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This week’s letters (12/18/12)

 

Time to make changes to all U.S. coin series
I would like to respond to some comments in Jayne Shelby’s letter in the Nov. 20 NN.
I have to agree making a cent/penny which costs more than it’s worth is insane. No one would do this, would they? I agree that it’s time to change our change, no pun intended. All the series of coinage should be revised, we have paid homage.
I like the idea of a “March of Dimes” dime commemorative, Jayne. I thought the America the Beautiful quarters would have been better depicted on the half dollar. As far as getting rid of commemorative dollars and halves, I would have to disagree. They only make two commemorative dollars a year and halves less frequently, and I am an average Joe.
I like your idea of changing “In God We Trust” to either “In Freedom/Liberty We Trust.” But it doesn’t matter to me, my dog is a god!
I don’t want to bust anyone’s chops, but FYI the cent/penny has been around for a lot longer than 103 years.
Byron Wood
Aurora, Colo.

Show attendees should stop complaining about dealers
Frankly, I am growing tired of reading letters in which coin show attendees carp, grouse and bellyache about dealers leaving shows early. It seems that such people, who make no efforts to arrive earlier, expect all the dealers to stay open just for them. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of these people also expect dealers to slash prices at the end of the show for them as well. I’ve seen it happen. If a dealer, who assumes the risks and pays the rent, wants to leave early, he should be allowed to, and not be punished like a naughty schoolboy. The customer, who only pays the entrance fee, if any, shouldn’t feel so entitled as to expect all of the dealers to remain set up. In my experiences as a dealer, most of the of the late arrivals are often last-minute bargain hunters and browsers, rarely serious buyers.
Instead of writing letters and wanting to see dealers punished, coin show attendees should put more of their efforts into getting to the show on time, which would avoid the whole issue.
William Bejda
Cicero, Ill.

Five-star generals each deserve gold, silver coins
This comment is in regard to the article about the commems honoring our five-star generals. It would have been better to have each general depicted on his own coin like the size of a half dollar in 90 percent silver. Ike was on the dollar coin in 1990. I have both types in my Dansco album. I also have a proof coin in 69 grade by NGC.
I think if the Mint wanted to make a gold coin, they should have made it as a 1/4-ounce size for each general. In my opinion, the $5 is so small, I have to use a magnifying glass to see the details on one.
I believe five gold coins and five silver coins in a nice display box would have sold very well.
H.S. Evans
Bainbridge, Ind.

NN’s 20th anniversary celebrated with Iola cover
Looking at your 60th Anniversary issue I remembered something I had from your 20th anniversary!
My wife (then my fiancé) purchased my first subscription to Numismatic News for me as a present. With that subscription came a 20th anniversary cover cancelled in Iola, Wis., with an Ike dollar. Searching revealed I still had those preceding items. Enclosed is a photocopy of them.
Janet Crano (now my wife of over 40 years) is still getting me subscriptions to your great publication. Keep up the good work for another 60 years!
Michael J. Crano
Diamond, Ohio

Let young people discover the hobby; don’t force it
As a Young Numismatist, I feel that we get special treatment when it comes to getting involved in the hobby. I have often heard stories of how people, when they were young, were not treated as well when it came to going to coin club meetings, etc. So, I don’t get why we get treated special now. We didn’t get treated special then, and look how many young people got into it. Sure, the idea of coin collecting being “cool” has changed, but that doesn’t mean you need to beg us to join hobby groups.
If I had not found coin collecting, and all of the sudden I have to go with my dad to some uncool coin meeting, I would probably not become a collector; but if I was given my great-grandfather’s coin collection, it might have a slim chance of igniting a spark that would kindle into me being a coin collector.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is if you are looking for younger audiences at your shows/meetings, don’t try to bribe us, but instead spark a fire inside us by letting us find coin collecting on our own.
Taylor W.
Address withheld

Coin collecting bug first bit 50 years ago
I started coin collecting in eighth grade. I was 13 years old in 1960. My brother would get the lunch cashier to pull all the Buffalo nickels each day. He would get on average five to seven nickels each day. He kept the ones with dates, and I took the rest. He had over 40 nickels with dates and needed $2. He sold me the nickels. From there, I became a coin collector.
I started with the Whitman books: cents, nickels, dimes and halves. I didn’t collect quarters for some reason – probably because of the expense – but I did like the half dollars.
When later teenage years came along, you lose interest in coins. Somehow after all the years, including three years in the Army, my coins survived; baseball cards didn’t.
When the late ’70 and early ’80s came along with silver going to $50 an ounce, I became interested again. Bought and sold some silver coins and bars. Of course, that ran its course and I moved onto baseball cards in 1982. I returned to coins in the middle ’90s.
My dad was not a coin collector, but he always said to have some precious metals on hand. I still have most of my original coins but found a lot of Mint State pennies in the ’20s and ’30s. I would go through $50 of loose pennies from the bank and roll them for the bank. No machines back then for coins. I would go through bag after bag, with help from coworkers in 1964. By 1964, pennies were half Wheat and half Memorial.
I go through rolls of coins, average 7,000 to 8,000 rolls a year. I average 20-plus silver dimes, 20-plus silver nickels and three-plus silver quarters.
Gary Diehl
Shippensburg, Pa.

Looking to buy NN anniversary stamp, medal
In the 60th year issue on Page 70 was a first day issue of Numismatic News’ 25 years of service stamp and 30-year medals. I’m hoping that there is someone out there who has these that they would be willing to sell to me. I’m a numismatics and stamp collector. They very often go hand-in-hand.
I first started collecting stamps in my ’tween years as it was really cheap to do. Over the years I’ve been collecting coins, most from pocket change. In the last four years my wife has encouraged me to collect coins and has gotten family and friends to buy or give me gift cards to buy coins with. Since this time, I have spent a large amount of money buying coins.
I am trying to get coins from the years of my family’s birth years plus any more that may come along. I have many completed sets and am working on sets that still haven’t been minted yet (state park quarters, etc.). I would thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
Name withheld
Orlando, Fla.

