Civil War Token values are set by four standards: rarity, metal composition, theme, and grade.
Due to the lower quality workmanship of many of the die sinkers, grade has the least contribution to supplementary value. (You should not consider mint errors other than double-strikes, flip-over double strikes, and incuse strike-overs.)
While the grade is the lowest factor in value, it provides a basis value for the raw token. Looking only at raw tokens, their dollar value would be approximately:
* These rarities are almost always governed by supplementary value influences.
**These values should be considered speculative as the seller believes there is only one in existence.
Remember, the token’s rarity is set by the number of tokens found for a particular specimen. It could change at any time!
Metal composition and rarity typically go together since “off metal” specimens were seldom made. But, there are a few where “off metal” versions of a token were more common and here the price will be higher than the typical copper version.
Metal Composition Premium
- Copper-Nickel : +30%-+60%
- White Metal : +25%-50%
- Lead : +10%-20%
- German Silver : +150%-200%
- Silver: +200%-300%
- C-N over a C-N cent : +100%-200%
- S over US dime : +400%-600%
- Plated or Gilt : (consider the base metal)
Theme is stating that people are looking for particular tokens representing a person, place or thing. For instance, Abraham Lincoln tokens draw a large supplementary value. This aspect is nearly impossible to put a value on as some individuals will pay anything to complete a set or acquire a token by a specific die sinker.
Coins encapsulated by a Third Party Grader draw a higher value simply because they have been confirmed to be genuine. Yes, there are individuals out there that make counterfeits or unsanctioned restrikes. Encapsulated coins will run about 3-4 times the raw token’s basis value plus any other supplemental values influencing the token.
Example for pricing Civil War Tokens:
- The ‘b’ indicates it is made of brass (an “off-metal”)
- It is encapsulated and graded as MS-64
- The die combination has a rarity of R8
- It was made by Emil Sigel
- Strike is weak, off-center and suffers collar issues
The base price for an Uncirculated R8 token is: $220
Encapsulation makes this 3-4 times larger.
Metal composition adds no additional premium.
(Remember the really rare tokens tend to be “off-metal” and brass is the most common.)
Premium for grade.
(This is somewhat speculative. MS60 is the base value and MS65 is typically the highest found. So, I’ll double the value for MS64.)
Final Estimated Price: $1760
eBay Price: $1945
(Remember, eBay collects 10%, or $195. So, these work out to be almost the same.)