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This week’s letters (08/13/13)

2014 U.S. Coin Digest

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Great coins still show up in rolls so keep looking
Searching rolls today for 2009 nickels was pretty disappointing, we only found one 2009-P and no 2009-D nickels. The search, which took two of us over an hour, would have been almost a complete waste of our time had it not been for the 1939 doubled Monticello we found. It was beautiful! A high AU grade! Unbelievable coin, what a find!
That just goes to show you, that when you least expect it, you can still find great coins, if you’re looking.
Joseph M. Paulk
Prattville, Ala.

Briefly describe error coin when seeking advice
It is with great satisfaction that I have the pleasure of receiving an ample supply of email and snail mail in response to the articles I write about error and variety coinage for Numismatic News.
However, one thing that readers should know is that when sending an inquiry via snail mail is customary to send a self addressed stamped envelope along with that inquiry. If one is not enclosed I generally set the inquiry to the side and never get to it again.
With emails, if you do not receive a reply within a reasonable time, try again. It is possible for email to get missed, not arrive at all or go into a SPAM bin.
Make sure you put something into the “Subject Line” that will catch the eye. If you leave it empty or it seems too generic it may inadvertently get deleted as SPAM.
In both cases, try to keep the questions short and to the point. If you have two points to make and they are both buried in a three-page letter, I may miss one of them or set the letter to the side and never really get either one of them in spite of my good intentions to do so.
Finally, when sending an inquiry, don’t say “I think I have a rare error — call me” and leave a phone number. Please be brief but state your business in a manner in which I can open the mail and answer quickly.
Ken Potter
Stockbridge, Mich.

Designs for baseball coins nicer than usual
The artists are unleashing some pretty cool designs for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This commemoration in my humble opinion has merit unlike many of the non-circulating commemorative coin programs.
They are generally to raise money and use coin collectors in the process. And the coin designs are less than inspiring. These baseball designs are much nicer!
Wayne Pearson
Union City, Ind.

Shorten articles by leaving out coin values
“Print more stories about coins, not their values.” I totally agree. You could either cut your articles in half or give the reader more meaningful information. When I read these type stories and get to the meandering about values, I go to the next article. I’ve found I can read through the issue in almost half the time.
Also, by so doing, most articles could be presented together instead of continuing on a later page.
Jim Young
Homosassa, Fla.

Shopping venture results in windfall of wheat ears
Wow! I had one of those moments this past week.
We usually spend a week at our favorite resort each year and although it is a six-hour drive, the availability of plenty of golf courses seems to lure me back every year.
While there this past week, my spouse wanted to stop at the antique malls to see if she could find a baking dish so she could find a replacement for the broken lid. I volunteered to make those two stops as she and our daughter were off to go shopping, which is a timeless adventure when they are together.
After stopping at the first mall, I couldn’t find an antique left-handed golf club, but inquired about the dish. Yes, they knew of it, but didn’t have one at the time. So, off to the second on the opposite side of town.
I inquired about the antique golf club and the clerk directed me to the area where he was sure there were some clubs, but couldn’t help me with the left or right handed feature.
Upon locating them, I did find one which would be added to my collection. Upon turning to leave, I noticed a lit display case off in an area close by. After a moment, I thought it fruitless to view coins that were way out of my league in price in previous visits. For some reason, I went over to the case and peered in. I couldn’t believe what I saw.
Being a wheat ears penny collector, I began counting the bags of wheats, which amounted to one roll per container. Ultimately, that total reached 1,600. That is wheat coins, not dollars. What was most exciting was the fact that the collector must have been either a military or corporate related individual for there were about equal amounts of each mintmark.
Being in the nearly exact middle of the U.S., I can’t recall ever seeing an “S” or “P” mintmark at any time in the past 65 years I’ve been collecting. Those do not migrate half way across the U.S. Thus, I had to conclude the only way this vendor had acquired that variety had to have come from being located in the “P” and “S” mint areas. As for the price, they were all priced at what I could consider a conservative level. Thus, I purchased all that were there.
One in a lifetime, if you’re patient, you will come across an opportunity at the most inopportune time. I’m planning on a multitude of winter evenings to work on what some would determine a hoard.
Robert Brommer
Address withheld

