionals can be daunting to the uninitiated.  Call us for details and to discuss the lots in which you’re interested with Stephen directly.