How to sell gold coins for cash in 2021

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Maybe you went through a coin collecting phase earlier in life and amassed a few gold coins. Maybe you inherited a coin collection from a family member. Maybe you had a goldbug uncle who was convinced that the economy would eventually collapse, who gifted you a gold coin on your birthday every year.

Whatever the case, you’ve got a few gold coins sitting in the back of a drawer or in a lockbox under your bed and you’re looking to convert it into cash. But how do you actually sell a gold coin, anyway? Who buys them, and how much are they worth?

We answer these questions and more below so that you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal if and when you choose to sell your gold coins:

Are gold coins easy to sell?

The answer to this question will depend on whether or not your gold coins have any value as collectibles, such as old or rare coins — as well as those in excellent condition. Coins like these have value on top of the value of the amount of gold that they contain. To get the best deal when selling collectible gold coins, you may need to work with a numismatist or sell directly to a collector, which can take time.

On the other hand, there are many gold coins that have absolutely no value as collector's items. This is particularly true of most modern “investment grade” gold coins, such as:

  • American Eagle
  • American Buffalo
  • Canadian Maple Leaf
  • British Britannia
  • South African Krugerrand
  • Austrian Philharmonic
  • and others

When selling these types of coins, you’re essentially just selling them for the value of the gold that they contain. In these instances, it’s pretty easy to sell your coins for scrap. Pawnshops, jewelry stores, consignment shops and “we buy gold” locations near you will buy these types of coins.

If you’re ever in doubt as to whether or not your coins have any value as collectibles, there are many (many!) numismatist websites and manuals that you can reference to check the value of your coin before selling. Coin dealers in your area can be helpful in offering an appraisal.

Best place to sell gold coins: CashforGoldUSA

When it comes to selling gold coins (or any other type of gold) I recommend selling to CashforGoldUSA, for a few reasons:

  • They pay top dollar for gold coins: CashforGoldUSA pays up to 95% of the melt value of the metal.
  • They pay fast: within 24 hours of an accepted offer.
  • 100% free shipping and insurance: Door-to-door free, trackable FedEx or USPS shipping, plus free Jeweler's Mutual insurance up to $100,000. Llyods of London insures the CashforGoldUSA facility.
  • Better Business Bureau review of A+

How do I sell my old gold coins online?

If your gold coins have value as collectibles, then you’ll need to decide how you want to sell your coins to get as much money for them as possible. 

If your gold coins do not have value as collectibles, though, selling them becomes much easier. Gold buyers use two factors to determine the price of items they buy: The purity of the metal, and the weight of the object. The closer you get to 24 karats, and the heavier your coin, the more it will be worth. Learn more about the current price for gold and selling gold items for cash in this post.

If you aren’t sure about the purity of the coin you want to sell, you can likely determine this with a quick Google search about the coin. Determining the weight will simply require an accurate scale. Armed with this information, you determine the value of the metal content of your coins.

Once you know the purity and weight of your gold coins, selling them online is pretty easy, especially if you go through a buyer like CashforGoldUSA. To sell your gold coins using CashforGoldUSA, all you need to do is:

  1. Go to CashforGoldUSA.com and fill out a form. This will include your contact information, address, and some simple information about the items you’d like to sell.
  2. A few days after you fill out the form, CashforGoldUSA will send you a prepaid and insured FedEx shipping label that you’ll use to send your gold coins to them. When you’re ready, just pop your coins into a package, affix the label, and send them in.
  3. CashforGoldUSA will appraise your gold coins within 24 hours of receiving them. They will then make you an offer. If you reject the offer, they’ll send you back your gold coins completely free of charge. If you accept their offer, they’ll send you a payment. You can be paid within 24 hours of accepting their offer, depending on which payment method you choose.

Read more about the pros and cons of this company at our CashforGoldUSA review. Or get an immediate quote using the CashforGoldUSA calculator now >>

Where to sell gold coins online

If you have gold bullion coins, or commonly held gold coins like the American Eagle, a site like CashforGoldUSA, a local jeweler or gold buyer is a fine choice. However, rare coins of any precious metal including silver are best sold through a rare coin buyer or rare coin dealer.

Some popular online gold buyers you can consider include:

  • CashforGoldUSA (our top choice)
  • Liberty Gold and Silver
  • Luriya
  • Money Metals Exchange
  • SellYourGold.com
  • US Gold Buyers
  • APMEX
  • Kitco
  • JM Bullion
  • American Bullion
  • Goldco Precious Metals
  • Gold Geek
  • Abe Mor

What about silver and platinum coins?

