Wednesday, August 31, 2011

28th Ed. United States Paper Money

Do you have a coin book and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Borders is going out of business and it is an opportunity to get books on the cheap. The coin and currency sections are mostly gone and in some cases the employees have used the currency book pages to post notices around the windows, very tragic. I did find an unharmed 28th Edition of the Standard Catalog of U.S. Paper Money by Krause Publications.

Granted this is two editions behind the current 30th Ed. Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money but the Amazon preview shows little has changed in terms of values. Borders has everything 50-70% off so this $29.99 book was about $15.00. Although the Kindle version on Amazon is $9.99 I like the feel of real books.


  • Every fractional, large, and small type is listed.
  • Great color photos.
  • National bank notes listed by type and states.
  • The use of KL# (Krause-Lemke) and Fr# (Friedberg) which are common catalog identification systems.

  • KL# 24, Fr# 37 1917 $1 United States Notes is listed at $125. in fine when it should be $80.00. (Fixed in later versions)
  • Just basic KL# and Fr# no breakdown for runs or printings.
  • No printings figures listed at all, huge disappointment.
The book is great with lots of useful pictures and catalog numbers but it lacks details. The Standard Guide To Small-Size U.S. Paper Money although limited to small size note is vastly superior. For thirty dollars I expect full details and every minor variety that is known which is why I always skipped this book until the price was worth it. Maybe for the 30th edition I will get the Kindle version.

Do you have a U.S. bill and want to know its book value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

1935-D Wide $1 Silver Certificate

Do you have an old bill  and want to know its value? Leave a comment

My oldest dollar find to date, got it as change after the earthquake but before the hurricane. Although it says 1935-D it was printed somewhere between mid-1949 and early-1953. My previous oldest was a 1935-E found six years ago.

Silver certificates were redeemable in equal dollar amounts worth of silver, either silver dollars or silver bullion. By 1963 they stopped issuing these notes. In 1964 they stopped redeeming them for silver dollars and by 1968 they could no longer be redeemed for one dollar's worth of silver bullion. Like all currency issued by the United States since 1861 they still hold their face value.

Notice the black centering marks below the ONE and on the bottom right margins.

The back number is 4955 which in this case is important because below 5015 means it is a wide variety.

The two rows of almost-squares means it is a wide variety, one row would indicate narrow variety.
The wide and narrow varieties are just minor design changes made to the notes in the late 1940s. The wide being for older notes while the narrow variety are for the newer types. As the captions above show there are two ways of telling if you have a wide variety. First look at the back number for anything 5015 or less. Second count the rows of boxes under the R in DOLLAR on the reverse, if two rows are fully there it is wide.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 1 Dollar / United States
Year: 1935-D Wide
Date Printed: June 1949 - January 1953
Printings: 4,656,968,000 (includes every 1935D printed)
Run: S--------E - F--------G
Value: $3.00 in Very-Fine although this maybe less

This bill is very folded and also has a new cut at the centering mark under and through the ONE in front.

Do you have a note and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1968 Australia Dime

Do you have an Australian coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question

Having displayed eleven of my nineteen Australian coins makes this feel a little less extraordinary. This is a common of the pre-1980 Australian ten cents coin one is worth more than others. I am not sure why this year is worth $4.50 in uncirculated when $2.00 is the average value.

The front has the young bust of Queen Elizabeth II, the country, and year. The reverse has a big ten and a lyrebird.

Here are the stats for this coin...
Type / Country: 10 Cents / Australia
Year: 1968
Mintage: 457,194,000
Metal: Copper-nickel
Value: $0.60 in VF
Do you have an Australian coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1960 Argentina Anniversary Peso

Do you have an Argentinian coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Of the seven Argentinian coins I have this is the oldest and has the highest denomination. It is also special because it it a commemorative coin. They issued a regular 1960 peso but since it was the 150th anniversary of the removal of the Spanish Viceroy of course they needed to celebrate.

25 De Mayo
A week long revolution in May of 1810 ended with the viceroy's ousting from a huge plot of land encompassing at least four modern day countries. After the dust settled a local government was established and more dust got kicked up. War and six years later Argentina was independent from Spain.

25 DE MAYO above building with sun rays, below 1810▴1960
REPUBLICA ARGENTINA ✩ UN PESO ✩ surrounding the Argentinian arms

This coin is slightly heavier than a normal peso and more common but still tastes the same. The entire country has reformed their coinage at least three times since this coin was minted.

