(515) 251-4031

8671 Northpark Court,
Johnston, Iowa 50131

With our rare selection of U.S. and foreign coins, currency, and tokens, Christopher’s Rare Coins is the place to go for all coin collectibles. Whether you are just beginning your rare coin journey or have been collecting for years, our experts are ready to help you buy and sell.






What do we look for when evaluating coins?

1. Examine Under Adequate Lighting: Coins require inspection under good lighting conditions. This helps in observing their natural luster and identifying any signs of cleaning, dipping, whizzing, or other forms of damage.

2. Attention to Detail: A meticulous examination involves looking for hairlines, small scratches aligned parallel to each other, rim impairment, and potential issues such as corrosion or gouges. These subtle imperfections can greatly impact the coin’s value.

3. Identification of Key Features: Factors such as the coin’s date, mint mark, overall condition, aesthetic appeal, and mintage figures are crucial in determining its worth. Each of these elements contributes to the coin’s rarity and desirability among collectors.

4. Assessing Impact of Cleaning: If a coin has been cleaned, it typically undergoes a downgrade in grade. The extent of this downgrade depends on the severity of the cleaning process. For example, a coin initially graded as almost uncirculated (AU) but showing slight cleaning may be reclassified to extra fine (XF). More severe cleaning could lead to downgrading to fine (F) or even very good (VG) grades. Similar considerations apply to issues like scratches and corrosion, with the severity dictating the extent of grade reduction.

5. Graded Coins: Beginners can always start with graded, or slabbed coins that have been authenticated by a third party grading service like PCGS or NGC.

What do we look for when evaluating currency?

1. Examine Under Good Lighting: Like coins, currency requires inspection under good lighting. Look for pinholes, folds, tears, staining, writing, and overall color of the note.

2. Attention to Detail: We meticulously check for pinholes, folds, tears, staining, writing, and overall color of the note. Our experts are trained to spot even the most subtle imperfections that may affect the currency’s value.


3. Backlight Technique: Serious currency collectors often use a flashlight to backlight a note, revealing folds or pinholes. This method helps assess the bill’s condition, as minor folds or pinholes may not affect the price significantly.

4. Tactile Assessment: Bills in excellent condition should have discernibly raised serial numbers and seals. However, it takes time and experience to feel these details accurately.

5. Graded Bills: Just like with coins, beginners can start with graded bills authenticated by third-party services like PCGS and NGC. These graded bills offer assurance and insights into their condition.



Trust Christopher’s Rare Coins for a transparent and professional currency evaluation experience. Contact us today if you have collectibles to sell!

Contact Us Today!

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