Canada over the top with commemorative coins
Wow! What a way to go, Canada. Now that they were wise enough to discontinue the penny or more properly the cent, they now are on a commemorative binge! First a $20 silver coin commemorative of the demise of the cent. Also additional cent coins of 1/2-ounce gold-plated silver, a 5-ounce silver cent, a 1/25-ounce gold cent and a silver type set of the five former designs of the cent. Numismatically speaking, I should move to Canada. I like to come up with new ideas for coins but they outdo me by a long shot! Perhaps they need to come here and help us with our moribund coinage.
Perhaps they can yet go further and come out with a million dollar bill with a mintage of 50. Sell each one and instantly get a tidy profit of 50 million! I am trying to give them ideas like they are giving me ideas. How do they think of all these coin ideas? They must stay awake both day and night to concoct these things. I try my best but I am a poor piker as far as they are concerned, not even fit to lick the tarnish of their coins.
My idea is to have a 100th anniversary set of the first Indian Head Buffalo nickel and the last Liberty Head nickel in 2013. Also a 2016 100th anniversary of the 1916 Walking Liberty and Mercury coins along with the last of the Barbers. Run a questionnaire in your newspaper on this like you did about 50-year Kennedy commemoratives.
My idea is to discontinue both the cent and half. For the final year of the cent, make a 5-ounce commemorative in pure copper. Also like Canada, a set of former designs: 1793 Chain, 1794 Flowing Hair, Bust Flowing Hair, Turban Head, Matron Head, Coronet and small cent, Flying Eagle, Indian, Wheat and Memorial. All with current dates and of course anniversary dates.
For the half, a 5-ounce silver coin and a type set of halves: 1794 Flowing Hair, early Bust, both large and small Eagle, Bust Turban Head, Seated Liberty, Barber, Walking Liberty and Franklin. Also, make sure to only offer them for sale for one day like the five-coin Silver Eagle anniversary set so the collectors will be angry.
Anyway, I hope my ideas could be put to use. Canada listens and does. My suggestions for Canada, if they are listening, is to actually use mintmarks. I believe they have two mints – one in Ottawa and Winnipeg – but I never remember seeing any mintmarks. Imagine how much more money they could rake in if they sold mintmarked sets. Strangely enough, Mexico only has one mint but they coins are always mintmarked.
Also, redesign the 75-year-old circulating designs. Make limited issue one million dollar bills so the money will flow in like the Mighty Mississippi.
Canada, I love you. Please help us with ideas. We need more life! Perhaps we may go broke but we will have fun doing it! At least it isn’t booze or gambling.
Even a Tooth Fairy coin! Who’d a thunk.
I noticed another thing in the paper about Canada coins that I find of interest. The 5-ounce silver cent sells for a whopping $609.95! With silver hovering in the neighborhood of $30 an ounce, give or take a few dollars, the coin sells for almost four times its silver value. Outrageously exorbitant! A Toronto city map 2-ounce silver coin sells for $163.05, close to three times its silver value.
The idea of a Toronto city map coin intrigues me since I got to thinking about our 12 Federal Reserve Districts. Put two and two together and I came up with an idea of a 12-set commemorative $1 or $2 set of all the Federal Reserve Districts, but with each on featuring on the reverse a highlight of the Federal Reserve District from which it came:
1) Boston might feature Boston Harbor. 2) New York Harbor, the Empire State Building or something as such. 3) Philadelphia, perhaps Independence Hall. 4) Cleveland, the Terminal Tower. 6) Atlanta, Stone Mountain. 8) St. Louis, the famous Gateway Arch. 12) San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge.
This would be a new and exciting venue and historically enlightening like the state quarters were. We would learn all about the cities our Federal Reserve notes come from by the city landmarks on the paper money.
Canada so inspires me to have ideas on our coins and currency. I don’t understand, however, why they have so many commemorative coins but so little commemorative paper money. It really isn’t balanced. Hopefully this will change in the future. Paper money could be sold for so much cheaper than coins and could be made much more colorful.
I feel like small potatoes and the Canada Mint is big cheese as far as ideas are concerned. We need to use them and to innovate. Take an idea like a Toronto city map coin and come out with a 12 Federal Reserve set of landmark currency. If we really set our minds to it, we can beat the Canada Mint at its own game and for far less money and return coin collecting to the inexpensive, fun hobby it used to be.
A friend tells me he read that Canada is going to a plastic polymer type of currency with different smells and scents of different denominations for the blind to distinguish. Example, the $100 would smell like maple syrup, the $50 like peach, the $20 like vanilla and so forth. What next?
We know the U.S. is far behind the times when almost the rest of the world uses metric and we are out of step with the old, antiquated system that we use. Shame on us! So why should our coinage be any different?
It kind of amazes me that Canada is coming out with so many types of cents to commemorate its demise. But when the paper $1 and $2 bill were discontinued, why no commemorative paper money for that event?
Canada continues to fascinate me with all their ideas. I really don’t know how they do it. Perhaps the boom will end like commemoratives did in 1937 and the buyers will have fun when they try to sell. But let’s ride the wave while we can and come up with cheaper, more reasonable ideas. Their ideas are noteworthy but their prices are not. How are school children to get educational coins at these prices?
Bob Olekson
Parma, Ohio

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