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Snow White Issue Dwarfs the Market

September 10, 1987|DON ALPERT

There's no telling what will pique collector interest. Currently, the hot item is the Disney medal marking the 50th anniversary of Snow White. Produced by Rarities Mint of Anaheim, medals in silver and gold depict Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, Prince Charming, the Wicked Witch, the Hunter and the Queen. The proof pieces are in limited mintages of 10,000 to 20,000, with demand outweighing supply.

Snow White, for example, an edition of 10,000, was issued recently for $32. The market value now is $200. The Wicked Witch, with a mintage of 20,000, is selling for $100. (Mickey Christmas is going for $310 and Mickey Magic for $160.) These medals come in half-ounce, one-ounce and five-ounce silver editions, and one-quarter-ounce gold.

A lot of trading is anticipated in the Disney pieces this weekend at the 23rd annual Glendale Coin and Stamp Exposition at Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale. Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2. For information, telephone (213) 622-6295.

Dave Griffiths of Century Coins in downtown Los Angeles is spearheading the show, which will be the forerunner of a new and expanded operation for his company. Griffiths recently purchased longstanding shows in Pasadena and Buena Park and will merge them into the Glendale schedule. Consequently, he expects to produce eight shows a year following the already-planned Dec. 11-13 show in Glendale. Penciled in tentatively for 1988 are the Pasadena show on Jan. 2 and 3; Glendale Feb. 12-14; Buena Park on April 23 and 24; Glendale May 27-29; Pasadena on Aug. 20 and 21; Glendale Sept. 9-11; Buena Park on Nov. 5 and 6 and Glendale Dec. 9-11.

"This is a terribly ambitious schedule," Griffiths said. "But my company has years of experience producing these coin and stamp shows. With eight shows a year I think we can serve the needs of collectors and dealers alike. We hope to introduce some innovations that will be educational, informative and beneficial to those who consider numismatics both a hobby and an investment."

Question: I am writing in regard to a $10 bill that I received from my bank recently. This Series of 1934 bill states that "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private, and is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury, or at any Federal Reserve Bank." I note also the statement at the bottom of the bill: "Will pay to the bearer on demand TEN DOLLARS." Am I correct assuming that I should be able to redeem this piece of paper for two of the $5 gold coins Treasury is now producing?--P.A.

Answer: Your paper bill is worth just what is printed on it: $10. No way can you receive two gold coins. Redemption of bills for gold ended in 1934. The bill is worth only face value.

Q: I would like the value of two gold coins I have. One is a $10 gold piece dated 1881. The other is a 20-mark German gold coin dated 1894.--J.S.

A: Your U.S. gold eagle is in the $225-to-$300 range and up; the German 20 mark is in the $85-to-$95 range.

Q: Could you please tell me where I might get a book about coins, with the name of the coins and the date and how much they are valued?--M.C.D.

A: There are several coin-price reference books available for U.S. coinage. The standard work is the Guide Book of United States Coins by R. S. Yeoman. The book, in its 40th year, comes out annually and sells for $6.95. It is known as the Red Book (because of its cover) in the trade. Also worth considering is the Official Blackbook Price Guide of United States Coins, published by Ballantine. It's $3.95 and in its 25th year.

It's important to realize that these books are just guides. They come out annually whereas prices can change almost daily. Also, unless you know the condition of the coin and its grade, the price guides will be of little help. Keep in mind also that there is a bid-ask spread between what a coin is worth and what a dealer will pay. This is a legitimate business practice similar to the stock market spread.

Q: I received the following coin as a gift: a gold 10 gulden Netherlands Antilles. On one side is the year 1980 and a coat of arms. Can you tell me what it is worth?--C.C.

A: Your gold piece is worth about $110.

Q: I have an English penny dated 1918. The face of the coin has King George V. The reverse shows Britannia with a trident and shield. Does the coin have any value?--M.W.

A: Your English penny is worth about 35 cents.

Q: I would like to know the value of U.S. dimes. What dates are of value and what is the value of silver dimes?--G.T.

A: Dimes dated 1964 and earlier are 90% silver and are currently worth 50 cents each and up. Key dates in the Mercury series are 1916-D, 1921 P and D; 1926-S; 1931 D and S. The D is for Denver, the P is for Philadelphia and the S is for San Francisco. For a more detailed list, check the Guide Book of United States Coins by R. S. Yeoman or some other pricing catalogue.

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