“How much are my Snow White coins worth?” the voice on the other end of the phone line asked me late yesterday afternoon.
I was taken completely by surprise. I was waiting for somebody to start laughing to prove somebody was pulling a prank, but it didn’t happen.
“I’m not familiar with them,” I replied. “Can you tell me what country they’re from?” I asked.
Then apparently it was his turn to be surprised. He expected that everybody knows they are from the United States.
I pointed out there were no Snow White coins from the United States, but they sounded like privately produced medals.
That didn’t faze him.
“So, how much are my coins worth? I’ve got Snow White and Grumpy and Dopey” and he recounted the rest of the seven dwarfs
I asked him where he had purchased them, hoping to buy time as I googled Snow White. I was also speaking in a manner that signaled to Debbie Bradley and she started googling also.
He said he bought the “coins” from a guy in Michigan who is now dead. He didn't have a computer was his reply when I suggested he might try googling for information.
I apologized a bit, saying that our database listed official coins and not privately produced medals.
“So how much do you think my coins are worth?” he repeated.
“What are they made of?” I asked.
He replied that they were made of silver, which bought me a little more time because I said privately produced medals tend to trade for the value of the metal in them.
“So how much are my coins worth?” the caller asked again as Debbie Bradley shouted out “Disney.”
“Are they from Disney?” I asked.
He said yes.
Debbie found that they contained 5 troy ounces of silver and I repeated this information to the caller.
“So how much do you think my coins are worth?” he asked yet again.
Silver is at $33 an ounce and times five ounces it comes to $165 for each piece.
“That’s over $1,000,” the caller exclaimed.
I replied that it was closer to $2,000, as the info I had just gotten said the full set is 11 pieces.
He seemed quite pleased with the value. The set was released in 1987 and he apparently had owned them since then.
“You know where I can sell them? I’ve also got Harry Potter and Snoopy ...”
And so the call went.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."