Appraisal Services

Paragon Numismatics provides accurate, professional appraisals for banks, law firms, and collectors. With over forty years of numismatic experience, we are well-versed in all areas of United States and world coinage.

If you recently acquired a coin collection but are unsure about properly caring for the coins, please CLICK HERE, before proceeding, to learn about coin preservation.

Why do I need an appraisal?

Probate, Estate, and Divorce

Coins are often subject to mandatory distribution through legal venues. Attorneys and courts frequently require comprehensive professional appraisals to speed the legal process, to determine date of death or fair market values, or to settle a divorce.

Estate Planning

Plan your estate responsibly and provide a blueprint for handling your collection. Imagine if your spouse or children inherit old coins and have no idea of their value. Would they handle the situation prudently, or would there be a fire sale? Avoid this unpleasant scenario by including a detailed coin appraisal (along with instructions for handling the collection) with your Will. This offers peace of mind and avoids undesirable outcomes.

Forgotten Safe Deposit Boxes

Attorneys and banks routinely discover client’s safe deposit boxes filled with coins. Due diligence requires a thorough inventory and appraisal.

Dividing a Collection

Family members dividing a collection need a snapshot of their coins’ values to make an equitable division. Bear in mind that equitably dividing a collection presents serious challenges due to widely varying coin values. However, if your collection must be divided, you need an accurate inventory before proceeding.


If you own old coins, find out what they are worth. Trust ONLY a reputable, professional dealer to accurately establish coin values.

How does Paragon Numismatics conduct appraisals?

Whether you travel to our office or we travel to you, Paragon examines your coins in your presence. We NEVER ask you to leave your coins in our possession. Paragon involves you in the appraisal by encouraging you to ask questions and to observe the process.

First, we make a general assessment of the collection to get a feel for what you have and to establish the presence of potentially valuable coins or rarities. We identify better coins to you and explain why they are worth more money. Second, we arrange your coins logically to prepare an inventory list (cents before nickels, nickels before dimes, and so forth). Finally, we meticulously sort, grade, and count your coins.

A detailed list of every coin may not be necessary. If your collection consists of mass quantities of identical coins, grouping similar items into a single line item speeds the process. For example, five hundred common date circulated half dollars from 1917 through 1964 could be listed as a group. There is no need to segregate and list each coin since they are all worth exactly the same amount. On the other hand, each valuable individual item receives distinct mention on a separate line.

Once we complete the initial hand-written evaluation, you have several options. In some cases, an informal list may fulfill your needs. Alternatively, you may require a formal inventory for legal or tax purposes. There is no substitute for a professional document that stands up in a court of law. A professional document takes time, so be patient while Paragon prepares your paperwork. It might require fifteen minutes, or it may take two full days. Upon completion we e-mail the document to you for inspection. Once we have your approval we mail signed hard copies to your home or office.

Options for Assigning Values

Paragon Numismatics offers your choice of three different assigned values: Buy, Wholesale, or Retail prices. Each is equally valid, but the numbers differ considerably. Let’s investigate each one to determine which fulfills your needs:

Fair Market Value (Buy Prices)

If selling your coins interests you, this is the number to request. Values listed on the appraisal represent our top offer to purchase your coins on that particular day. Because precious metals prices and coin markets change daily, we reserve the right to adjust our final prices according to current values on the actual day that you sell. We must always buy in the present. Fair Market Values are standard and customary when establishing Date of Death value, since this reflects the truest gauge of what the coins were worth to a reputable, professional coin buyer on the date of death.

Wholesale Prices

These are prices at which reputable, professional dealers generally trade coins on a wholesale basis if they have specific demand for a given coin. You should NOT expect to buy or sell coins at wholesale prices. This simply represents a happy medium between the high and low numbers. Wholesale prices are perfectly acceptable for appraisal purposes in the context of establishing middle ground between buy and sell levels. However, wholesale pricing has somewhat less real-world utility because only dealers buy and sell at these rates.

Retail Prices

This represents what you might pay to replace a coin by purchasing it on the retail market. Many people require this number when insuring a collection to protect against loss.

Call Paragon Numismatics to discuss the contents of your collection and to determine which number suits your needs.

Appraisal Fees

Paragon Numismatics charges $150 per hour for formal written appraisals. This includes a detailed summary of the collection, a complete list of grades, and precise values for each line item. Depending on the collection’s contents, we reserve the right to charge for travel time when conducting appraisals outside Southeastern Wisconsin.