Where to Find Great Coin Deals (Part 2) August 19 2013
In Part 1, posted last Saturday, I discussed 5 locations for finding great coin deals. Here are 5 more!
6. Flea markets
Flea markets have been described as garage sales on steroids. They sometimes stretch for what appear to be miles, and the amount of "stuff" for sale is almost beyond comprehension. In this apparently never-ending field of used goods one can usually find at least a few tables featuring old coins. Silver coins can be frequently found, even including the occasional silver dollar. And oftentimes those selling the coins aren't completely informed about the ins and outs of numismatics, so the astute collector can find some real bargains. As with garage sales, haggling is encouraged!
7. Church rummage sales
Now I know this may sound a bit strange, but hear me out. Church rummage sales are events where church members donate old and used items to the church to sell and raise money. Church volunteers sell the items. Old coin collections make frequent appearances at these events. People recognize that old coins have some value, but don't want to go to the hassle of selling the coins themselves so they donate it. And odds are the church volunteers have little knowledge about any coins they happen to be selling. Knowledge is your friend—use it to scope out underpriced coins. If you don't feel like you have a secure grasp on coin prices, bring a price guide! The Red Book is the most widely-used coin price guide out there, and the most recent edition is available for less than $10.
8. Parking meters
I've already mentioned getting to know someone who works as a cashier, and who handles a lot of change. Another similar job is that of the parking meter attendant, who regularly empties parking meters for a municipality. A significant amount of change goes through this person's hands. Any oddly-shaped or weighted coins (think silver coins!) are captured and removed by the attendant. Becoming friends with that person means you'll get a first look at anything valuable that comes out of the meter. Who knows, you might even find a gold sovereign!
9. The ice-cream man
Here's yet another job that might just seem like a subset of anything where a lot of change passes from one person to another. But, as with some of our other entries on this list, the ice-cream man comes with a twist. Ice-cream trucking is the ultimate cash-and-dash business. The transaction takes a minute or so, and the customer and vendor might not ever see each over again.
Back in my college days, I had a roommate who worked as an ice-cream man during the summer. He knew I was a coin collector, so he would regularly come home with Wheat pennies, silver coins, even including a few Morgan silver dollars and Peace silver dollars! I paid him four times face value for each coin and we both left happy. Add an ice-cream man to your ever-growing bevy of friends and you'll be rolling in rare coins in no time!
10. The beach
Beaches are one of the top places for finding valuable coins. Just think about it—every day during the summer, hundreds of people lie down on the sand—the odds of something falling out of their pockets is immense. And if its a popular beach that's been used for many decades, the odds of finding silver coins buried in the sand is even greater!
But don't bring a shovel to the beach and just start digging—you might get a few strange looks. What you need is a metal detector. A metal detector can be set to detect any sort of metal you'd like to look for. Setting it to detect silver will yield you copious amounts of pre-1964 silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars. Inexpensive metal detectors are widely available. Amazon is currently selling a highly-rated metal detector for under $50. Find 10 silver quarters or 5 silver half dollars, and the detector will have already paid for itself.
That concludes Part 2 of my blog on hunting down great coin deals. I hope you found it informative and helpful in hunting down rare coins of your own! If you have any questions or comments on what I should blog about next, please leave a comment below. Happy hunting!
The Coin Collectionary is a great resource for coin collecting hobbyists and serious numismatists alike.