Here's the stats ...
Type/Country: 1 Anniversary Peso / Argentina
Year: ND (1810-1960)
Mintage: 98,751,000
Metal: Nickel Clad Steel
Value: $0.75 in XF

Do you have a coin from Argentina and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good For One Unfare

Do you have a fake coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

As a collector you are bound to find some fakes and some pendants well here is nice example of both. Used as part of a key chain or a zipper pull this transit token fake is very popular in New York City.

Almost like a real token expect this one is slightly bigger, has a hole above the Y cutout, and a hoop is attached.
This is an iconic symbol of New York City this Y-cutout type token was used from 1953 - 1970. Accepted on most subways and buses they were modified and redesigned several times. By 2003 the tokens were banished in most places in favor of MetroCards. While now in 2011 the token is one hundred percent eliminated and the MetroCard is seeing its final days thanks to RFID chips in credit cards.

And yes I collect MetroCards whenever possible.

Here are the stats for this fake token...
Type/Country: Y token pendant / U.S.A.
Year: (No date)
Mintage: Unknown
Metal: Possibly Brass?
Diameter: 25.4 mm Weight: 4.44 grams
Value: No Value (Although it probably is sold by the hundreds at $0.05 or more per pendant)
Obverse/Reverse Writing: · GOOD FOR · ONE FARE (encircled), NYC (center)

I could not find the specific wholesaler.

Do you have an odd coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

1972 Guyana Cent

Do you have a Guyana coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

This one stood out because of the intricate and beautiful reverse. Very rarely do you find a coin that puts nothing but a design on one side of a coin. This is because there are so many things a coin is legally mandated to display that every bit of space is needed.

British rule ended in 1966 and Guyana became a republic by 1970. It was until 1976 that they got there on crest which has been used along side the stylized design for most of the late twentieth century. 

Stylized lotus flowers.
BANK OF GUYANA 1972 on outer circle, ONE 1 CENT on inner circle.
This coin looks much more brass colored in hand but the lack of sunlight mad it more coppery.
Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 1 Cent / Guyana
Year: 1972
Mintage: 4,000,000
Metal: Nickel-Brass
Value: $0.05 in VF

Do you have a coin from Guyana and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Swiss Has Holes

Do you have Swiss coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

So many things are wrong with this little obsolete coin. First thing is that it has a hole in it, which is never good. Then it is the wrong color. Finally it is beginning to rust. All of this leads me to believe that some jeweler got their hands on this coin.

The hole is very precise and drilled in one direction. You can barely see that inside the silver color extends into the hole but underneath is a copper color. According to all the records this should be a bronze coin. The coin is slightly magnetic, the strongest attraction being on the edge. Did someone plate it with steel? That would explain the rust.

It is supposed to weigh 1.54 grams if bronze and oddly enough even with the hole that is exactly what it weighs. Again just guessing but the steel is adding extra weight.

It is a tiny coin 16mm meaning it is perfect for all types of jewelery from earrings to pendants to cufflinks. I have even seen these coins sewn on handbags.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 1 Rappen / Switzerland
Year: 1958 B
Mintage: 20,142,000
Metal: Bronze?
Value: Damaged $0.01

If there any other possible explanations for the color please let me know.

Do you have a coin from Switzerland and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

1994 Chuck E. Cheese Token

Do you have a Chuck E. Cheese token and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Never been and hopefully will never go.

The thought of a rat as a mascot is disturbing but that has not stopped the popularity of Chuck E. Cheese. This food and game kid-centered franchise has been around in some form since 1977. Since it first started as a pizza arcade they have issued tokens.

While most arcade token never amount to much the Chuck E. Cheese tokens are different. They are internationally known and have a fan base of over thirty years making all items from them collectible.


All in all excluding minor varieties five basic types exist, let me narrow this one down.

Apparently there are many minor versions. Let us start with the basics The mouse head was changed from the rat to this mouse known as Adult Mouse II, later they switched to a younger mouse.

A little ® with small dots after KID" means it was for corporate branches.  A franchise location would have bigger dots and a bigger ® . This one is 25 mm while another exists at 22.5 mm.

Brass tokens are the most common at about 97.8% of all made followed by copper at 2.1% and white metal at 0.1%.
White metal is a term used for any mixture of silver colored metals. This one could be white metal or nickel plated zinc or nickel plated brass. Aside from cutting them open I found a brass token weighs about 5.60 grams and nickel plated brass should weigh about the same meaning anything lighter would be zinc. Sounds logical.

