Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association

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PNNA Home / Reference / Buy-Sell / Mail

Coin Buying and Selling - Sale by Mail

You should carefully consider the available options and their advantages and disadvantages before proceeding.

Many coin dealers, and some collectors, advertise in trade publications (such as Coin World and Numismatic News) and on the Internet to buy coins.


  • Convenient (don't have to go to shops or shows).

  • Dealer's area of interest, and sometimes exact offering price, known in advance.

  • Generally private and secure when dealing with reputable dealers.


  • Dealer may reject material, or make a lower offer, for almost any reason (especially coin grade).

  • May be very difficult to know in advance which dealer will really give you the best price.

  • Risk of loss in the mail, or because of a dishonest dealer or collector.

  • You may have to pay postage both ways if you refuse dealer's offer.


  • This method of sale should be approached carefully. Always deal with a reputable dealer, preferably a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) as well as the American Numismatic Association.

  • Don't deal directly with a private individual (at least not for valuable items) unless you know and trust the person well.

  • Be sure to properly package and insure your coins (use U.S. Registered Mail) when shipping them, include an inventory list with your name, address, and phone number, and ship only after obtaining permission and following the dealer's instructions (unsolicited mailings are considered gifts under U.S. law)!

  • Use a P.O. Box or Private Mail Box for your business activities, or if you'll be dealing by mail on a regular basis.