When you are out and about with your metal detector and hunting for treasures buried underground, you may come across dozens of coins. Most of them you will probably recognize as recent mints, but in the event that you find an unrecognizable coin, do not throw it away! You could have found a rare coin, in which case you may have also discovered something of considerable value. Here is how you can know for sure that you have a rare coin, and what you should do with it next.
Take Your Unusual Coin to Coin Grading Services
Coin grading services in your area will not only have someone who can tell you what kind of coin you have, but can also tell you its condition and worth. The coin's condition, after it has been buried under dirt for some time, may not be the best, and that can affect its value. However, if you have an ultra-rare coin, then the condition does not affect the value as much as the metal and the rarity of the coin. Only the professional coin collector will know for sure.
If It Is Rare and Valuable, Case It
If your coin is rare and valuable, put it in a case. The numismatist will have plastic cases that encircle the coin and lock air out, or if it is an unusual shape and size, a bag sealing system that will put the coin into an airtight baggie. This is important to the preservation of the coin. If you want to clean the coin a little bit first, the numismatist will do that for you so that the value of the coin is not destroyed in the process.
If you have a coin of extreme value, insure it. Insure it for twice its appraised value. If it is ever stolen or lost, you cannot get it back, but you can receive the insurance money for its value. It is not the same as having a priceless coin in your possession and finding it with a metal detector, but at least the insurance money will soften the blow of the loss.
Keep It or Sell It
Finally, you can either keep the coin, or sell it. If it is exceptionally rare, the coin grader may make you an offer on the spot. Do not be hasty with accepting any high offer! There is always a better offer lingering in the wings. You can also keep the coin, as its rarity and value will increase as the decades go by.