Checking eBay the cheapest of these average $2.00 but they are all brass. The nickel-plated types average $10.00. Not to mention they still have value at Chuck E. Cheese.

Here are the stats for this token...
Type/Country: (No Value Token) Chuck E. Cheese / U.S.A.
Year: 1994
Mintage: Unknown
Metal: Nickel-Plated Zinc (or white metal or nickel-plated brass)
Diameter: 25 mm Weight: 5.27 grams
Value: $6.00
Obverse/Reverse Writing: "WHERE A KID CAN BE A KID"...1994...

Footnote: Most facts and figures was thanks to the great research done by Mr. Stevens at Forrest's Token Page, the best resource out there. eBay also helped but not as much.

Do you have a token from Chuck E. Cheese and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

1942 East Africa Ten Cents

Do you have an East African coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

The only East Africa coin I own. I decided to showcase this coin because it has such a unique look. Not to mention it is from a place that does not exist anymore, sort of.

East Africa
Known as British East Africa or East Africa Protectorate it was a group of five territories that had a common economic interest. The local colonies had their own constitutions but a rising population from India convinced the British to standardize the economies and issue coins, currency, and stamps. While the colonies became more independent over time the coinage of East Africa lasted from 1919-1965. Today the region is seeing a catastrophic drought resulting in famine on an epic scale.

Around the hole are two pairs of elephant tusks.
The crown divides GEORGIVS VI REX ET IND: IMP: and TEN CENTS is flanked by fleurs.
Holey Coin
It is a big copper about 9.30 grams and 30.5 mm in diameter. My favorite feature is the hole in the center. There are various reasons to have holes in coins. To string together where pockets and purses are not the norm. Also to reduce weight while increasing the size. Even style is a choice since holed coins look and feel different almost immediately among normal change.

Size comparison to an American dime, a 1997 and 1942 U.S. dime are equal in diameter although if I were better at planning I would have found a a dime of the same year.
There are three varieties:
Two: a proof and the above regular circulation from the British Royal Mint in London.
One: a Bombay Mint more scarce version identified by a little I under the N in CENTS.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 10 Cents / East Africa
Year: 1942
Mintage: 12,000,000
Metal: Bronze
Value: $0.50 in Very-Fine

Do you have a coin from East Africa and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wait, Is it For or Against?

Do you have a Netherlands coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Stickers on U.S. coins have been mainly used for commercial advertizing, like the Silver Surfer quarter or the Cici's Pizza cent. With this comes legal issues about using money in an illegal way. American companies use stickers to go around the law but we are not the only country that uses this loophole.

The Netherlands, I believe, has similar laws. I found this sticker-coin in a lot that I bought years ago. When I first got the coin I did not know if the sticker was anti-drugs or pro-needle exchange. At the time in NYC there was a big advertising campaign for clean needle exchanges for drug users. I thought The Netherlands had a similar campaign but some research showed otherwise.

The sticker says drugs gebruiken, is jezelf misbruiken which means drug use, is self abuse. It has a needle and what looks to be a user. I have seen this on Netherlands coins before but in blue font and white background. I do not know if this was a government or non-profit organization campaign. So unless something was lost in translation the message is that all drugs are bad for you.

The coin itself is very scratched and has Netherlands gum, I have seen that gum on other Netherlands coins, stuck to it in places. Still the sticker is flattened enough to see the date of 1969 and the fish mintmark. It could have been the older fish mintmark or the later cοck( rooster ) although both are from the Utrecht Mint.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 1 Gulden / Netherlands
Year: 1969 fish
Mintage: 27,500,000
Metal: Nickel
Value: $0.30 in Fine

Do you have a coin from the Netherlands and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Opening the Vaults

Well less of a vault and more of a bunch of tin cans.

I had been collecting for years before this blog started. Slowly my unorganized collection grew and in the middle of 2005 I decided I should track my finds so I started blogging and listing them as they came in.

Of course this left all the previous finds, gifts, and purchases just sitting there. Recently I used Numismaster to catalog my coins. I placed at least one of each type and year, ignoring multiples, Canadians, and American coins. For example I have 33 British 1992 ten pence but I just cataloged it as one. This was mostly done because Numismaster does not neatly allow for multiple quantities of the same coin. At the same time I finally separated the coins by country.

