Frequently Asked Questions
Coins and currency require speciial care, as does jewelry, antiques and art. Never clean your family treature. Trust Hudson Valley to conserve, preserve, certify, and sell in the proper venue.
Q. What kinds of material do you handle?
I appraise and advise on the sale of personal property. My specialty is U.S. and International coins and currency, precious metals, and jewelry. I have helped clients with many kinds of personal property, including fine art, furniture, automobiles, collectibles, and other goods. If I don't know about something and you need help with it, I make it my business to let you know, and to find out what we need to know to do the job right. If your needs require me to refer you to someone with a license outside my area, such as real estate, law, or accounting, I'll do the best I can to send you to a trusted colleague at no charge.
Q. What do you charge for appraisals and offers?
I don't charge anything to meet with you first and assess what you have. Once I've done that, I can tell you what an appraisal would cost and, if you approve, perform it on the spot for immediate payment; make a contract with you for delivery of the appraisal and payment after delivery, if it requires research; or if all you want to do is sell, I may be able to make you an immediate or standing offer, which costs you nothing.
Q. How should I handle coins and currency?
The less you touch them, the better. Try to leave everything in the original holders or containers. If you must handle a coin, wash your hands first and hold it by the edges. DO NOT CLEAN them in any manner. A client of ours recently took it upon himself to give a rare banknote a gentle washing before bringing it to us. The residual damage this left rendered the value from $20,000 to $500...
Q. What do you want to know about my collection?
How you acquired it, and what you know about it. Who originally put the collection together? Do you have original holders, invoices, or notes? How is it stored (e.g., rolls, books, 2x2 square holders, certified plastic "slabs," loose)? Have you assessed it yet in any way? What are your goals with the collection? The more information you share with me, the more I can help you.
Q. If I sell to you for $500, how do I know I won't read that you sold an item for $150,000?
I want to be known as the guy who got you the $150,000. For me, that's priceless.
Q. Can you tell me anything about value before we meet?
Chances are, I can tell you a remarkable amount. I can ask questions and explain things on the phone, and you can send me photos by email or text. Photo Tips: Bright, diffused daylight is best, such as indoors near a window but not in direct sunlight. Put the item on a flat surface and don't get too close. Take photos of all sides.
Q. If you refer me to another dealer or auctioneer, will you be getting a "kickback"?
You are my client. I have an obligation to maximize your return, to be fair to myself, and to maintain good relations with my colleagues after you are gone. The secret tool I use to achieve all of this is honesty. Let's say you have a collection and want me to find the best outlet to disburse it. You and I can decide, before I do anything, whether I should charge you a flat fee to represent you, a percentage of gross sales or profit, or an hourly fee. If I am to get a fee from the buyer or auctioneer, commonly called a "finder's fee," it is my practice to do that by mutual agreement with you and to disclose to you the amount. Frankly, the dealers I work with function on a narrow margin and can't pay me much when I bring them business. I'd rather push them as high as I can on your behalf and have you pay me fairly for a job well done.
Q. How should I prepare for our meeting?
The most you need to do is to group things in similar groups using boxes or plastic bags. Typical groupings include: proof and mint sets, albums, holders, and loose change. Don't overstudy things! With all collections, the total value is not the sum of every individual piece; common issues trade in rolls and sets, and I can tell you those prices easily. Don't lie awake worrying about the "key date" coin buried in grandma's mason jar. Rare coins are rare because they are rare; the overwhelming odds are that collectors plucked them out of change and put them in albums and holders long ago. Once coins are handled and spent, they are no longer "mint state," and though old, may still be abundant in circulated grades at shows and within collections.
Q. What about sticky situations like fighting relatives, sales and estate tax, and security?
For decades I taught public school and worked as a business consultant—sticky situations are my specialty!
We take your personal information personally, and work hard to protect it.
Q. What information do we collect?
We collect information from you when you submit it to us in writing or verbally. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, to enforce our site policies, or to protect ours or others' rights, property, or safety.
Q. How do we use your information?
We use what you share with us to perform the various services you request. For example, we may determine the value of a coin in a particular grade, or identify a dealer looking for it and what he/she is willing to pay. We use it to reach you in the future if you want us to do that. You may provide us with a credit card number to pay for goods or services; we will retain it only insofar as required to complete the transaction. We do not add you to an automated email subscription.
Q. How do we protect your information?
We record only as much information from you as we need, and secure both print and electronic information in a variety of reliable ways.
Q. Do we disclose your information to outside parties?
We do not sell, trade, or transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. With your permission we may share your information with trusted third parties such as our web designer, or another professional who can help us. In the unusual event we should receive over $10,000 in cash from a single transaction or from two or more related transactions, we would first advise you of our obligation to file Form 8300 with the IRS.
Q. Third party links.
A few places on our site may link to the sites of other vendors. These third parties, though trusted, have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. For this reason we are selective in our partnerships and we welcome any feedback you have about these sites.
Q. Will you report us to the government?
Our services do not include accounting, banking, or law enforcement. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law or to adhere to our company policies. We have an AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Program as required by the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and may share information insofar as prescribed by the USA Patriot Act Section 314(b).
Q. What the heck does that mean?
It means you are the client, and our primary mission is to furnish information to you about your personal property. In the normal course of business, we advise you on your holdings and leave it to you to decide with your accountant or lawyer whether you have a reporting obligation or tax liability. We act under the presumption you are coming to us for help with your own assets or on the behalf of someone you are authorized to represent, in a lawful manner. Unless it is suggested to us there is a reason we should give information to the authorities, it is not our practice to do this.