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How can you tell if a coin is rare?

How can you tell if a coin is rare?

How rare is your coin?

A coin is much more than a means of exchange. Whether old or new, coins are also valuable objects, particularly appreciated by collectors. Over the years, some coins have become rare and worth a small fortune. So how do you know if a coin is rare? We explain!

What are the criteria for analyzing a rare coin?

Production quantities

Whether we’re talking about gold coinsThe first criterion defining the value of coins is the quantity initially produced. Indeed, the smaller the quantity minted, the rarer the coin. If you wish to sell your coinpotentially, you can get a high price for it from the collection of parts. To obtain this information, you can refer to official documents such as Le Franc or L’Argus des monnaies et billets français.

A faulty coin, i.e. one with a minting error or manufacturing anomaly, can also be valuable because it is very rare. For example, a coin with two identical sides, or with an “s” missing from the word “cents”, can influence the buying or selling price of your coin.

The best way to find out if your coin is rare is to have it appraised by a specialized agency. Whatever your investment project, LMP’s experts can provide you with the best possible support and advice.

Geographical origin

Year of production

The year of production of gold and silver coins also influences the buying or selling price. Indeed, depending on the year, production runs could be limited. A euro or franc coin from a particular year may therefore be more valuable than others. The date of issue written on the coin should be taken into account to determine whether it is rare or not.


Finally, to know if a coin is rare, its state of preservation is very important. The better the condition, the better! Here is the French scale used to define the state of preservation of coins:

  • AB: coin difficult to identify, legends illegible, major bumps and scratches.
  • B: item identifiable, legends illegible, severe knocks and scratches.
  • TB: piece identifiable and legends legible, bumps and scratches, partial relief.
  • TTB: identifiable piece with legible legends, no bumps, a few scratches, complete relief.
  • SUP: piece identifiable and legends legible, no bumps or scratches, reliefs complete.
  • SPL: part identifiable and legible legends, no bumps or scratches, complete relief, striking velvet present (except on high points).
  • FDC / BE: identifiable coin with legible legends, no bumps or scratches, complete relief, striking velvet present.

Estimate the value of my coins

Are you a coin collector or have you inherited coins from your parents or grandparents? You can have their value estimated by a numismatic specialist. This is an expert who studies coins, their values and their evolution.

He or she will be able to give you the exact value of your coin based on current gold or silver prices. He will also tell you what your coin is made of. His expert opinion can also help you determine whether it’s the right time to buy or sell. Although the gold symbol and silver are timeless, having a precise idea of the value of your coins is always a plus.

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At Les Métaux Précieux, we welcome you to our specialized branches to estimate your coins free of charge. Our teams will provide you with premium support and advice tailored to your needs.

Where to buy rare coins?

If you’re looking to buy rare coins, specialized agencies may be a good choice. These agencies focus on numismatics and have expertise in the appraisal and sale of old and rare coins. They can also provide advice on market trends and coin authenticity. What’s more, specialized agencies often offer a guarantee of authenticity and quality for the coins they sell.

At Les Métaux Précieux, we also offer a wide selection of coins for sale, to suit all budgets. Tell us what you’re looking for, and our experts will guide you to the best options. And always at the right price!

Some examples of valuable coins

Today, certain coins are particularly popular and sought-after by many collectors. These include 2 and 10 franc coins from various periods of French history (Napoleon, Louis XVIII, etc.). The 20 francs from Turin dating from 1932 is also worth a lot of money, as there is only one of it. The ½ franc Charles X coin with fluted edge is also among the rarest.

Before buying or selling, it’s a good idea to check that the coin is a collector’s item. There are many details and elements you can use to clarify this, such as the weight or the hallmark. But nothing beats the advice and expertise of a specialist!

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