Many investors prefer setting up a precious metals individual retirement account (IRA) with a reputable custodian to help them diversify their investment portfolio. However, there are serious limitations to investing through an IRA, including high annual costs, transaction fees, and a lack of verification of the authenticity of assets.
A great alternative to an IRA that offers investors a great degree of control is to purchase rare coins, paper money, and other physical precious metals. You can keep these products in your collection until you’re ready to sell them or pass them on to other family members.
Great Collections is a reputable coin dealer that also conducts online auctions where you can find unique products that may be well worth your investment.
In this Great Collections review, we will learn more about the company, some of the products in its inventory, and how you can start purchasing from the website.
Keep reading until the end, as we will also explore whether or not Great Collections Coins is a legitimate business. Let’s get started!
For my money, the best place to buy coins is elsewhere. Check out the American Hartford Gold Group review to see why they are #1 in my book.
About Great Collections
Founded in 2010, Great Collections emerged from the need to improve the auctions for collectible coins and paper money. The team at this online auction house works out of the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California.
According to the company’s website, Great Collections is an excellent place for dealers, collectors, and investors looking to buy certified coins and paper money. It has a wide range of inventory, with products starting from $25 and up to over $500,000.
Great Collections is the official auctioneer for the American Numismatic Association, and it sells products that are certified by leading third-party grading companies, including PCGS, NGC, PMG, and ANACS.
Since the company opened its doors in 2010, Great Collections has successfully auctioned more than 1,012,000 certified coins, making it one of the leading coin companies in the United States.
The business reported sales of well over $235 million in 2021, and according to its recent financial reports, it is set to achieve new milestones.
More About the Founders
Before you decide to shortlist a company, it’s important to look at the backgrounds of the people behind the business.
Fortunately for you, we’ve done most of the research work. Here is a bit more about the people behind Great Collections:
Ian Russell is the president and co-founder of Great Collections Coins & Paper Money Auctions. At the age of 14, Russell worked as a stamp dealer in Australia, where he developed an interest in coin collecting.
While working as a stamp dealer, Russell started to understand how auctions worked and also handled a couple of sales at established auction houses in Australia.
In June 2000, he conducted KISS The Auction, which broke all records, making this event the most successful music memorabilia auction in history.
From 2000 to 2010, Russell held many important positions at the largest coin auction houses in North America before he decided to start Great Collections.
Today, Russell manages the day-to-day operations of Great Collections. He also advises high-net-worth individuals on acquisitions and assists estates, trusts, accountants, and law firms with preparing valuations of numismatic property.
Raeleen Endo started her career by working with the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) in its customer service department. After PCGS purchased a leading auction house in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Endo became responsible for dealing with client requests and handling auction production.
In 2004, Spectrum Numismatics purchased the auction house, and Raeleen saw a transition in her career. She managed the auction production and services for more than 50 different auctions, each selling over $15 million in coins and currencies.
At the end of 2010, Raeleen Endo joined forces with Ian Russell to start Great Collections Coins & Paper Money Auctions.
What Products Does Great Collections Coins Offer?
Great Collections Coins have a vast product inventory, ranging from half-cents to gold dollars, ancient coins, and world paper money, among many others.
You can purchase products directly from the company’s inventory or participate in any one of the many auctions to place your bids on some interesting items.
To give you an idea of what kind of items you can find at this auction house, here are a few collectible dimes in its inventory:
- 1805 Draped Bust dime
- 1830 Capped Bust dime
- 1837 Seated Liberty dime
- 1898 Barber dime
- 1916 Mercury dime, and many more.
Besides dimes, there are a lot of different paper money from across the world that you can bid on, some of which include the following:
- Bermuda 1957 1 Pound British Administration note
- Bermuda 1966 1 Pound British Administration note
- Scotland 1969 10 Pounds The Royal Bank of Scotland Ltd. note
- Northern Ireland ND (1971) 10 Pounds Bank of Ireland note
If you want to know more about the company’s offerings, you can go through the different product categories on its website.
We found its inventory to be huge, with a couple of interesting options that you may not find anywhere, making it a great online auction house for collectors and investors.
How to Purchase Coins from Great Collections
There are a couple of steps that you must follow if you wish to buy coins or paper money from Great Collections, and these include the following:
Step 1: Register with Great Collections Coins & Paper Money Auctions
Before you can start purchasing coins or paper money, you must register yourself with Great Collections. Head over to the ‘My GC” tab on the company’s website to create an account.
Step 2: Participate in the Auctions
After creating an account, you can participate in any of the auctions on the company’s website to have a chance at buying a rare coin or paper money. Alternatively, you can also purchase through direct sales.
The website has an advanced search feature that allows its users to search for products according to their name, date, or product description.
Step 3: Pay for the Product
Buyers can place their bids on the products they’re interested in. Once the auction finishes and if you’re the highest bidder, you’ll have to pay for the item to confirm your order.
Those who are buying a product through direct sales must click on “Buy Now” before they can process the payment.
