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This week’s letters (11/12/13)

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Eliasberg collection was complete Nov. 7, 1950
I enjoyed the article, “Rare 1913 nickel for sale,” which appeared in the Oct. 15 edition of Numismatic News.
The article included the comment that my father’s collection was “virtually complete.” On Nov. 7, 1950, the date he completed his collection, it was considered a complete collection of every date, denomination and mintmark. Enclosed is a copy of a page from his biography referring to that acquisition and completion.
Subsequent to that date, a previously unknown coin was discovered and also a previously declared pattern piece was reclassified as a “coin.” However, on the date of completion, his collection was considered fully complete.
Richard A. Eliasberg
Baltimore, Md.

2009 95% copper Lincolns were only in collector sets
I have collected coins, mainly Lincoln cents since the early 1950s when my grandparents gave me a 2-cent piece along with a 3-cent nickel. Before that, I only knew of Lincoln cents.
Back then most kids collected coins. The Lincoln was at the top of the list. It was only 1 cent, 100 to a buck, that is if you had a buck.
The cent was what we could afford to collect. I really liked the Wheat-backs. When they changed to Memorials in 1959 I didn’t care for the reverse. It took me only 48 years to finally accept it, then they go and change it in 2009. Four different reverses put a spark in Lincoln cents that year. For four years now we have the Union Shield reverse and I’m already tired to those. Is anyone else?
But I do collect all Wheat-backs I come across 1959 to 1982, the last year of the coppers. In the 1950s and 1960s I used to go to the City Bank in Clinton, Iowa, to buy or exchange bags of parking meter pennies.
Now I search common or local rolls and $50 Federal Reserve bags being sent back for the Feds to reroll. Not too many people know you can buy the $50, 5,000 cents, bulk bags from the bank before they spend the money to ship them off. You only have to roll them or bulk count them.
It helps to have good relations with bank employees and they’ll help anyway they can. I’ve gotten several into collecting some coins. They will save anything unusual for me to identify for them. Also, they advise people who bring coins to the bank that I will grade value their coins for them.
Recently I purchased three $50 bags, or 15,000 cents. Among them was only $2 worth of 2009 varieties.
In 2009, the Lincoln birthplace design has a total mintage of 634,800,000, the Formative Years design 739,600,000, Professional 652,000,000 and Presidency 327,600,000 for a combined total of 2,354,000,000, which is less than the 5,408,400,000 mintage total for 2008.
Where’s the mintage of the 95 percent copper cents of 2009? Where does a person find them. What about values?
Lynn R. Roberts
Address withheld
Editor’s note: Because the 95 percent copper Lincolns of 2009 were struck only for the collector sets issued in that year, the numbers of sets sold would also be the number of 95 percent copper cents produced. These cents also tend not to be broken out of the sets to trade individually, so individual prices often are not listed.

Write a story about ringed bimetallic coins
I wanted to drop you a suggestion for Numismatic News and or any sister publications that you could write a series of articles on ringed bimetallic coins. They are very pretty to look at and very different from anything the U.S. issues. A majority of countries issues them as well.
Recently I have been buying different versions of ringed bimetallic coins from various countries via eBay that look interesting. I pictured three that I really like from Brazil, Egypt and Uruguay.
I also want to suggest a series of articles on which President was in office when various coins came into being, such as which President signed the law for the Lincoln cent, which President for the Washington quarter and so on. How many were Democrats and how many were Republican?
For example, Reagan signed the gold and silver bullion Eagle coins into law while Clinton signed the platinum into law.
It might make interesting reading. Show pictures of other designs considered, e.g., the Felix Schlag Monticello original version for the five-cent coin and the different Sinnock dime reverse in 1946 of the hand holding the torch.
Wayne Pearson
Union City, Ind.

Put sports teams on coins to spur interest
People aren’t so excited about the park quarters as they were about the state quarters. I think the reason is people can’t relate to them.
There are only a few parks that are known nationally, like the Grand Canyon National Park. Parks are mostly known locally.
After this series is over, I suggest we depict our nation’s sports teams, baseball, football, soccer, hockey, basketball, etc.
I could see young people excitedly waiting for the next issue to come out. Plus there is no need to send drawings to the judges for the reverse side. Just use each team’s own logo. Keep it simple.
World coins depict sports a lot.
Barry Adamson
Glendale, Ariz.

