Family weekend is the theme of the 22nd annual Glendale Coin and Stamp Exposition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Formalized sessions for advanced collectors are out, according to Dave Griffiths of Century Coins, who is helping to promote the show. Instead, "it's a good opportunity to find out what coins are all about by talking directly to 50 professional dealers," Griffiths said. "It's a great family hobby as well as an investment instrument. You can learn about U.S. history or even ancient history through coin collecting. It's something the whole family can participate in."
Griffiths stressed that a Jan. 1 change in the California sales tax laws that concern gold, silver and rare coins has made the local market more attractive. Purchases of these commodities worth $1,000 or more are now exempt from the state tax. Previously, many collectors went out of state to avoid the 6 1/2% tax, which could be considerable for large purchases.
"This will be a real shot in the arm for numismatic investments and collectors," Griffiths said. "Now, they won't have to purchase out of state, and they'll be able to see their coins in person. This should help prevent some of the abuses that have taken place."
The show takes place at Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale, on Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $2; 18 and under free for this family show.
Question: I always considered my collection small until I counted up $350 in my hutch in odds and ends. I've got mostly silver, proof and mint sets and foreign minors. My question is how do I go about insuring this? By the value I place on them currently or the price paid or the replacement value? I'm confused.--M.E.
Answer: Coins, like jewelry, are expensive to insure, but as I pointed out in a recent column, it can be done. Often, your own agent can handle the particulars. However, you'll probably have to get a professional appraisal. Many dealers offer this service for a fee. Shop around unless your insurance agent has a dealer he works with. Your insurance would then be figured on replacement cost.
Q: I have an 1882 Shield nickel with a 3 over the 2. It is in poor condition. I also have a 1929 $10 bill minted at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Mo. All the serial numbers and the seal are in orange or gold ink rather than green. It is in good condition. Do my coin and bill have any value?--H.L.
A: Your nickel, because of the condition, is only worth about $5 or $10. Too bad it's not in better shape. Nice ones are worth several hundred dollars. Your bill has little or no collector value.
The new bronze and silver medals in Israel's Holy Land Sites series is the Mt. Tabor commemorative (pictured), featuring the Hebrew and English inscription, "Awake awake Deborah" (Judges 5:12). Coins in this series are available in bronze ($10) and silver ($33) versions from the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corp., 350 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10118.
A commemorative-coin set marking the 20th anniversary of the founding of Tibet Autonomous Region is being issued by the China Mint. The set includes a 1-ounce proof silver 10 yuan coin and a proof copper nickel 1 yuan coin. There will be 10 million business strikes issued of the 1 yuan but only 10,000 of the 10 yuan. Two-coin sets, including a lacquer wood presentation case, are $49 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. They're available from the Money Company, 19900 Ventura Blvd., Suite 200, Woodland Hills, Calif. 91364; telephone (818) 883-4496.