Step 4: Wait for the Shipment
Once Great Collections has your order finalized, it’ll start preparing the item to ship it to your desired location.
The company insures every shipment through Berkley Insurance and notifies the buyer prior to dispatching the product.
Can You Sell Coins or Paper Money to Great Collections?
Considered to be the fastest-growing coin and paper money auction house in the country, Great Collections allows its users to sell rare or collectible coins/paper money at the company’s online auctions.
The company will take care of the marketing and offer its users coin grading services at discounted prices, helping them make the most out of the auctions.
There is no minimum consignment, and the business charges minimal fees (0% for orders above $1,000 and 5% for purchases below $1,000).
If you’re looking to sell a coin or paper money at one of the auctions arranged by Great Collections, you must follow the steps below:
- Complete the consignment form; and
- Send the completed form and your coin/paper money through insured mail.
Once Great Collections receives the shipment, it’ll notify the seller before doing a quick due diligence. The products must meet the minimum grading requirements to earn a spot at the auctions.
When the company receives the products, it’ll send them to the auction within 21 days. It’ll list them on its website, where the item will stay up for 13 days. If anyone buys the item, Great Collections will send the payment to the seller within 30 days of the date of sale.
It’s important to note that Great Collections only sells certified coins and paper money. Fortunately, the company offers discounted prices on third-party grading services while it helps the sellers set up their listings.
Great Collections also has a professional photographer on site, who is responsible for taking stunning pictures of the items before the company creates a product listing. This helps make the coins or paper money more attractive to buyers.
Once you sign a contract with Great Collections before the auction listing, you get access to cash advances. The company offers up to 60% of the total purchase price of the items you wish to sell on its website. You can choose the preferred payment method to receive the payment.
Can You Track Items on Great Collections?
At Great Collections Coins, auctions can last for 13 days, which is why users must remain active if they wish to ensure that they’re the highest bidder for an item.
Fortunately, there is a feature on the company’s website, and it’s called “Watchlist”. You’ll find it next to the “My GC” tab. If you’re interested in bidding on an item, you can add that product to your watchlist.
The website will provide real-time updates on the product, and you can also set up alerts to notify you if there are any price changes. It’s an excellent feature for users to help them win the bids without spending too much time glued to their screens.
Does Great Collection Coins Guide Its Users?
Since most coin dealers offer products through direct sales, it can be confusing for many to experience bidding at an online auction.
Great Collections provides a wealth of information under the “News” tab in the form of articles and comprehensive guides that help you navigate through the website and get more information about the products you’re interested in.
How to Buy the Best Products on Great Collections Coins
If you’re new to coin collecting and are not sure where to begin or if you’re looking for the best deals, Great Collections Coins & Paper Money Auctions has a top 10 list that the company updates every week.
The top 10 list contains the best products available on the company’s online auctions, and you can search for more information about these items by visiting the “News” tab. This is a great feature for all those serious buyers looking to take their first step.
Does Great Collections Offer a Free Appraisal Service?
If you want to sell your coins or paper money, you can call Great Collections Coins & Paper Money Auctions and get a price quote for your products.
A specialist will work with you and ask you a couple of questions about the quality of the item before giving you a rough estimate of what you can expect.
The free appraisal service is a fantastic way for sellers to learn more about their product and whether or not it’s worth selling.
Is Great Collections a Legit Business?
Since Great Collections Coins & Paper Money Auctions is a relatively new business (opened in 2010) compared to its competitors, the legitimacy of the company can be a real concern for new collectors and investors.
To help you understand whether or not Great Collections Coins is a legitimate business, we will assess the reviews left behind by previous customers.
On Google Reviews, the company has an average of 4.4 out of five stars, with most of the comments praising the business for its low fees and top-notch customer service.
When reviewing companies, we like to check many other platforms to find out what others have to say about the business. Although this coin company has an active Facebook page, there is no section for Great Collections reviews, which may raise alarms for new collectors and investors.
There is a website called Better Business Bureau (BBB), and we like to check a company’s profiles here as part of our due diligence. BBB is a platform where individuals can learn more about a business and see whether or not it is legit. On the BBB website, Great Collections Coins has an average rating of 4.1 out of five stars with an A+ rating.
Although the company has been operating for 13 years, it was suspicious to see that it did not receive a BBB accreditation, unlike many other businesses in the same industry. Also, there were only a few Great Collections reviews left behind by previous customers.
Great Collections Coins is an American numismatic online auction house that conducts auctions and sells collectible coins and paper money directly on its website.
The website is easy to navigate, and participating in auctions can feel exciting. Great Collections offers its users many features to help improve the customer experience, such as Watchlist or News.
That said, it’s crucial for you to understand that auctions can take much longer than the 13 days mentioned on the company’s website. Plus, there is no guarantee on whether or not you’ll win.
Although we’ve covered most of the things you should know in this Great Collections Coins review, it’s best to research other coin dealers and compare the prices to help you make a well-informed decision.