Are questions on numismatics on-topic?

Coins are, and have been for a very long time, quite literally, money. On the other hand, the value of rare coins stems from their rarity and the fact collectors want them, not from their face value. In that way, their value is no different from the value of rare stamps, which I would not consider asking on Money.SE.

For example, I may consider as a question:

I've received a commemorative coin as change when buying something on a market.

The coin is for sale on the Royal Mint for £10 and on Ebay for anything from £2 to £1000.

Is the £1000 sale essentially a fraud, or is there some reason why the value of this coin may vary over three orders of magnitude?

  • 1
    There are different grades. In one from Mint is often UNC[Un Circulated] or proof strike; and is of very high grade. The ones you normally get in change are business strikes. EBay at times is misleading and trys to get newbies to buy incorrect items at incorrect price. At times these are put on sale by newbies who don't know and believe every coin is worth millions. Most of these don't get sold.
    – Dheer
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 10:08

6 Answers 6


I would like to see numismatics on-topic on our site.

  • Coins are usually legal tender, and we allow questions about physical currency, as these are certainly tied to personal finance and money.

  • We also allow questions about investing in precious metals, as investing is on-topic.

  • Questions about investing in rare collections should be on-topic, in my opinion, as investing in general is on-topic.

We have had questions in the past about coin collecting that have remained open, and I would like to see that continue.

As for your example question, I think it is a good question. Besides the fact that it is about currency that you received as change, questions about how consumer prices are set are usually considered on-topic.


I personally have been a numismatist from the time I was 10 years old. I think that coin collector questions should be "off-topic" on this site. This site is titled "Personal Finance & Money", and most questions are about loans, taxes, stocks, banks accounts, IRS, ect... Coin collecting really has nothing to do with the actual face value of the coin, and so therefore should not be "on-topic". I would really like to see a numismatics site proposed on Area 51


I'm not aware of it ever having come up before, but I tend to agree with the "rare stamps" view.


The question might be on topic.

We have tags for and .


Are questions on numismatics on-topic?

This is quite broad. While some basic questions like what are the risks, or general questions can be on topic. A vast set of questions should be off-topic. For example questions related to identification of coin; why do specific coin have more value, or discussion about history of a specific coin, or price of the coin.

To that extent; I see it to be slightly similar [but more narrower] than the questions on stocks.

I have just gone through the questions tagged coins and in my view quite a few need to be closed as off-topic.


I believe these questions need to be taken one at a time. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that “coin collecting” question are off-topic, but rather it depends on the question itself.

Just like ‘bitcoin’ can be part of a PF question, or it can be off topic.

The sample question strikes me as one that’s not particularly good. The links will break, and we’ll be left with “Why would two coins, of the same type, have such different list prices?” And the accepted answer would be some mix of “condition causes prices to be non-linear. A proof or mint pristine coin will sell for far more than an average coin” or “that high price was never fetched.” On reflection, such a Q&A would work for any collectible. This could be for a comic book, stamp, baseball card, etc.

For what it’s worth, I frequently look to buy a used high school text book. A new one is ~ $150, and I’ll get most for $20-$40 with some patience. It’s common for me to find listings for $900+ and there is no reason that such a book would sell for that price, as these are not collectibles.

So to be clear, a well crafted question can easily be on-topic, or get closed quickly as off.

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