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Letters to the Editor
- Letters to the Editor (March 1, 2016) Mint makes fast delivery of flawless Twain coinJust for the record, I received notification from the U.S. Mint that my Mark Twain silver dollar coin had been shipped on Feb. 2. It arrived Feb. 6. Four days. It must be some kind of record.The coin ...
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Author Archives: F. Michael Fazzari
The best teachers make their subject both interesting and entertaining. I’ve only taken three history courses: Religion, U.S., and World; and one of those teachers was everything you should expect. I can still remember the class he went into detail … Continue reading
The adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” should not apply to professional numismatists as we must be both vigilant and open-minded in order to detect the latest batch of fakes produced using evolving technology. This is good … Continue reading
In this column, I’ll attempt to simplify how hairlines and scratches on coins might be treated today and in the future. I have found that by breaking down a complex subject into smaller bits it is easier to understand. Let … Continue reading
This past January, a longtime collector wrote that he did not believe there were any perfect coins. My reply to him is: “Yes Edward, there are perfect coins, and it does not take a coin expert to find them. Many … Continue reading
What is the future of coin grading? Can collectors, professional numismatists, dealers, and organizations agree on one grading standard? Can we be more precise when describing the grade or color of a coin? Continue reading
What’s the problem? Grading coins with defects should be easy. When we developed technical grading to further identify coins, in addition to their weight and photograph, our main concern was to describe their condition of preservation. Continue reading
I enjoy teaching and passing on knowledge to seminar students or to collectors who stop at the Independent Coin Grading table at coin shows. After a pleasant interaction with a novice dealer at the Clearwater, Fla., Coin Show I feel it’s time to dust off an old topic for the benefit of new readers and beginning collectors. Continue reading
In March I read a letter to the editor in Numismatic News about cleaning and conservation done by a collector versus a professional conservator. I don’t know who is responsible for writing the heading for the letter, but in this case, the heading put on the letter contained the answer: [There is a] “Fine line between cleaning, conserving a coin.” Continue reading
In the early 1970’s, while flying out to Colorado Springs, Colo., to teach an authentication class for the first time, I thought up what I believe to be the principal rule for coin authentication: “In order to authenticate a coin, you must know what a genuine specimen looks like.” Continue reading
Silver Eagle bullion coins have become a highly collectible series. They are also relatively easy for a newcomer to grade because a majority of them are found in beautiful condition right from the Mint. Nevertheless, it is important to learn several of the specific characteristics used to grade all coins in order to arrive at an acceptable grade. Continue reading