If you also have silver or platinum coins that you’re looking to sell, most online gold buyers will also be happy to purchase those coins as well. CashforGoldUSA, for example, also purchases silver and platinum coins at their sister site CashforSilverUSA.

What about other types of gold?

Most online gold buyers accept gold in any form. That means that if you’ve got gold jewelry, bullion, dental scrap, or any other type of gold, it will likely be possible for you to sell all of it to the same buyer. CashforGoldUSA, for example, buys gold in any form (as well as diamonds, watches, silver, silverware, platinum, gemstones).

Tips for selling gold coins for the most cash

1. Avoid selling your gold coins to pawn shops.

When some people start thinking about selling their gold coins, they immediately think about bringing the coins to a pawn shop. After all, a pawn shop will immediately pay you cash for your gold, so if you’re in a pinch it makes sense that you might turn to them.

But pawn shops will rarely pay higher than 50% of the resale value of any item that they buy. That means that when you sell your gold coins to a pawn shop, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. 

If you truly need money for your gold quickly, you have options besides pawn shops. Some online gold buyers are capable of paying you quickly. CashforGoldUSA, for example, will send you a shipping label within a few days of you requesting one, and can pay you within 24 hours of you accepting their offer depending on how you choose to receive your payment. Better yet, they consistently pay top dollar for gold. 

2. Know what your gold coins are worth before you sell.

When it comes to selling gold, silver, diamonds, or anything precious, knowledge is power. If you don’t know what you’re selling, it’ll be very easy to be ripped off by the buyer. The best way to avoid being ripped off is to simply know what you’re selling.

At a minimum, your gold coins will always be worth at least the value of the gold that they contain. This will depend on the purity of the metal and the weight of the coin. Once you know this information, which you can find with a quick Google search about the coin, you should be able to quickly figure out the rough value of the coin. An appraisal from a local jeweler or coin dealer will help further.

3. Never pay for shipping.

If you choose to sell your gold coins to an online gold buyer, you’ll need to send your coins to them for evaluation and final sale. Some buyers will require you to pay for shipping out of your own pocket. This will of course eat into whatever profit you make from selling your coins. Whenever possible, you should sell to a gold buyer who pays for shipping out of their pocket instead of yours.

CashforGoldUSA, for example, will pay for shipping, meaning that when you sell your gold you keep 100% of the profit.

Learn more about the value and how to sell antique and estate jewelry

How much are gold coins worth?

The value of your gold coin will depend on these factors:

  • The purity of the gold (i.e., how much gold the coin contains)
  • The weight of the gold
  • The current spot price for gold
  • Whether or not your coin has any value as a collectible

Whether or not your coin has any value as a collectible, it will always be worth at least its weight in gold.

How much is a gold dollar coin worth?

The market price of a gold dollar coin considers several factors, including purity of gold, rarity, weight and condition. Your gold dollar coin’s price may vary from $200 to tens of thousands of dollars for rare, mint-condition gold dollar coins, including American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs and Austrian Ducats.

The retail price for a 1 ounce American Eagle is about $1,800 as of August, 2021.

What gold dollar coins are worth money?

Anything made of gold is worth money — coins, jewelry, scrap. Gold dollar coins that are commonly collected and sold include:

  • Sacagawea gold dollar coins that were minted 2000-2008 and again with different reverse designs starting in 2009
  • Proof Capped Bust $5 Gold Half Eagle
  • O Liberty Head $20 Gold Double Eagle
  • Roman Proof Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle
  • Proof Liberty Head $10 Gold Eagle
  • Indian $10 Gold Eagle
  • Draped Bust $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagle
  • Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle
  • Satin Proof Indian $10 Gold Eagle
  • Proof $4 Stella Coiled Hair

Frequently asked questions about gold coins

Gold coins are either gold bullion coins, for investments, or rare coins, which can be made of any precious metal, and are often of historical significance. Here are some common questions you might have:

Do banks buy gold coins?

In the past, when the US operated on the gold standard, many banks would accept gold coins and exchange them for paper money when requested. Unfortunately, today’s banks very rarely buy gold coins. If you have gold coins that you would like to sell, you will need to find a gold buyer.

Are gold coins easy to sell?

The answer to this question will depend on whether or not your gold coins have any value as collectibles, such as old or rare coins, as well as those in excellent condition.

How much are gold coins worth?

The value of your gold coin will depend on these factors: purity, weight, spot price, and whether or not it is collectible.

How much is a gold dollar coin worth?

The market price of a gold dollar coin considers several factors, including purity of gold, rarity, weight and condition.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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