Selling gold?
December 11, 2011 5:52 PM   Subscribe

How can I get the best trade for an American Gold Eagle coin?

I have never sold gold before. Should I expect to be able to convert this to the spot price of gold per ounce? Perhaps more since it's a coin in excellent condition (i.e., stored in a little padded box and rarely handled) ?
posted by odinsdream to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unless it's old or unusual in some way, you should be able to get close to the spot price from a nearby coin dealer.

You can get more than spot on EBay, but the fees etc. will cut into the price substantially, and you likely won't do too much better than spot in the end.
posted by mikeand1 at 6:34 PM on December 11, 2011

Here's a website with EBay prices.
posted by mikeand1 at 6:35 PM on December 11, 2011

The melt value would be the spot value, at most, about $1700. However, there is some numismatic value. A brand-new, uncirculated (best possible condition) coin from the U.S. Mint is $1978. Since it's in a box, and not officially graded by some organization, the condition is important here. You're definitely not going to get more than the US mint price unless it is special in some way. If it were me, I would call a couple local coin shops and get a quote, and maybe check out this list of coin purchasers with the premium over the spot price.
posted by wnissen at 7:51 PM on December 11, 2011

You have to determine the condition of the coin and year to ascertain the numismatic value. With regard to the comment about eBay fees, they are 12% - 13% of the sale price. Here are some results from eBay:

1987 Gold American Eagle $50 Uncirculated 1 Oz. ----- $1,875

1992 American Eagle Gold Coin $50 1 oz. Uncirculated ----- $1,850 (11-14-11)

1999 GOLD AMERICAN EAGLE $50 1 OZ ----- $1,976 (09-13-11)
posted by mlis at 8:57 PM on December 11, 2011

Similar questions have come up on AskMe before. The best deal has been going to a gold dealer in your area. Most dealers will buy the coin for its book value minus a small percentage cut, usually 2-3%. American Eagles are a common coin used similar to bullion. Look online for spot prices and for dealers in your area that pay spot minus their cut. Avoid pawn shops as their cut tends to be higher. Assuming it is in an uncirculated condition, the price from the gold dealer should be firm and involve no haggling.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:08 PM on December 11, 2011

A gold coin is very nearly cash. You should think of trading the coin for cash as being more like currency exchange than 'selling'.

If you can wait awhile for the money, is highly reputable, and they'll give you a good price. You can usually get a little above spot for a Gold Eagle from them, where if you sell to a local dealer, it will be spot minus. Their website is really ancient, probably, geeze, 12 years old or more, but it's perfectly functional -- they've been online a LONG time, and they've never updated it.

Basically, you tell them you want to sell them a coin, wait for a quote in email, and then if you accept it, you log in and tell them so. You need to ship the coin that day, by whatever carrier you choose. Registered mail is the safest. Once you've shipped, you give them the tracking number. After they receive the coin, they'll cut you a check and send it. It usually takes about a week for the check to show. They do seem to mail the checks the day they get the coins, no waffling around in my experience, but they do send them regular first class mail, nothing special.

This overall process is fairly involved and laborious for just one coin, but you'll probably end up about fifty bucks ahead, even with the shipping fees. On larger sales, the difference adds up very quickly.

With local shops, you can often just walk in with a coin and walk out with cash... gold is one of the most liquid of all markets. But you won't get as much if you sell locally.

I'd avoid EBay completely. Their transaction fees are ludicrous for gold exchange.
posted by Malor at 10:04 PM on December 11, 2011

Malor, I have some gold coins I will be selling at some point so I would be most interested in any citations you have w/r/t what the fees or the cut a local shop will take.

Using the coin above that sold for $1,976, 12% is $237, so a seller would realize $1,739 on that sale. How much would you walk out with from a local shop?
posted by mlis at 10:14 PM on December 11, 2011

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