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Buying Coins Through Mail Order

July 27th, 2012 Coins

If you've recently decided to start collecting coins, you may be wondering how exactly one goes about building a set. Coin shows are one great way to do so, but they tend to be infrequent, which means you'll want to discover a few other methods that will allow you to keep working on your collection. According to Numismaster.com, mail orders are one excellent way to purchase more coins, but you have to exercise discretion. Here are a few things to be wary of as you comb through newspapers and magazines.

Perhaps the best thing you can do is keep an eye out for nonstandard grading terminology. If a coin is advertised as "brilliant" instead of a proper grade, like MS-63, it may be best to move along to the next item. The point of these grades is to easily and accurately inform someone of a coin's condition. A word like "brilliant" is nebulous and can mean any number of things.

CoinResource.com recommends sticking to certified coins, modern issues, bullion and mint sets if you are using mail order. Buying older coins can lead to disappointment, since you will not be able to physically inspect the piece before handing over your money. Also note that a mail order purchase could have been cleaned or polished. While this is fine in and of itself, there are several wrong ways to spruce up a coin that can actually lower its value. Generally, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Keep this in mind as you comb through the offers!