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This week’s letters (01/01/13)

 

Finner’s motivations clear in run for ANA presidency
The Dec. 11, 2012, issue of Numismatic News carries a letter from American Numismatic Association Governor Clifford Mishler, recounting at some length the self-proclaimed accomplishments of his tenure in office.
The ostensible purpose of his missive was to announce that he will not be seeking an additional term and opportunity to serve the membership by holding elected office. Apparently, however, still in campaign attack mode, he also takes the opportunity to make gratuitous slaps against me, declaring, without actually naming me, that he ran for the presidency of the association because “the other individual who had announced for this position was doing so for self serving reasons.”
I will leave it to the members of the association, as well as the members of the overall numismatic community, to reach their own conclusions as to the level of taste displayed by Mr. Mishler in the unsubstantiated aspersions he elects to cast of my own motivations for seeking elective office in the association.
I do feel, however, that the tone of his letter, at least in part, is symptomatic of the discord and artificial conflict that has for so long affected and detracted from the governance of the association. The tendency to demonize and question the motivations of those with whom one disagrees diverts attention from any real consideration of policy differences and tends to lessen the effectiveness of any organization’s internal decision making process.
But, perhaps Mr. Mishler did have a point in questioning my motivations. Maybe he had in mind my past service to the association as an ANA Summer Seminar instructor, or perhaps he was concerned about the implications of my 10+ years of service to the numismatic community as a Boy Scout and Girl Scout Merit Badge volunteer counselor; or just maybe he was troubled by my 15+ year record as a past registration and other capacity volunteer at ANA conventions; or it may be that he felt there was some ulterior motive in my record of signing up more new ANA members than I’ve ever even kept track of. If those were the concerns Mr. Mishler had in mind, I certainly must admit that he had a point.
I do feel, however, that both Mr. Mishler and the association, as well as the overall numismatic community, might have been better served had he adopted a more gracious tone in his letter announcing that he will not be seeking reelection.
Patricia Finner
Past ANA governor and vice president
Iola, Wis.

Great Morgan find at Indiana coin store
I enjoy reading each issue of Numismatic News. I travel quite often with the job I have.
When I am on travel the first thing I do is locate a business where I can look at coins and buy if something catches my eye.
I was working in Ft. Wayne, Ind., on this assignment and was at a coin store when a 1890-CC Morgan silver dollar caught my interest. This coin was a solid XF and Morgan CC’s are hard to find. I bought the coin for $150 and was happy with my purchase.
When I got home I was showing this coin to a fellow collector and I told him that the mintmark was not level as the second “C” seemed tilted to the right. He looked at me and shook his head and then informed me that I just bought an 1890- CC Tail Bar Variety for only $150. I then noticed the die mark he was referring to located from the bottom of the tail to the wreath.
I looked in your publication and was surprised to see this coin was a VAM 4 and worth $400 in this condition. This is without a doubt the best coin find I ever had from a purchase.
The very best coin find ever was finding a 1909-S Indian Head cent with my metal detector in a park outside of town. But that is another story.
R. Skruck
Youngstown, Ohio

NN sales stats for $5 gold coin don’t add up
This is the first time that I have had to disagree with you in reference to your weekly article. In this issue, regarding the article “Time to pounce on profits?” you, in error (using figures from the December 4, 2012 issue of Numismatic News) state that the mintage figure shows that only 5,716 proof Star-Spangled Banner $5 gold coins have been sold compared to 5,126 uncirculated specimens.
If looking at the single coin option for both of these coins then your figures are correct. But you have to consider that the proof coin is also available in the two-coin proof set. Ergo, the correct figures for sales is (using totals from Numismatic News Dec. 4, 2012 issue) Proof total 16,773 and the Uncirculated total 5,126.
Updated sales (from the Dec. 11, 2012 issue) shows the latest total to be Proof 17,009 compared to an Uncirculated total of 6,257.
I don’t mean to be rude just wanted to set some figures straight. If I am wrong than please advise me.
Gerald d’Aquin
Harvey, La.

Editor’s Note: You make a good point. Dave Harper talks about it in one of his recent blog postings here.

Waiting to eliminate $1 bill wastes savings
Gee, just saw the AP spin on Congress looking to eliminate the $1 bill and save some $10 million or so over the next 10 years. Boy, I wish I had thought of that!
Why were so many Congress people dead set against it in the past year, and now it’s, hey, we can save mega bucks with this “new idea” of ours. Had they listened, this “new idea” could have been implemented a long time ago.
Tim Coltrin
Glendale Heights, Ill.

Anyone else see misaligned ‘2’ in 2012-D cent?
I do not track much on coin quality from the Mint. However, I did notice a new 2012-D penny that had some irregularities in the date.
The first “2” is smaller than the last “2” and the base of the first “2” is above the baseline established for the overall date. The last “2” in the date is either larger than the first “2” or its base is clearly below the baseline established for the overall date.
I am limited in my ability to examine this closely because all I have is two magnifying glasses stacked on top of one another. I wonder if anyone else has noted this. I would appreciate hearing from anyone with a confirmation or comment at my e-mail, alapoppa@juno.com.
John M. Jenkins
Daleville, Ala.

