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Clean out the attic

It could be hard times, or it could be just the next cycle, but people are scrambling to figure out the value of the numismatic items in their possession.

I have had an e-mail this week from someone who thinks he has a Continental dollar coin. I responded by telling him that he needed to have it authenticated because the odds of it being a copy are very high.

Another e-mail came in wanting to know the value of a miscellaneous group of coins. There were a few Morgan and Peace dollars, some pre-1965 silver coins that encompass Mercury dimes, Walking Liberty and Franklin half dollars, Washington quarters and a single Standing Liberty quarter from 1927.

In addition there were a few 40-percent silver half dollars from 1965-1969 and a parallel number of Washington quarters from the same period, probably indicating that they were saved in the mistaken belief that these too contained some silver as the half dollars of those years did.

There were also some Wheat-back cents and a couple of Buffalo nickels.

It is a typical accumulation of a type that was probably assembled in the middle 1960s as silver coins were disappearing from circulation.

While there was no great rarity among the coins listed, it certainly is nice to be able to tell the owner that the silver coins have a basic silver value of 9.5 times face value and the silver dollars are worth a little bit more than that.

These coins once sold won’t make the owner rich, but the proceeds might help bail out a stressed family budget for a week.

Selling the coins, though is a problem. The owner was not particularly close to a city with a coin dealer in it, so the trip to sell them will have to be piggybacked on another one, or the cost of travel will eat up much of the coins’ value. Could they be sold online? I suppose so, but that is something most casual inquirers are not keen on doing.

And, yes, and what did I mean about the next cycle at the beginning?

Well, over the years, there are the darnedest groupings of calls. If I get one type of inquiry, I usually get a small number of additional inquiries along the same line. Singleton questions are more unusual.

Why is that? Good question.