Question: How can I obtain information regarding coin shows or coin conventions in Southern California that deal with American coins?--E.S.
Answer: I've long advocated coin shows as a place for collectors to test the waters. You can meet many dealers and other collectors at these shows, get a feel for the market, exchange ideas and shop for specific coins and/or bargains. Surprisingly, probably more business is transacted at these shows between dealers than between dealers and the public. It would be an interesting study, someday, to follow the route of a particular coin as it is traded from dealer to dealer until it finally lands in the hands of a collector.
Of course, none of this is possible if you don't know when shows are taking place. The obvious place to learn about local shows is through advertisements and newspaper articles. I try to list shows that come to my attention, so if you don't do anything else, follow this column.
There is a coin listing in The Times classified ad section and many shows advertise there. The weekly newspaper Coin World, available at many coin shows, runs show news and advertisements. Many coin dealers promote the shows, even if they are not participating.
You can also join a local coin club or check with a local club. The Numismatic Assn. of Southern California's quarterly bulletin usually lists shows in this area. Also, the bulletin usually lists various specialty clubs. Contact the club president, Lorna R. Lebold, Box 5173, Buena Park, Calif. 90622, (714) 527-0962.
Q: Please tell me the value of 1,000 Reichsbanfnotes. Each is individually numbered.--M.B.
A: These bills come in different denominations and seals are in different colors. They do have some value, according to the "Standard Catalogue of World Paper Money" by Albert Pick. Usually, collector value is about half of catalogue value. I would suggest you show your bills to some dealers who specialize in this sort of material. Once again, condition is a price factor.
Q: I'm starting a coin collection and my grandfather gave me some old coins to help me get started. I would like to know how much the following are worth: a 1943-P nickel; 1943 penny collection; Mercury dimes dated 1942, 1943 and 1944; 1930 Buffalo nickel; 1900 Indian-head cent, and an 1892 Barber quarter.--G.N.Z.
A: Your 1943 nickel is worth 50 cents, the 1943 cents are 50 cents, the dimes are also 50 cents each, the Buffalo nickel is 20 cents, the Indian-head cent is $1 and the Barber quarter is $2.
Q: I have 17 $1 silver certificates, 18 $1 Joseph W. Barr notes and 10 $5 U.S. notes. Is there any value to these?--R.S.V.
A: Chances are your notes are just worth face value or just a slight premium if they are crisp and uncirculated. Contrary to popular opinion, Barr notes do not carry extra value. It is not a rare signature.
The Swiss have entered the bullion market. Last week, it was Canada and the half-ounce Maple Leaf. Now it's Switzerland with the proof-like 1 unzie (1 troy ounce) gold 1986 Helvetias, limited to 8,500 pieces; the half-unzie (one-half troy ounce) gold, limited to 9,500 pieces; the quarter-unzie (one-quarter troy ounce) gold, limited to 19,500 pieces, and the one-tenth-unzie (one-tenth troy ounce) gold, limited to 19,500 pieces. In addition, there's the 5 troy ounce silver 5 unzies (pictured), limited to 2,500 pieces. The silver unzies are available now; the gold unzies will be available beginning Aug. 1. Gold and silver Helvetias may be ordered from Fred Weinberg, 16311 Ventura Blvd., Suite 550, Encino, Calif. 91436 or Ronald J. Gillio, 1013 State St., Santa Barbara, Calif. 93101.
More than $3 million was realized at the Einstein Collection Sale by Bowers & Merena held in New York in June. The auction (prices include a 10% buyer's fee) set some modern records, including $79,200 for a 1933 $10 MS-63 gold piece, $187,000 for an 1804 extremely fine-40 silver dollar and $30,800 for an 1895 Morgan dollar in proof-67 condition. Copies of the Einstein catalogue are available for $12, including prices realized, from Bowers & Merena, Box 1224-NR, Wolfeboro, N.H. 03894. The firm's next sale will also be in New York on Sept. 8 and 9.