Skip to main content

Busy week for news?

Space collectibles have grabbed the attention of American coin collectors from time to time.

A dozen gold Sacagawea dollars sent into space immediately came to my mind, when I was prompted to think about space late yesterday afternoon by the arrival of a press release from Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

I had to look up which space mission they were on. My memory is not perfect. They went aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999. Then the coins were displayed at the American Numismatic Association convention in Milwaukee in the summer of 2007. That's where I saw them.

By great coincidence, the Stack’s Bower press release also deals with a 1999 space mission, but it was a more historical event than a routine shuttle mission. It deals with China’s first space ship, the Shenzhou I, which completed a 21-hour flight after being launched on Nov. 30, 1999.

Aboard were some stamps and coins.

Stack’s Bowers and its Ponterio branch will hold an auction Dec. 8-9 in Hong Kong. This material will be featured.

Will Chinese buyers go as wild for space material as American buyers have in the past?

This auction will offer good guidance.

In it will be a set of 20- and 100-fen stamps, and 20- and 100-fen sheets. There is also a 1986 1 fen coin. Each piece was notarized by The People’s Republic of China Beijing Notary Office.

Visit the firm’s website for additional details.

Another press relase that came my way yesterday was sent by APMEX, the online bullion coin dealership.

When I need to know the current prices of bullion coins, checking the APMEX website I find is the quickest way to do it.

The firm is expanding its numismatic collectibles offerings.

It says it now has nearly 4,000 coins and paper money items.

I expect there are many collectors who will want to browse the offerings. And like me, they will have to get used to the idea of the popular bullion website also becoming a numismatic website.

The two aspects of numismatics, bullion coins and collectible coins, are logically combined from a business point of view as well as from the point of view of public perception.

Coins are coins are coins, right?

Purist coin collectors might quibble with lumping everything together, but to everyone else, a bullion buyer is a coin collector.

The APMEX website can be reached here.

I see gold is at $1,116.60 and silver is at $15.22.

While you are checking out bullion coins, check out the APMEX collectible coin offerings as well.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

• Subscribe to our monthly Coins magazine – a great resource for any collector!