Question: A few years ago I acquired a Marcos-Reagan 1982 Philippines 25 piso coin. What is its present value?--H.W.G.
Answer: Most countries issue commemoratives of one sort or another. Ancient Greek and Roman rulers started the practice. It was good for the ego and has had a lasting imprint on history. The Philippines have followed suit with coins honoring Gen. Douglas MacArthur, various papal visits and deposed President Ferdinand Marcos.
The fact that Marcos and former President Ronald Reagan adorn the same coin should prove interesting to collectors. As you probably know, the United States does not honor living Presidents on coinage. Only a few of our Presidents are memorialized on coins and bills. Politics is a factor.
However, medals honoring all our Presidents are available. A complete set in bronze (Option No. 154) is $54. Contact the United States Mint, Customer Affairs Staff, 10001 Aerospace Drive, Lantham, Md. 20706; telephone (301) 436-7400.
Your Philippine coin with Marcos and Reagan on the obverse, catalogues for $45. Realistically, expect $10 to $20 from a dealer.
Botswana, Lesotho and Mozambique have each issued coins commemorating a papal visit. Lesotho issued both gold and sterling silver (pictured) proofs. The Mozambique and Botswana pieces are sterling silver. Each country's design is different. The Pope visited the African nations in September. The Lesotho gold coin (750 mintage) is $495; the silver pieces are $44.95 each. Contact the British Royal Mint, P.O. Box 2570, Woodside, N.Y. 11377-9864; telephone (800) 543-0237.
Today, Friday, Saturday and Sunday--The 500-year-old British sovereign is getting its first design change in 170 years and will be available to purchasers for the first time at the mammoth 11th annual Long Beach Numismatic & Philatelic Winter Exposition, which also features a three-day auction, 450 dealers, special interest forums and specialty booths. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Long Beach Convention Center.