Time to retell discovery of 1862 $1,000 note
Regarding the Sept. 10 article on the $1,000 note dated 1862 that brought nearly $900,000 in the Stack’s Bowers mid-August auction, a few notes spring to mind.
First and foremost, tales of found treasure are always intriguing and of keen interest to your readers. If this note (and apparently others of similar interest) was in fact discovered in a jar in an oat bin on a Missouri farm in 1966, almost a half century ago, it might very well behoove you to research your archives and retell the story of the finding. I’m sure your readers would find the story most interesting.
I mean who would hide such a treasure in a jar in an oat bin? That fact alone merits retelling for such a detective story it must be.
Under what circumstances were these notes obtained? The one auctioned off would have been nearly 100 years old when it was discovered. What were the other notes? Who found them and how did they happen to be just digging in an oat bid some 50 years ago?
Who had lived on the farm and how did they come by a stash of such an enormous sum of money from the 19th century? You must remember that $40,000 in old bills (if they were all of that era) would have been a king’s ransom in the late 1800s, yet someone managed to obtain, keep and secrete that amount of money away and allow it to remain hidden even throughout the Great Depression until it was uncovered some 50 years ago.
It sounds like a wonderful story and I’m sure your readers would be thrilled by if only you would go back in time and dig it out and print it.
Jeff Danison
Delaware, Ohio

Mint an affordable Kennedy anniversary coin
I am totally amazed how different the Mint is treating the collectors in regard to a 50th anniversary affordable Kennedy half dollar set when compared to the pricey reverse proof gold 100th anniversary Buffalo 1 ounce.
Why doesn’t the Mint act the same way toward a Kennedy commemoration like they did the Buffalo commemoration? No sets of any kind except a reverse proof Kennedy half dollar struck in .999 fine gold. Perhaps for an added feature, change the “In God We Trust” motto to “In Gold We Trust” and sell it for at least $1,000 or more.
If collectors complain, the Mint could say “tough beans” and collectors weren’t smart enough to win the lottery or to have a rich aunt’s inheritance.
If they do so for the Buffalo, it only figures they should do the same for the Kennedy. It would be nice to have a collector’s set of Buffalo nickels, all mints included, even the “W.” But then when does the Mint really listen to the collectors or even ask their opinions?
Bob Olekson
Parma, Ohio

Collector hits jackpot with nickel finds in circulation
A coin search has similar features to gold prospecting as I went through my “pay dirt” of nickel rolls purchased at a local bank. I hit a “pay streak” in the month of August with the following results: $40 in nickels yielded: 1935-S XF, 1936 fine, 1926-S fine, 1943-D, two 1943-S, three 1945-S silver nickels. Went back two days later for another $50 in nickels and was rewarded with a 1916 good, 1918 good, 1931-S VF, two 1943-P, three 1943-S, 1944-S and 1945-S war nickels.
Unfortunately, when I returned to purchase additional rolls of nickels the teller informed me that another customer had purchased $300 in nickels. I guess I didn’t move fast enough to purchase additional rolls.
But my good fortune did not end. I went to another branch and purchased $30 in nickels and on the very top of a roll I could see the reverse Type 2 Buffalo nickel. It had no date but a clear “S” mintmark, so I applied a drop of Nic-A-Date and was surprised to see “1913” appear before my eyes. I couldn’t believe it, a 1913-S Type Buffalo nickel.
With the “tailings” of the remaining nickels, I had no problem depositing the coins into my bank account. But with the great find, I wonder if another collector’s collection had inadvertently been dumped into the coin packaging bins of NF String & Sons.
My Lincoln 1999 Wide AM I discovered in March was graded AU-58 by the Professional Coin Grading Service, so there are so many great coins out them among the billions and billions of coins in circulation.
Happy hunting.
C. Takasane
Honolulu, Hawaii

 

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