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Foreign Coin Values

Identifying Old Foreign Coins and Determining Their Values

Collecting foreign coins has become a popular hobby for many people. Therefore it is important to know their value. Here we give you the factors which go into determining the value of a coin.
Madhurjya Bhattacharyya
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
Pirate Coins
Several people collect old and rare foreign coins,. It can be a rewarding investment for the future. On the other hand, there are people who collect foreign coins just for their satisfaction. Whatever the reason, it becomes necessary to know their values, so that you know their importance. Determination of value of a coin is not easy, and you will need to take several factors like date, metal, language, etc. into consideration. There are old coins which are made of costly metals like platinum, gold and silver, while other coins made of copper or aluminum.
Identifying a Rare Foreign Coin
The value a coin depends on four important factors: supply, demand, political condition, and exchange value. The identification of the coins depend a lot on language, date, denomination, metal content, weight and symbols. Here you should remember that there are some very old Chinese coins, but they sell for a couple of dollars only. And that's due to the fact that these coins are easily available. Rare coins have high demand, and as such they are priced high. There are rare coins like the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel which can get you to the tune of more than $1,000,000.
While identifying rare coins, you need to check the language inscribed on the coin. Usually most the coins would have one of the following languages - Persian, Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Greek, Cyrillic and Arabic. Depending on the language, you can identify the country in which the coin originated. Besides the language inscribed on the coin, the date also plays an important part in determining the value of foreign coins. However, having said that the date plays an important part, if the demand is less and supply adequate, the value won't be much.
Old Foreign Coins
Another factor which plays an important part in deciding value includes the condition in which it is maintained. The worth of a coin depends on the condition. If it's in a good condition without any cracks and the number and inscription is visible, then the price would be high. However, old foreign coins need not necessarily sparkle, they just need to be in good condition. An uncirculated coin that is well-maintained and is in flawless condition might be worth hundred times more, than a circulated coin in good condition.
There are several old coins made of precious metals, so these would always have a higher value. Usually their value is similar to the market value of the metal from which it is made. Demand and supply of old coins also play an important role. If the demand is high and there is adequate supply, then the value is not that high. However, if there is demand for a particular type of coin, but the supply is less, than the prices would increase. Demand is such an important factor that, it outstrips rarity as a condition. Some examples of such coins include 1916-D coins, which are more valuable than 1798-D coins. Once you have determined the condition of the coin, the metal from which it's made, denomination and date, you need to check if that particular coin fits into one of the different categories of coin as given by the international and national coin collection standards.
Foreign coin values depend on a lot of factors, so you need to go through all of them before you choose to collect coins as a form of investment. If you love coin collection, try and maintain them in good condition so that you get good value on your investment.