Like any post with a title “Should you-” the answer is always: it depends!
Buying foreign coins in bulk sounds like a great idea, you get lots of coins for a relatively small amount or money. Bulk coin sets can run anywhere from $10-$30 per pound! (I would love to get that value of gold and silver.)
Now some people do great buying and selling foreign coins, since most people collect coins from their own country, they are less likely to recognize valuable or rare coins from other countries. Many people find silver or even gold coins in the foreign bins at their local coin shops because no one else recognizes them.
Assorted World Currency Treasure Chest – 2 Lb. Expert-Inspected, Circulated with Decorative Wooden Box
That being said, it is incredibly unlikely you are going to find such a rarety buying bulk foreign coins online. Most of the time, you will be overpaying dramatically for the conveniece of getting hundreds of coins shipped to you.
Let’s talk cons first.
1.) Shipping prices!!!
I have both bought and sold on eBay and other online sellers. The real profit killer is shipping (although eBay fees are not fun either). Most of your money spent on bulk coins is simply going to the shipping cost.
2.) 99% of coins will be worthless.
Now, you may find some coins that are interesting to you, but that does not mean they have much value outside of your house. The market for foreign coins is simply too small.
I love seeing foreign coins, I have some I collect, but if I tried to collect coins from every country, I simply would not have enough room in my house! Most coin collectors stick to coins from their own country, or at least a country that resonates with them. Those who collect foreign coins are rare, and usually they go for older foreign coins.
Even if you are very knowledgeable on foreign coins, it is still unlikely you will find anything valuable. Most bulk lots of coins online have already been cherry-picked for the most valuable coins.
1.) Lots of coins!
It is really exciting to get a lot of foreign coins! You can keep them in a jar as decoration, or spend time organizing and admiring the different designs.
2.) Great way to learn!
You can look through each one and do lots of research into the coins. It is a great way to learn about other cultures in different time periods.
Since you will get many coins from different countries you can take the time to catalogue them. Find the country of origin, face value, and numismatic value!
Where to buy foreign coins in bulk?
Many different places sell foreign coins in bulk. Ebay is probably the best place to go, as you get the competition from many different sellers.
If you aren’t comfortable buying on eBay, you can also buy bulk foreign coins on Amazon. It will probably be slightly more expensive than eBay, but Amazon is easier to use for many people.
If you are only interested in a different country or time period you can also search buy that specific time and area. While researching for this article I found a few fun niche listings.
Ancient Coins in Bulk
This could be a good way to get your hands on several coins if you are a beginner. Someday you will probably want to buy higher quality coins at better prices, but it is always fun to have a few coins to handle.
(Remember, handling coins is bad for them! Only do so with coins you do mind potentially damaging.)
I wouldn’t build a collection around buying bulk foreign coins, but it is a fun way to get your hands on a lot of coins.
Overall, I would saying buying foreign coins is best for beginners, or as gifts for kids. Since kids don’t usually have a great understanding of value, giving them a lot of coins that are interesting to them is a good way to introduce them to coin collecting.
Do you buy foreign coins in bulk? What is your best find yet?