? Wasn?t there a 1964 Kennedy half dollar that sold for $18,000?
Yes. It was a remarkable sum for a coin that was just five years old. The coin was glued to the outside of an envelope postmarked March 24, 1964. This was the new Kennedy half dollars? first day of issue. The coin was purchased and affixed to the envelope by John M. Baker. It sold for $2,000 in 1967, and then sold for $18,000 at an auction held by the Collectors of Certified Coins Sept. 27, 1969. It sold to John Marquardt, who indicated after the sale that he had been prepared to go as high as $30,000 to buy the piece. The piece was one of two that Baker had cancelled on the first day of issue.
? I?ve seen lots of questions in your columns about coins and paper money with PVC damage. Is the same true for silver bars?
If you have one of the albums that was made back in the early ?70s when the silver bar craze was at its height, you?d better dig it out of storage and check for PVC damage. The same products used to remove PVC stains from coins will work on the bars.
? What would cause some of my copper alloy coins to have a mottled, unnatural reddish color?
The most likely cause is that they have been in a fire. Intense heat will cause oxidation and a very distinctive reddish appearance. Unfortunately, the effects are deep-seated and permanent. They sharply reduce or eliminate any collector value.
? Why all the warnings about touching coins?
A fingerprint on a numismatic item will sharply reduce its value. The natural oils on your skin will etch the fingerprint into the surface of the coin. This causes permanent damage and reduces the collector value. Make it a habit to always hold the item by the edge.
? I have a gold $2.50 quarter eagle that has an indented line around the obverse just in from the rim. Did this happen at the mint?
It seems like damage that occurred after the coin was minted. I would suspect that it was probably caused by being crimped into a ring to attach it to a piece of jewelry. Such damage will reduce the value of the piece, probably to the bullion content.
Address questions to Coin Clinic, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions. Include a loose 41-cent stamp for reply. Write first for specific mailing instructions before submitting numismatic material. We cannot accept unsolicited items. E-mail inquiries should be sent to Answerman2@aol.com.