Don’t like Obama? There’s more to boycott than NN
It’s nice to see someone who stands on his principles.
Duane Harris wrote in the Dec. 4 issue of Numismatic News: “I stopped my subscription to NN because you guys are located in Wisconsin, a state that voted for Obama.”
I am sure that Mr. Harris would not buy any coin made at the San Francisco Mint, the Philadelphia Mint, the Carson City Mint or the Denver Mint, or that’s in a PCGS or NGC holder, or own stock that was traded through the New York Stock Exchange, eat fruit from California or Florida, or do business with anyone in the 26 states plus the District of Columbia that voted for Obama.
Or for that matter buy anything made in Communist China, including Apple computers, small appliances, clothing, etc.
Mel Wacks
California

Wisconsin Sen. Johnson also a CPA
In the article by Jimmy Hayes on internet taxation, (Numismatic News, Dec 11, 2012, p. 18) it is written that Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming is “the only CPA ever elected to the Senate.”
This is apparently incorrect, since Sen. Ron Johnson (Republican of Wisconsin), elected in 2010, is to the best of my knowledge also a CPA. Possibly you can bring this to the writer’s attention.
Leon Saryan
Milwaukee, Wis.

Don’t rely only on auction results to set market prices
I used to be a proponent of the way prices are set, which is mainly by auction prices realized. Most auctions highly promote their items and draw crowds of a select group that can afford to fight over the coin they want for their collection.
But this usually only represents a small group of people bidding on a particular item and the highest price wins. A very microeconomic conclusion for prices set, if you ask me.
Grading is also subjective as most items auctioned are graded by a third party service, which claim all coins submitted get the same amount of attention to detail as others, which I believe is false. A 1794 Flowing Hair dollar that is raw and is being graded by a third party service for an auction firm is likely to get much more attention and the potential over-grading. Simply for publicity. Point being a rare coin like a 1794 flowing hair silver dollar is likely to be pumped up more than the average coin submitted by the average collector. If that is the precedent that mainly sets prices for major trusted price guides such as the Greysheet or Coin Values, then a large segment of the coin market is being under utilized in their statistics.
These guides claim they rely on bourse transactions as well, but minor transactions on the bourse are not recorded like auction prices, so I highly doubt the actual transactions on the bourse are statistically compared to auction prices realized.
It seems to a simple collector/numismatist like me that these high auction prices are driving up coins of the same series, that may not be of the same caliber. More analysis and statistics from smaller sales must be considered into whatever models these value guides use.
Since the interest in gold and silver possession has risen in the past five years, I have found that prices of coins in the past five years have gone up dramatically. Not even silver or gold series but all coins. There has to be a better way to price the overall numismatic marketplace.
Name withheld

Limited edition silver proof set costs too much
I saw on another website a story on the upcoming Mint offering “2012 United States Mint Limited Edition Silver Proof Set” priced at $149.95. What a rip off!
It contains only the silver coins from the proof set plus the ASE proof, so if I bought the 2012 silver proof set and the proof ASE separately I would end up paying about $128, which is already a rip off in my opinion, but the silver proof set has eight more coins which are clad, six dollar coins, the nickel and the penny!
What is so special about this set aside from perhaps having a black and white packaging? Hope this is not the case but that is what was posted on the Mint website. Are they trying to somehow emulate the black holders being reintroduced for this year for certain coins by a grading service? Beats me, but it is totally unimpressive.
The U.S. Mint has not listened to any true collectors or even semi true collectors it seems. They are hell bent on re-packaging existing products and trying to pass them off as something special and mark it up even more. In my opinion, the Mint thinks all its retail customers are so stupid and naive that they will willy nilly buy anything slapped with the word special or limited edition, or … Sorry to say but to me it smacks of many someones trying to fulfill their planned achievements (e.g. introduction of so many new product offerings for the year) in order to get a good review for 2012.
They will lose even more customers but it seems they will not pick up the clues as to why. I have been limiting my purchases from the Mint for quite a while and this kind of offering will only encourage me to cut back further.
Name withheld
New York, N.Y.

Silver Eagle not enough to make set a ‘limited edition’
Here we go again!, The Mint’s newest offering, quote “limited edition” 2012 proof set contains, of all things, a proof 2012-W silver American Eagle.
So they take a bunch of junk coins and slip in the magic coin, the S.A.E. and the coin collecting community is expected to come a running and buy it solely based on the addition of the S.A.E.
Sorry boys and girls, it’s going to take more than one measly silver Eagle to get me to bite. I already own a 2012-W proof silver Eagle.
Michael P. Schmeyer
Halsey Valley, N.Y.

Great new location for Bay State coin show
The New Bay State Coin Show recently had its 48th year as New England’s largest coin show. It was showcased in a new location, the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlboro Mass.. From my point of view it was another high-quality show.
Dealers were wall to wall with a great flow of collectors attending. Chairman was Edward J. Aleo.
I thought the new location had much to offer. There was no difficulty getting to the new location, there was plenty of free parking and it was close to the entrance. A hotel room was $109 for a single or double and came with free breakfast. The food was delicious.
The door prize was a $5 gold coin and with a coupon offer in Numismatic News you got a free U.S. proof set compliments of Northeast Numismatics.
I went to hunt down an 1838-O No Stars Seated Liberty dime. I found four and I took the best in an ANACS holder from Miller’s Mint.
At Pierre Fricke’s table I picked up a few C.S.A notes (T-30 & T-36) and script (Office of the McNeal Coal Co. PA.). I also shopped at James C. Johnston Jr.’s table, Col. Steven Ellsworth’s and others.
What I really enjoy is the wealth of knowledge in one great new location. Like me, Fricke and Johnston Jr. are members of the Collectors Club of Boston (Waltham, Mass).
I highly recommend checking out the new Bay State Coin Show. This change is first-rate!
Richard J. Hand
Brockton, Mass.

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More Coin Collecting Resources:

Get the 2012 Coin of the Year, and begin your collection of the award winning Mint of Israel Biblical Coins Series all at once for one low price!

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin Books Coin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

The Essential Guide to Investing in Precious Metals

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