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Shipwreck & Buried Treasure Coin Buying Guide

How to Buy a Shipwreck or Buried Treasure Coin

Buying an heirloom piece of history should be a fun, exciting and wonderful experience.However, if you’re not a shipwreck, buried or ancient coin expert, it can be a little daunting, too. Here’s our top ten tips for buying shipwreck or buried coins.

Robert Lewis Knecht April Knecht

Shipwreck and Buried Treasure Coin Buyers Guide

  1. Buy only from someone you trust. We can’t say it enough – in a world that is filled with great deals on auction sites, and ever-increasing numbers of knock-offs of all quality levels, find a dealer who knows their stuff, and is only a phone call or email away.
  2. Look for a dealer with decades of experience and a positive reputation. Nothing substitutes for day-in, day-out experience in handling shipwreck and ancient coins. After tens of thousands of coins passes through the same pair of hands, and under the same pair of eyes, a “sixth sense” develops – a level of expertise that only a life-long commitment to coin collecting and dealing builds and sustains, and a large base of happy clients is the inevitable result.
  3. Is your dealer a member of recognized trade organizations with strict Codes of Ethics? Professional dealers support and participate in trade organizations that protect both dealers and the public from unscrupulous sellers, black markets and illegal traders. Trade organizations and their members lead the way in educating the public and preserving the rights of collectors around the world.
  4. Find a dealer who is a historian, and provides extensive documentation and education with each coin they sell. A 4x6 "romance card"card or “mini-certificate” just can’t give you the rich history, background and fascinating details of your coin. Multi-page, detailed Certificates of Authenticity are rare, but incredibly valuable, and bring history to life for you, so you can share that history with those who see your coin, and for the generations who will inherit this amazing piece of history.
  5. Require a 100% Authenticity Guarantee that lasts forever. Ethical dealers stand behind every coin they sell with an absolute authenticity guarantee and years in business to back up that guarantee.
  6. Seek a dealer who loves to teach! Shipwreck and buried coin dealers are few and far between – look for one who welcomes questions and looks for opportunities to help you become an educated and confident collector. Your questions deserve enthusiastic and easily understood answers… don’t settle for less.
  7. Look for a shipwreck and ancient coin dealer who is also a conservation professional. Shipwreck and buried coins require careful conservation and stabilization to ensure they survive the centuries to come intact. Don’t purchase harshly cleaned coins – seek coins that, whenever possible, have had their patinas preserved, highlighting the beautiful details. The mark of a professional is their ability to preserve these treasures for future generations.
  8. Look for a dealer who is an advocate for the ethical private acquisition of coins and antiquities. You need to know your shipwreck and buried coin dealer stays up-to-date on ever-changing regulations and import restrictions.
  9. Look for detailed photos, item descriptions and a statement of size and quality of shipwreck and buried coins. Quality photographs are essential for gauging a coin’s features. Your dealer should use clear photography that accurately reflects color, size and condition.
  10. And one more item to note. Please do not purchase coins or antiquities from war-ravaged areas of the world. The rise of lawless militant groups throughout the world has led to violence-fueled, and history-destroying, black markets that continue to destabilize these already devastated areas. An ethical dealer will not sell items illegally acquired or imported from any region, including those in the midst of war.

By buying from a reputable coin dealer, you are supporting the preservation of our shared cultural heritage. Museums can only house and maintain a fraction of the world’s shipwreck and buried treasures. Preserving the rest for future generations is up to us!

And, remember, above all else, if you don’t know… ask. Find a shipwreck and buried coin dealer with the heart of a teacher, the hands of a conservationist, and the mind of a historian and you won’t go wrong!

Robert Lewis & April Knecht
Cannon Beach Treasure Company