It can be fun to find random, old coins around, but it would be nice to find an easy way to identify the coin. Identifying old coins can be tricky because often, people don’t even know the name of the coin they’re researching.
There are ways to quickly identify your coin online or through a coin identifier and value app without the need for you to go into a shop in person. If you’re new to the hobby of numismatics, which just means that you enjoy collecting coins, or you’ve been in the game for a while, but it’s always nice to learn some ways to do a coin search to get you started.
Steps to Coin Identification
There are a few questions you need to ask yourself about the old coins you found to help with identification such as:
- Is the coin silver or gold?
- What country of origin is the coin from?
- What language are the inscriptions on the coin in? English, Latin, or some other language?
- What state is the coin in? Brand new or so worn that you can barely make out the inscriptions?
- Is it actually a real coin or some sort of gaming token? This one is pretty important as you don’t want to waste time on an old Chuck E Cheese token that you thought was an old, rare coin.
- If you find an old coin that is for sure not a token from a random arcade then you can identify it to see how much it is worth. If your coin is of U.S. origin you can easily check the U.S. old coin identifier chart. Most older U.S. coins have the “United States of America” abbreviated while on more current coins it is stated completely. If you can find the coin on the U.S. old coin identifier chart, then you most likely have a commemorative coin instead of a circulative coin.
Guides to US Coins
United States coins are grouped into the following major categories:
- U.S. half cents (1793 to 1857)
- U.S. small cents (1856 to date)
- U.S. nickels/five cents (1866 to date)
- U.S. dimes/ten cents (1796 to date)
- U.S. quarters (1796 to date)
- U.S. half dollars
- U.S. one-dollar coins
- U.S. gold coins (1795 to 1933)
- U.S. classic commemorative coins (1892 to 1954)
- U.S. modern commemorative coins (1982 to present)
Identifying Old Coins Outside of the United States
Usually, it should be easy to notice whether the coin is from outside of the U.S. as it should say the country of origin on the coin. But if that’s not the case because it’s hard to make it out of the coin, you can also check the language that is written on the coin.
There are also a number of apps and websites that can help you find a great deal of information about your old coins to understand the value. Coinoscope is a visual search engine for coins to help you quickly find all the information you need for your old coins without having to leave your home. With Coinoscope's coin scanner you can quickly identify all of your old coins by just snapping a few pictures on your phone and use the app to check the value and get information to do more research on your favorite coins.
What to do if you can’t identify your coin?
In most cases when you can’t find the country of origin or the value then the coin is probably not made by the government and you most likely have a token, round, or pattern which all resemble coins. There are some cases where private mints will make minted tokens or fantasy coins. While these are not official coins issued by the government, they can still be valuable in many cases. For example, during the Civil War, there was a coin shortage which resulted in the government producing tokens through private mints. There is a vibrant history about these coins and how there change business transactions at the time. Still to this day they are very collectible.
The hobby of collecting coins is a great amount of fun, especially if you love history. You get the chance to do a great deal of research about various coins and even sometimes those very rare collectible tokens. The beauty of Coinoscope is that with the coin scanner you spend more time reading about the amazing history of the coin and less time dealing with deadends through having not enough information about the coin in the beginning.
Get The App Now !
Download Coinoscope app on your Android or iPhone for FREE and start identifying coins!