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This week’s letters (04/02/13)

 

All 2009 cents sold in sets were 95 percent copper
Please clear this up for me. I know the 2009 satin finish Lincoln cents are brass. It is listed that way in the literature that came with the mint set.
Now, the proof sets’ literature says the same thing, but I believe that was a mistake and that the cents in the proof sets are copper-plated zinc.
If my memory is serving me the way it should, NN even ran an article about this back in 2009. Can you truly research this and let me know? I know your price guide seems to indicate that the 2009 proof cents are brass, but the Red Book indicates that they are both brass, which I still think is wrong and that the only brass for that year was the ones in the Mint sets. Can you please check this out?
Jim Knapp
Roach, Mo.

Editor’s note: All cents sold to collectors by the Mint in sets in 2009 were 95 percent copper.
Might as well have some fun with $1 trillion coin
I picked up a nice little conversation piece the other day, a copy of the proposed trillion dollar coin, from New England Mint for $10. It was sold as a medal not a coin.
I’ve got a few friends who went ballistic when they heard about it. I told them don’t worry, they don’t even have that amount of platinum in reserve to mint a coin with an actual value of $1 trillion dollars.
I’m going to have some fun and say, yup got me one of them there trillion dollar coins!
Michael P. Schmeyer
Halsey Valley, N.Y.

Mint offered Bicentennial gold set in 1993
Didn’t you just print a letter recently where the writer bemoaned the fact that the Mint hadn’t done anything for its bicentennial?
The writer should know that the Mint did produce the 1993 Bicentennial gold set ($25, $10, $5 AGE’s, $1 ASE, and a Bicentiennial medal.) There were 12,689 sets made, and I don’t believe the medal was available by itself. Try finding a set that hasn’t been slabbed out or even Google it to see if you can find a set.
Just thought the letter writer might want to know that there was a set made.
Doug Jennings
Petersburg, Mich.

California gold coins weren’t minted in 1849
In the March 5 Numismatic News “Letters” column, Charlie Chalberg asked for information on “…a small 1849 California gold coin…[with] a bear surrounded by vines on the other [side]….” that belongs to a friend of his.
You suggested that he buy your annual U.S. Coin Digest, which contains a California gold section, in order to find out more about his friend’s coin.
Unfortunately, (a) since no genuine California gold coins were minted before 1852 and (b) no genuine California gold coins have a bear on one side, Charlie Chalberg is not likely to find much information about his friend’s coin in U.S. Coin Digest, except perhaps that it is a modern replica, possibly worth a few dollars at most, if it happened to contain a small amount of low karat gold.
Bob Bair
Denver, Colo.

Saudi coins struck at Mint belong in coin guides
I would like to know more about the 1945 and 1947 Saudi Aramco gold pieces struck at the U.S. Mint.
It is my understanding that they are some of the very few gold items produced by the U.S. Mint between Roosevelt’s recall and Ford’s end to the prohibition in 1974. This, along with their secret beginnings and mystery shrouded existence should make for a compelling case for their inclusion in mainstream U.S. coin guides.
Name withheld
Mars Hill, N.C.

Editor’s note: They are listed in the Standard Catalog of World Coins under Saudi Arabia. The 1947 piece was British sovereign (1 pound) size with a mintage of 123,000. The 1945-1946 issues were four times that size with a face value of 4 pounds. Mintage was 91,000. Most were melted after they were received by the Saudi government in payment for oil.

Packaging error doesn’t add to set’s value
I have a 1973 mint set that has in the “D” package a second quarter that is packaged on top of the half dollar.
I have never seen this before and cannot find any information about it.
I would appreciate any information you might have.
Richard Welts
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Editor’s note: Because packaging errors are easily faked, they command little premium on the secondary market. The underlying value of the coins will be the value of the set.

2013-D coins show up in Maryland
Great day. Stopped at a fast food restaurant and in change got a 2013-D 5- cent piece and 2013-D cent. I asked to get some more change, but no more coins found.
They are out there. A tourist, truck driver or other visitor from the West must have spent them. Lucky day for me!! Good hunting.
Tom Mooningham
Hagerstown, Md.

Still lots of great finds in circulating coins
This isn’t about a million dollar coin. It’s about checkin’ your change.
About three years ago, at the local green grocer, I received an impaired proof 1996-S nickel. I really felt lucky so I went back the next day, bought some fruit and lo and behold, I got another impaired proof 2004-S nickel! No such luck the next day.
Several months ago, my wife went to Starbucks. She saves all her change because she knows I love to look at coins, so when she comes home she’ll dump it out on the counter and I’ll check ‘em.
Holy smokes! She had a 1942-D silver nickel in the pile!
A friend felt lucky and ordered $500 worth of 50-cent rolls; he had to wait for them as his bank had to order them. While I was at my bank I happened to ask the manager if they had any 50-cent rolls. It was a coincidence, they did. So I picked up $500, too.
The first roll I opened really got me excited. I found a 1990-S, another impaired proof! I also found an extremely weak strike of the 1976. I recognized it as the ‘76 because there is a very weak stamp of the building on the reverse. No date or mottos and Kennedy is a silhouette, obviously an error coin.
Needless to say, the other 998 stunk, but I felt rewarded for those two coins.
Here’s the absolute mind blower! Again, my lucky wife came home the other night and dumped the coins; I did my routine. OK, they’re not worth a fortune, but they’re worth looking through. I found a 2013 White Mountain quarter and a 1919 wheatie. The aged wheatie really took me by surprise, we regularly get ‘40s or ‘50s.
The next night floored me. In her change dump there was something that brought a tear to my eye – a 1919 Buffalo! The coin has 2 1/2 digits, “919” and some horn; not bad for a 94-year-old circulated coin.
The point of my letter is to give all collectors inspiration, if these are any indication of what’s out there and in circulation, who knows? I have many friends who swipe everything and change never ever touches their hands. Tsk, tsk.
Jack Abbott
Woodside, N.Y.

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