Loss of cent won’t hinder use of dollar bill
I realize that everyone has a right to their own opinion, and not everyone will agree with everyone else. Lord knows I have written several letters to the Editor over the years advocating the abolition of the cent, that sent some people into fits that the world would come to an end if we did away with a useless, costly denomination. At least when I write letters to the editor I try to use some logic that would hopefully lead the reader to my conclusion.
Now comes the “Viewpoint” article in the July 23, 2013, issue where the writer states that because Thomas Jefferson designed the decimal system, that to eliminate the cent, the dollar would not work as well as a medium of exchange. Further, eliminating the cent would not allow a purchase to be made for a sum certain.
Huh? Run that past me again. Somehow I am adding up two and two and not coming up with five. Thomas Jefferson lived from 1743-1826. Hey, wait a minute, didn’t the nation use half-cent coins back then? Maybe we should bring those back. I also read that Jefferson used to excavate old Indian mounds to study the relics in them. If that was good enough for Jefferson, it’s good enough for me. Let’s get some shovels, hit the nearest reservation, and start digging.
The point is, the way things are now are different than they were 200 years ago. We can get rid of the cent and the dollar will still be a viable medium of exchange. We can round up or down and everyone will break even over the long run. No one will lose a thing. And we won’t have to debate whether it should be legal to melt copper cents for the metal value. The government mints them at a loss, people melt them for profit, the government makes more at a loss, people melt more for profit, ad infinitum. If there is any logic in that, I can’t find it either. Coin collectors, God bless us, sure love those cents, but the other 99 percent of the population should be considered, too.
Oh, and one more thing, when exactly do you think Canada will rue the day that they dropped the cent? Last I heard, Canada was doing just fine.
Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

Thanks to ANA helpers at Summer FUN
We want to sincerely thank President Tony Swicer and Convention Coordinator Cindy Wibker along with the entire Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Board for letting the American Numismatic Association (ANA) have a free table at your 7th Summer FUN Convention held in Orlando, Fla., on July 11-13, 2013. We were able to sign up 15 members for the Association and pass out The Numismatist and other literature to the many people who stopped by the table. Thanks to Gainesville Coins, Lutz, Fla., for donating $100 to the ANA for the coin show kit shipment.
This was another FUN Convention that had something for everyone. A large bourse, Heritage Auction, exhibits & educational programs (videotaped by Coin Television), coin papers from Krause Publications, Young Numismatist and scout programs, a special kids zone, a well-done program, lots of give a-ways, club tables, grading services, Piedmont Gold Panners, Abe Lincoln and Gen. Robert E. Lee impersonators and PPI Security which kept the convention safe.
The attendance appeared to be fairly steady for the show. Like other years FUN sponsored and paid for buses to bring several coin clubs to the convention. Thanks again to all the dedicated FUN board members, their assistants and everyone else who help to make FUN the great organization it is. We look forward to next year’s Summer FUN, which will be held on July 10-12, 2014.
John and Nancy Wilson
ANA National Volunteers
Ocala, Fla.

Gash in 2013-W Eagle reverse proof
Wow! I was looking forward to receiving my 2013-W silver Eagle set in the mail this week (July 8). It came a few days ago. I was excited to open it and look at the two coins to see the beautiful art these eagles have come to be known for. The standard proof was excellent and probably graded out at PF 69-70, but I do not have my new coins graded, just collect them for visual enjoyment and to pass on to the next of kin.
When I turned to the coveted reverse proof the obverse was unbelievable to look at. I was mesmerized at the beauty of the coin. Then I turned it over and saw a machine gash on the reverse at 3 o’clock. A closure look showed that the coin must have been stuck (or?) and a piece of machinery gouged a nice slash out of the back field. I was surprised that such an apparent failure of the quality control process would have let this coin pass inspection!
There are only a few of these coin sets made and as the cost is at a premium, far more than the silver worth, I expected a better quality coin. Guess I should learn from past experienced, but hey I am a collector and expect the best from the good old U.S. government (and their contractors?), right. I called the U.S. Mint (or was it the contractor?) and asked if they had a replacement set for me, as I did not want to part with this set unless I was assured there would be a another set in inventory made available for my use. I was told that yes, they had one for me and had talked to a supervisor to ensure that one would be held for my replacement set. I asked that it be inspected before shipping so that I did not end up with another problem coin. I was told that would be done.
I write this letter today in hopes the customer service representative and her supervisor were not giving me a “feel good” answer and hoped that I would forget the conversation. But now that is so negative. Sorry, of course I will get a replacement set even though I had to pay postage (again) and insurance, etc. to return the set and to correct the U.S .Mint’s error (is that double jeopardy?). The replacement set should provide me with many years of fun and enjoyment. If I really do get a second set. Oh, all is good, I just need to remember that this happens and to err is human? Again? To do the same action over and over again expecting a different result is defined as insanity! This is not the first coin from the U.S. Mint that has had problems and passed quality control inspectors. Oh well, “we’re from the government and we are here to help. That will be $139.95 plus double shipping fees and insurance on the return.” Ouch! May be cheaper to buy a slab off of one of the auction sites? Gad!
Maybe I should try collecting stamps instead. Oh, the post office is affiliated with the same organization, right? Fiddle sticks.
Jay Elder
Portland, Ore.

 

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