Every so often, it's a good idea to check the pulse of numismatics and see how the patient is doing. According to the experts, numismatics is alive and well; even gaining in strength.
A good way to test the market is at coin shows, and several leading ones are scheduled. There's the 21st Annual Glendale Coin and Stamp Exposition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Glendale Civic Auditorium. It will be followed Oct. 3-6 by the Long Beach Numismatic and Philatelic Fall Exposition at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Dave Griffiths of Century Coins in Downtown Los Angeles, sponsor of the Glendale show, says the coin market currently is "very bullish in investment--quality coins, MS-60 and above. These are uncirculated U.S. gold coins, U.S. silver dollars, Walking Liberty halves and, to a lesser degree, U.S type coins. We're in a good 18- to 24-month cycle.
"With interest rates low, investors are looking for double-digit interest growth," Griffiths says, "which they will get from numismatic investment--quality coins. According to Salomon Bros., the New York investment firm, there was a 32.5% appreciation in coins per year in the last three years. And coins have the advantage of confidentiality for the investor."
Griffiths says he expects about 100 dealers at the Glendale show, which he likened to a supermarket, and good opportunity to get multiple opinions regarding coin value. He is also going to feature several show specials at Table 37. These include 1982 Mexico 1-ounce Libertads for the price of spot silver plus $4.75 (they usually sell for $8 over spot); 1985 Libertads for spot silver plus 99 cents (usually $1.50 over spot); 1-ounce silver rounds for spot silver plus 39 cents (usually 80 cents over spot); JM 100-ounce silver bars for spot silver plus 35 cents an ounce (a savings of 15 cents per ounce for $15 a bar), and almost-uncirculated U.S. $20 gold Liberties at $419.50 each.
Show hours at Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, are noon-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2.
Q: Please publish your opinion regarding the present value of the following: 1890 silver dollar; 1971 and 1978 Eisenhower dollars with D mint mark; 1979 $1 with woman's head on front; 1971, 1972, 1973 Kennedy half dollars; 1776-1976 Kennedy half dollars; 1965 Roosevelt dime; Buffalo nickel, year not readable; 1959 Lincoln cent; 1940 through 1948 and 1953, 1956 and 1958 Lincoln cents; 1949 Canadian cent; 1965 Washington quarters; 1940 through 1964 Jefferson nickels; 1978 peso, 1955 and 1931 5 centavos; 1962 centavo and 1976 Estados Unidos Mexicanos.--W.W.C.
A: I hate to disappoint you, but most of your coins are just taking up space. The silver dollar is worth $10 and up; Jefferson nickels dated 1942 to 1945 are worth 25 cents each because of their silver content; the dateless nickel might be worth 6 cents; the wheat-back cents might be worth 1 1/2 cents each and up; the other coins have no collector value.
Q: I have silver dollars dated 1878, 1882, 1891 and 1898. Could you please tell me their value?--W.F.
A: Morgan dollars (so-called because of the designer) such as yours are worth $10 each and up. Condition and certain rarity factors also enter into determining the price of each coin. To be more specific, they would have to be seen to be evaluated.
Gold and silver proof coins commemorating Mexico's roles as host for the 1986 World Cup soccer championship will be available in about three weeks. These are the first proof coins ever issued by Mexico. There will be 16 of these proofs, four gold and 12 silver with the first silver series limited to 277,000 of each domination. The first gold proof with a 250-peso denomination will have an 88,000 mintage limit. Series I prices are: $225 for the 250-peso gold coin; $35 for the 100-peso silver; $24 for the 50-peso silver (pictured); $16 for the 25-peso silver, and $75 for the three-coin silver set. There is an additional charge for shipping and handling. Locally, coins are available from PandaAmerica Corp., Malaga Cove Plaza, 426 Via Corta, P.O. Box 792, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. 90274; telephone (800) 472-6327.
Large cents, some considered condition consensus (no finer known) will highlight the Russell and Eudora Bell Wyatt Collection Sale to be conducted by Superior Galleries. More than 3,000 lots will be auctioned in three sessions Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at the Century Plaza Hotel. For a catalogue, send $10 to Superior, 9301 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90210-5499; or phone (213) 272-0851.
Stack's, a venerable New York dealership, will hold its 50th Anniversary Public Auction Sale Oct. 22-23. Elements of the sale include the Jimmy Hayes Type Collection of United States Silver Coin, which Stack's describes as "the finest collection ever sold at public auction." Also in the sale will be a complete set of U.S. gold coins originating in the 20th Century and a complete set of U.S. proof sets from 1859 to 1891. For a catalogue, send $10 to Stack's, 123 West 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10019.