New coin collecting and related apps are becoming available for smart phones all the time. I use an iPhone, but I believe these apps are equally available for android smart phones. These apps are usually free, and sometimes so-called pro versions, with more features, are available at modest prices. These apps are particularly useful when going to coin shows so posted prices can be checked against a reliable source. This web site is not a promotion for PCGS, the grading company, but the fact is PCGS offers some excellent apps for the coin collector.
The use of these apps, particularly at a coin show or at a dealer’s shop, makes the user a powerful consumer. There will always be negotiations, but these apps even the playing field and should prevent the purchase of coins at inflated prices.
PCGS Price Guide: This app has current retail values for 15,000 US coins in up to ten different grades. The “shop” button connects to eBay allowing the user to see current offerings for the coin being researched.
PCGS Coin Facts: Check on the pricing, images, narratives and more for 37,000 US coins. Features of this app are too numerous to mention. Complete details of coins are provided, including the mintage, which is a guide to a coin’s rarity. In fact, there is a Rarity menu choice that shows how many coins of that type are believed to have survived, and images of the coin consistent with key grades.
PCGS Photograde: Images are provided for 91 popular US coin series and 32 colonial coins with 2,580 high-resolution images, BY GRADE, from PCGS reference sets. So, a user could select a specific coin in a series, and review all the grades for that coin, from poor to the highest grade, and then compare the user’s coin to those images. This tool will not replace grading by a professional, but it will provide a reasonable idea of where a coin falls on the rating scale.
NGC Coin Detail: With this app the user can add specific coins in his or her collection to create a listing of a personal collection. If the coin has been graded by NGC, the app allows the user to scan the bar code, or enter the code number, and images of that actual coin (as taken by NGC) will appear in your inventory. Plus, the app provides the known history of the coin, such as when it was graded and any auction results.
Gold and Silver Prices: There are several apps available that provide real time gold and silver spot prices, along with historical charts showing the value of gold or silver over various timeframes. One is called Gold-Live and another offered by Kitco is called Gold level +.