Question: I have an 1876-CC seated Liberty dime in fine condition. The phrase Of America in the legend appears doubled. Does this doubled obverse increase its value? I checked a Red Book and couldn’t find a doubled variety listed. Scott’s catalogue mentions it and lists an R-7 rating on its rarity. I would like to sell at a profit, but I don’t know how to appraise the value.--L.D. de L.
Answer: Actually, Scott’s lists your coin, if indeed it is a doubled variety, as a High R-7. Scott’s further defines High R-7 as a rarity factor of four to six coins known; so, if your coin actually falls into this category, it is extremely rare and potentially of great value. You indicate that the condition is fine, which is a relatively low grade, but a coin of great rarity does not necessarily have to be in pristine condition to command a hefty price.
However, before dollar signs start dancing before your eyes, the first thing to do is have your coin authenticated. It’s possible that wear has given the appearance of doubling. There are several authentication services, including one provided by the American Numismatic Assn., P. O. Box 2366R, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80901. Check with some local dealers before going to the expense of having the piece authenticated.
The 1876 date makes your coin historically interesting because it was minted during America’s Centennial. The CC mint mark (for Carson City) also carries some historical interest and the lore of the West. But is it the possible rarity factor that is all important. It would be tedious, but you could search through previous auction records to see if a price pattern has been established.
The other possibility is to rely on a numismatic auction firm to handle the sale for you. If you decide to go the auction route, check with several firms, because commissions and terms are competitive.
Q: I have a $20 certificate of the Confederate States of America. It is dated Feb. 17, 1864, and contains a handwritten serial number. The signatures appear to be original rather than printed. Does this certificate have any value?--D.M.
A: Original Confederate bills do have collector value, although most carry a modest premium, and you can buy bills such as the one you describe for about $5. However, many copies have been manufactured, and if you happen to have one of them it has no collector value.
Q: I have 50-cent coins dated 1917, 1939, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1950, 1951 and 1954. Can you tell me the value?--M.C.
A: Liberty walking-type half dollars were minted from 1916 to 1947; Franklin-type halves were made from 1948 to 1963. The walkers, especially early dates, can be quite valuable. However, without being seen, I can only say your half dollars are worth $2 each and up, depending upon condition.
Q: Could you please tell me the value of two rare coins I possess? One is a $5 gold coin dated 1886 and the other a $10 gold coin dated 1881. Both are in excellent condition.--J.D.
A: Your 1886 half eagle is not rare; 388,432 were minted in Philadelphia, more than 3 million in San Francisco. It’s worth $135 and up. The 1881 eagle also has lots of company if it’s from Philadelphia (no mint mark). There were 3.8 million produced there. However, Carson City (CC mint mark) made only 24,015 and New Orleans (O mint mark) just 8,350. Your eagle is worth $200 and up, depending. . . .
Q: I have two Series 1928D $2 bills--one excellent, one good--and several silver certificates, 1935 and 1937. Is the value of such currency worth the time to search out an appraiser, and are all dealers more or less the same?--J.A.
A: I doubt that it would be worth your time or effort to have a formal appraisal on your bills. They most likely have little or no collector value. As for the question: Are all dealers more or less the same? the answer is no. Different dealers work on different margins of profit and specialize in different areas of numismatics. A dealer with a clientele interested in bills would most likely pay more for bills than a dealer who specializes in coins and would have to sell bill purchases to another dealer.
Q: I have a certificate of some sort, No. 8894, that states: Seventeen months after Date THE BANK OF THE UNITED STATES Promises to pay to J. W. Fairman on order ONE THOUSAND Dollars in New York Philadelphia Dec. 15th, 1840 (name illegible) Cashier, (name illegible) President. The above is printed on a yellowed crinkle-type paper, and I am wondering if you have any information regarding anything like this.--R.G.M.
A: I plead ignorance. It’s probably a bank note of some sort; perhaps even a copy. In any event, J. W. Fairman should have collected the $1,000 in 1840. It might be of interest to exonumia collectors (exonumia are objects that resemble money but are not designed to circulate as money). It’s only worth what someone will pay for it.
Q: We have come across an original note from the Bank of the United States dated Dec. 15, 1840. The face amount of the note is $1,000, but to my knowledge it has no cash value. What might this note be worth to a collector?--B.F., L.F.
A: What a coincidence. Your note seems to be the same as the one described by R.G.M. Even the serial number on the copy you provided is the same. I have a feeling the Bank of the United States either wrote a lot of notes in its day or some enterprising entrepreneur mass produced them for the unsuspecting.
Q: Fifteen years ago my grandfather left me a gold coin about the size of a nickel, dated 1963. The front reads Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina F:D. The back of the coin has a warrior on a horse with the date. I also have several dollars with Eisenhower’s picture on them dated 1971 enclosed with a blue eagle chip saying uncirculated. Can you tell me their worth?--K.S.
A: Your gold coin is a British sovereign. Essentially, it is a bullion piece, and its worth fluctuates with the value of gold. Your sovereign is worth about $80. Your uncirculated 1971 Eisenhower dollars are worth about $4 each.
Q: I ran across a $1 coin dated 1890. Is there any value to it? If so, where can I sell it?--R.B.L.
A: Your Morgan dollar is a very common date. It’s worth $10 and up, depending upon condition. Any coin dealer would be a potential buyer.
The Jewish-American Hall of Fame has selected Adolph Ochs as its 1985 honoree. The likeness (pictured here) of Ochs, an early publisher of the New York Times, has been created by medalist Gerta Ries Wiener. A 2 1/2-ounce bronze medal (750 maximum) is available for $18; pewter (75 maximum), $36; silver (250 maximum), $75, and 10-karat gold (35 maximum), $785. Each medal is serial numbered on the edge. Place orders with the Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St., Berkeley, Calif. 94705.
For the first time, the United States will reach an annual production of more than 6 billion currency notes, a record one-year total. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced 2.8 billion currency notes with a face value of $19 billion in 1976. Robert J. Leuver, director of the bureau, said by the end of fiscal 1985 the bureau will have produced about 6.2 billion currency notes with a face value of $66 billion. There has been a 123% increase in the number of notes produced during the last 10 years.
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.