Question: I have an 1835 Liberty 10-cent silver piece. It has been in a safety deposit box for years and is in remarkable condition. Can you give me an estimate of its value?--J.W.
Answer: Your dime is a Capped Bust type, rather unremarkable in character. These coins were minted from 1809 to 1837. The figure on the obverse has always reminded me of Martha Washington, although I'm not aware that this was deliberate. Perhaps it is representative of Revolutionary Era women in general. In any event, the eagle on the reverse is rather impressive.
Capped Bust dimes are in two varieties, the first a large size made from 1809 to 1828. Your coin is a Variety 2, reduced in size and also given beaded borders. There were 1.4 million issued, making it rather common and of interest primarily to collectors attempting to assemble a dime Capped Bust date set, or someone putting together a complete type set.
Most likely, your silver dime is in the $15-to-$200 range, although outstanding specimens can run much higher. For an accurate appraisal, a coin must be seen to be evaluated. It is wise to seek more than one opinion.
Q: Can you give me information and value of a gold medal, Johannes XXIII Pontifex Maximus? Only 83 minted. If not, can you recommend someone?--N.P.
A: Medals can be tricky. If you medal is indeed gold, it at least has bullion value. Rarity can also enter into it, but there has to be a market. Some dealers specialize in medals. I do not make recommendations. Check with any local dealer to get you pointed in the right direction.
Q: I have recently come into possession of a strange piece of currency. It is supposed to have been printed by the Japanese government when the Japanese were at India's doorsteps during World War II. Could you give me more information on it and its value?--S.S.
A: Your bill is known as Occupation Currency. Many such bills were printed during the war. It has some historical interest but little collector interest at this time. It has little or no value. However, collecting a set from various countries would be interesting.
Q: I have silver dollars for the years 1878, 1879, 1883, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1921, 1922 and 1923, all in excellent condition. Could you advise me as to the value?--G.G.S.
A: Your dollars are all common dates. They're worth $10 each and up, depending upon condition.
A $10,000 gold certificate made from the original die is featured on souvenir cards being issued by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in conjunction with the American Numismatic Assn. Mid-Winter Convention March 11-13 in Little Rock, Ark. The card (pictured) continues the Constitution Series theme with the $10,000 replica featuring a portrait of Andrew Jackson engraved by Alfred Sealey from a painting by Thomas Sully. Mail orders for the souvenir card (No. 954) are $5.50; Post Office canceled souvenir cards (No. 955) are $5.75. Make checks payable to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Mail Order Sales, Room 602-11A, 14th and C streets, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20228.
More than 2,000 coins will be auctioned by Stack's when the International Collection of Gold and Silver Coins of the World is sold in conjunction with the Chicago International Coin Fair on March 4 and 5. Many rare and seldom-seen pieces are in this two-day offering. Catalogues including prices realized are $10 from Stack's, 123 West 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10019; telephone (212) 582-2580.
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.