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Statue of Liberty Makes Debut on Coins

November 28, 1985|DON ALPERT

Olympic commemorative coinage spurred the interest, and now the Statue of Liberty is poised to cash in. An aggressive marketing program is being launched to promote the sale of the three coins that will feature the statue for the first time on U.S. coinage. The purpose is to honor the 100th anniversary of the symbol of liberty.

The three coins (pictured) include a $5 gold piece, a silver dollar and a copper-nickel half dollar. Each denomination is available in proof and uncirculated condition.

There are 11 options available to collectors; and regular Mint customers have been offered a discount if coins are purchased by Dec. 31. The discount for the three-coin proof set, for example, offers substantial savings. The set is regularly $206.50. If purchased before the end of the year, the price is $175. That's the regular price for the $5 proof coin alone.

Proceeds from the sale of these coins will help rebuild the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island national monuments. The goal is to raise $50 million through the sale of these commemoratives. In order to participate, contact: the United States Mint, Liberty Coin Program, P.O. Box 42010, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101.

Q: I have had these coins for a long time and thought if they aren't any good I would get rid of them. Please let me know if these foreign-issue bank notes and coins dating back to the 1950s that I have listed are of any value.--C.C.

A: Your bank notes and coins have no collector value, which is the case of most pieces picked up during travels. You can be sure, if they have no value to you, they won't be worth anything to someone else. Sometimes you can take your notes and coins to a foreign exchange. Otherwise, they just make nice souvenirs.

Q: I would like to know the value of a certain coin. The front is dated 1902, one penny, and has the image of a gladiator sitting on a chariot with a three-pronged staff in his left hand. The back has a right profile silhouette of a bald, bearded man and says EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRIT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:.--P.J.K.

A: Your coin is a British large cent. It has little or no collector value--even though it is more than 80 years old--primarily because so many were produced.

Q: This coin (George Washington President of the United States 1789 on the obverse, Time Increases His Fame on the reverse) is brass or bronze and weighs 1 ounce. It is at least 30 years old and was found in a box of odds and ends. Its value?--G.L.K.

A: What you have is a presidential medal. It would have to be seen and authenticated before it could be evaluated.

Q: I have two documents concerning the pardon of a relative, I believe, but I am not sure that they concern his activities on behalf of the South in the Civil War. The pardon may have been issued to all soldiers who made application after the war. The document is impressive, having been issued by the U.S. government and signed by President Andrew Johnson on Sept. 15, 1865. A second document concerning the same matter was issued by the Department of State and certifies the pardon. It is signed by William S. Seward, secretary of state, on Nov. 10, 1866. If these documents have any monetary or historical value I would like to know.--G.W.H.

A: Your documents do not fall into the numismatic area, but I'm quite sure they have historical value and probably even some monetary value. Contact someone who specializes in Americana. Antique dealers and antiquarian bookstores are possibilities.

Q: I have two Chinese pieces of currency. One is a paper bill marked D528598, issued by the Central Bank of China, 1930, at Shanghai, for 5 Customs Gold Units. The bill is signed in ink by May Ling Soong Chiang. There's also a heavy coin with a square center, a bit worn, that looks like a brass metal. I purchased this coin in an antique shop in a small city on Taiwan about 18 years ago.--S.L.

A: Your bill, I'm sorry to say, has little or no collector value. The coin (and I hope you didn't pay too much for it) is worth about $2 or $3.

Q: I have been collecting coins for many years. One of my collections is a set of Buffalo nickels in very fine condition. Could you please estimate their value? The 1918/17 and three-legged 1937 are not part of my collection. I estimate the value to be between $800 and $1,000.--B.A.

A: Your estimate seems to be right on target.

Q: I have received several gold coins after the death of a relative, and I wonder if you could give me any information as to whether they have any exceptional value. The coins are: $5 gold, 1882; $5 gold, 1911; $5 gold, 1912; $10 gold, 1912; $20 gold, 1914, and $20 gold, date unknown.--M.L.M.

A: The 1882 $5 half eagle, a Coronet type, is worth $125 and up; the 1911 and 1912 $5 half eagles, Indian-head types, are $200 each and up; the $10 eagle is $225 and up and the two $20 gold eagles are $500 each and up.

Don Alpert cannot answer mail personally but will respond to numismatic questions of general interest in this column. Do not telephone. Write to Your Coins, You section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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