How much are my gold, silver or platinum plated coins worth?

April 13, 2010 · Posted in Coin Values, Coins, Metals 

Well, the answer depends on several factors, but in general, gold, silver or platinum plated coins will not have any significant numismatic value.

Plated coins have the beauty of the additional metal, but the added metal does not increase the coin’s numismatic value. Furthermore, the amount of precious metal – gold, silver or platinum – added in the plating process is so insignificant that the precious metal is not worth the time, effort and cost to recover. In some cases, if the plating is over a silver coin, then recovering the metals may be worthwhile. This would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, some people buy plated newer, cupro-nickel coins thinking the coins have significant worth due to the outer metal coating. They don’t realize how little of the plating metal is required to coat the coin even if several coats are applied.

Recently, a coin dealer received a call from a lady asking if he bought gold, silver and platinum coins. Thinking of the potential treasures he could find (remember, coin dealers are treasure hunters and collectors at heart), he told her that yes, he bought gold, silver and platinum coins and that she should  bring the coins to his shop.

A short time later, an elderly lady arrived and parked her car in front of his business. After meeting her in person, they walked outside to her car. She opened the trunk of her car such that the coin dealer could haul two crates of coins into his shop.

Imagine his thoughts and his excitement. He just carried two large and heavy crates of gold, silver and platinum coins. Seeing her age, he’s thinking that these crates have been filled over several decades and will contain many beautiful old coins.

He opens one of the crates and finds handful after handful after handful of new statehood quarters plated in gold, silver and platinum. The second crate is the same as the first; and in front of him stands an older lady who thinks she can sell these coins for the price of gold, silver and platinum.

His disappointment was acute and became even more so when he explained to her that her treasure was worth the face value of the quarters. As is frequently the case, she took her anger at herself out on the dealer. Of course, explaining “plating” to the lady did not help either of their feelings.

If you have plated coins, enjoy the beauty unique to them. But, their value is in the beauty you and other plated coin collectors see. If you want to sell your plated coin collection, your best avenue will be to other collectors of plated coins. Another alternative would be to find a coin dealer who sells plated coins as part of his business. With one of these alternatives, you may be able to realize more than “face value” for your plated coins.

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