I have looked on the Internet and cannot find this coin or any info
on it. Is it worth anything?
Mr. Kaczmar’s coin appears to be a 1989 Mexican brass 20-peso
coin, which is no longer legal tender in that country (as of Jan. 1,
1993, when Mexico remonetized its coins and paper money).
As a collectible, its value is negligible. Krause’s Standard
Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000 values it at 15 cents (U.S.)
coin in Very Fine condition and at 30 cents in Extremely Fine. I would
estimate its condition to be somewhere in that range. Even in
Uncirculated, the Standard Catalog only gives it a value of $1.50. If
sold to a coin shop, a retailer might offer a few cents for it, at best.
Nonetheless, world coins like this one are great conversation
pieces and are good avenues for getting youngsters, and even older
folk, involved in coin collecting.
Regarding the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition
“souvenir penny” featured in the March 19 “Readers Ask,” past Coin
World writer Eric von Klinger writes: “The 1915 Pan-Pac souvenir
penny is probably cataloged in a book on such pieces in the Coin
World library. Such pieces were commonly called ‘lucky pennies,’
and I believe the title of the book refers to ‘large lucky pennies.’
For an idea of price, refer to Steve Alpert’s general book on tokens
and medals. This book is about 20 years old, but the Pan-Pac ‘penny’
was probably sold in quantity, so figure a generic common price in the
Alpert book and double it, at least.”
Of the two Alpert books consulted — Tokens and Medals: A Guide
to the Identification and Values of United States Exonumia
(1982) by Stephen P. Alpert and Lawrence E. Elman, and Large Lucky
Souvenir Coins (1979) by Alpert — neither lists an exact match to the
souvenir piece in question.
The most similar piece is found in Large Lucky Souvenir Coins,
cataloged by Alpert as “760 A,” but the Indian Head rendering on the
obverse is not nearly as refined and the piece has a different,
mountainous horizon on the reverse. As well, the 760 A piece carries
the legend DES. PAT. APLD. PURE COPPER on its reverse, whereas the
example featured in the March 19 “Readers Ask” does not. Alpert’s
Tokens and Medals book does not give detailed listings, but general
It is likely, then, that the “lucky penny” is a variation (or the
other pieces are variations in relation to it) seemingly unlisted in
Alpert’s books in our library. Hobbyists with any further information
are welcome to contact us.
Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins
or other items for examination without prior permission from staff
member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety
coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be
returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call
(800) 673-8311, Ext. 274.