There is a third box not pictured. This is during the sorting.
This is how Numismaster appraised my collection:
Calculated collection price: $275.55
View My Full Collection of 1,371 coins
Some problems with this estimation is like most coin pricing guides is that most values under extra-fine are not listed, left blank or with that annoying --. So instead of listing current exchange rate values or metal value they decide to give it a null value. I would estimate I was undervalued by anywhere from $13.00 to $130.00. This is just knowing melt value of a copper cent of most countries is more than a cent, not to mention other metals.

Although not confirmed I am sure that I have about 4,000 foreign coins (non-Canadian, non-American) from 108 countries. 

The Vault
So that brings back me to the reason for this post. I need to start showcasing some of these oldies. As you can tell even though I have twenty pounds of coins, which may seem like a lot, the average value for each coin is between $0.05 and $0.10.

I will begin posting some that I like, then after that I will try to post all of them depending on anything that inspires me that day. I will also continue to post change finds as they come but will skip repeats like the 2010 Canada cent I recently found.

Friday, August 05, 2011

1998 Japan 1 Yen

Do you have a Japanese coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

It is an honor to bring you my first Japanese coin find since starting this blog. Found at Starbucks, apparently someone had a yen for coffee. Now let me stop before I offend with bad puns.

Again another non-change find but floor finds do count. Japan coins are also pretty rare to see in circulation. I suspect the recent devastation in Japan has brought more travel between our two nations.

Since I hardly see Japanese coins and the language is quite difficult, even in the age of online translations, it always takes me some time to figure out the year and most of the characters on the coins.

I think the top three characters mean Japan, not sure about the bottom two.

平成mean Heisei year 10 or year 1998 yen
From what I gather about Japanese dates they are based on the ruler. For this coin the ruler is Akihito (Heisei) and it was his tenth year as ruler.

Here are the stats...
Type/Country: 1 Yen / Japan
Year: 1998 (Year 10)
Mintage: 452,412,000
Metal: Aluminum
Value: $0.01 in Fine

Exchange rate is also about $0.01.

Update: Thanks to Anonymous who said; "The bottom two symbols say "one yen"" which I verified with Google Translate = One Yen

Do you have a coin from Japan and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

2007 Russia 10 Kopeks

Do you have a Russian coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Less of a change find and more of a kind gift from a Russian tourist. Oddly enough it was back around August of 2006 that I got my last Russian money also from a tourist. I am sure I found Russian coinage in my change but that was before I started obsessively blogging about them.

Russian coins are not rare but in the United States they are not often seen. Sure in New York City there are huge Russian communities but the fact the coins are not equal in size and color to U.S. coins makes them less likely to end up in change. Oh not mention the history between the two nations, lots of animosity exists.

10 копеек (Kopeks) above a spring vine.
банк России (Bank Russia) 2007 around St. George slaying a dragon. Under the front left hoof is the mint mark
There are four varieties for 2006 and 2007 10 Kopeks...
       1.   Brass - СП = Санкт-Петербург or SP = St. Petersburg
       2.   Brass - М = Москва or M = Moscow
       3.   Brass Plated Steel - СП = Санкт-Петербург or SP = St. Petersburg
       4.   Brass Plated Steel - М = Москва or M = Moscow

The brass version are worth about twice the plated steel version. Of course all you need is a magnet to tell them apart. You can also try weighing them the Brass types are about 1.95 grams while I get the steel types at 1.90 grams, granted I am not positive that it should be lighter.

Here are that stats...
Type / Country: 10 Kopeks / Russia
Year: 2007-СП (St. Petersburg Mint)
Mintage: Unknown (by me at least)
Metal: Brass Plated Steel
Value: $0.25 in Extra-Fine

Do you have a coin from Russia and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, August 01, 2011

2010 Austria 2 Euro Cent

Do you have a Euro and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Three years since my last Austria find and only my second Euro this year. It seems that there are less euro coins floating around in the U.S. circulation. It could because of all the financial crises in Europe or here or everywhere else.

Still this is relatively new euro making it even odder to find. Oh Zwei means two.

Notice the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge,...whoops got a Lady Gaga song stuck in my head. The edge has a groove to distinguish itself from other euro coins which would help when digging in your pocket for change.

Here are the stats...
Type/Country: 2 Euro Cents/Austria
Year: 2010
Mintage: 104,200,000
Metal: Copper Plated Steel
Value: $0.15 in UNC

Exchange rate value is about $0.03 which is not good for the U.S.

Do you have any Euro coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.