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Letters to the Editor (Feb. 16, 2016)

New quarters are out there, just keep looking

I just finished reading the Jan. 26 Numismatic News publication, specifically your response to P. Ritchie who found a Denali quarter.

About a month ago, my sister who works in a local discount pharmacy, found the El Yunque 2012-S circulation in her cash drawer. Since finding any national quarter is a challenge, this was definitely a surprise. 2015 was an easier year to find national park quarters.

One collector's find of an S-mint Denali quarter has sparked other collectors discussing finding other collector only S-mint quarters.

One collector’s find of an S-mint Denali quarter has sparked other collectors discussing finding other collector only S-mint quarters.

Good luck everyone; if you look for them you also might be surprised.

Ralph Fuller
Strongsville, Ohio

Too expensive to use rolls of new quarters for change

I read your article on the “S” mint circulation strike quarters found in pocket change. I have purchased a roll of each one from the Mint since 2012. I do not think the “pocket change market” will be flooded with them. Do the math.

I paid $18.95 plus $4.95 shipping for a $10 roll. I will not be spending any of mine. I just cannot bring myself to bust open a roll. Keep up the good work. NN is the best.

A. Benton
Myrtle Beach S.C.

If you don’t like cents, don’t use them

Thank you for the great recent NN stories, letters and “Viewpoint” about abolishing the U.S. cent coin.

But it’s deja vu again and again and again. Always the same story; our government is losing money, experts disagree, billions are minted each year, one company fights hard to protect zinc sales, other nations are doing it, paper does not last as long, Mint employees are bored with Abe’s face …  Yikes, is there any progress or chance of a final decision on this?

So, here’s the bottom line – our government exists to support commerce and our lifestyles, not to make a profit or follow other nations. Without getting too political, I think we have pretty well established that we don’t care what the rest of the world does, and we will be doing what lobbyists and their minions in Congress order. No one sees any of that changing, now do we?

But beyond all that noise, the fact is that cents are still needed if there are so many being made and no huge pile of them is being stashed someplace. And even if they are only thrown on the ground, well, then guys like us pick them up and gleefully say “Hi Abe, it’s my lucky day.” I bet I have made more money picking up pennies over the years than anyone reading this has made winning Lotto or Powerball. And look how much money you all have voluntarily wasted on that.

I ask this humbly and with respect – if you dislike cents, then don’t use them. Tell the cashier “keep the change,” leave them with tips at the coffee shop, or put them in the “take a penny pot” next to the check out stand. Then old guys like me can flirt with the checkout girl whilst looking for wheat backs and pre-1983 real copper cents. Relax guys, and enjoy the day. It is the most centsible thing to do.

Mark Parsons
Berthoud, Colo.

Currency: What to keep, what to abolish

Here are my comments about our currency by each denomination.

Cent – Since we are in a cost saving mode, even though the mint is “making money.” Limit the production to those who are collectors only. If we feel that we need them for the general population either every other or a predetermined time like five years.

Nickel –- Keep this as the vending machines and other POS terminals and payments systems would need this in the event of price change as most have a scaling factor in nickel increments in the United States.

Dime – Do away with the dime, you can have two nickels in lieu of a dime.

Quarter – No reason to challenge, keep it!

Half Dollar – Limit to collectors only. They will not work in the coin changers of the vending machines as they are too big and would cause it to jam thus making additional service calls and unhappy people. Even if it could the cost to reprogram would not make it cost effective.

$1 Coin – Keep this as it would last longer than a paper bill. Use this denomination to make collector coins too, instead of making commerative backs or fronts on coins! As I am sure that we will have exhausted the US Presidents very soon!

$1 Bill – Do away with the dollar bill or limit production.

$2 Bill – Start making this instead of the dollar bill. This can be used in many vending machines, just by flipping a switch.

Look forward in hearing others and finally making a change that we all can live with!

John Dettinger
West Chester, Pa.

‘S’ mint quarters found in New York

I just read in the recent Numismatic News about “S” mint quarters being found in circulation and your request to let you know if we’ve found any. I have found four searching boxes of quarters from Rochester, N.Y. They are 2012-S Chaco, 2013-S White Mountain and two 2013-S Mt. Rushmore. I’ve found many more proofs than this.

Scott Canaan
Rochester, N.Y.

Be careful using credit card online with Mint

I read your “Best of Buzz” article regarding the Mint stopping mail order service. In 2016, I thought of starting use of their mail service to order items, and this is the reason.

In 2015 I ordered twice online and both times using different credit card numbers, they were compromised illegally. The credit card company monitors my spending habits and called me when there was suspicious activity on my account. Upon my request and theirs, a third card number was issued. I do check my https:// coding before ordering, and this problem only occurred using the U.S. Mint website.

I wonder if other readers have experience the same problem. They might have if they don’t monitor their credit card statements, leaving that task to their spouse.

At 73, my mirror shows an experienced, intelligent, profession, independent, individual who is proud to have gray hair and has been, where others are just starting out.

Richard Stevenson
Reagan, Tenn.

U.S Coin Digest continues to be a great reference for any U.S. coin collector.

U.S Coin Digest continues to be a great reference for any U.S. coin collector.

Old coins have value beyond scarce mintages

I enjoy the questions you raise and would like to address some letters to the editor and replies I found in my latest issue of Numismatic News.

Some were speaking of older coins and how newbies are infatuated with them and missing the point of going for the tougher dates with lower mintages. Those coins are worth far more than a coin that might be much older but of much higher mint volume.

The experts who say minting a smaller number of coins adds value are right, but not entirely. There is value in holding something in your hand that is old, that in some way connects you with the past and the older it is the more value it has independent of numbers minted.

I’m speaking of the innate liking of coins because of design, condition, and age. The things that usually first fascinate newbies. It’s just a shame new coins are minted so fast they have to sacrifice detailed design elements that reached there climax in the strikes of the 19th century.

Today’s Mint designs are bland. It’s kind of like comparing a painting from one of the Dutch masters with a photo of a sneaker pawned off as art.

Richard Koch,
Address withheld

Facility costs won’t go down by abolishing cent

So abolishing the cent will reduce facilities cost by 60 percent? What does that mean?
The condition of the plumbing and electrical systems will require less work because the penny isn’t being produced? The Mint can reduce the amount of work the cleaning lady has to do because they don’t make cent coins anymore?

Gee, we can lay off the technicians who keep that pesky penny press running and make a couple bucks by selling off the press to the area junk man. It will free up space on the floor to put in another press to make more of those coins that are profitable so the Mint can gouge us a little bit more. Maybe the Mint can make a bunch of cartoon token coins like the Canadian Mint in that extra space. How much of the federal budget can be reduced by not making the penny? Will the citizens get a tax rebate?

This is all a load of horse pucky. What will really happen is nothing. The penny circulation will stop and any savings will be absorbed by the government and the facilities will continue to age and require more maintenance technicians to keep them up. The penny killers will then put their sights on the nickel then the dime, then the paper dollar, yada, yada, yada.

The government is all the time shifting money from one account to another to get what they want. I’m sure the Mint is profitable enough to be able to absorb the extra 0.8 cents.
We as citizens get nothing if the cent is abolished. If the Mint shows a profit, the government will shift that money to something else (like they did with Social Security) and life goes on. When the United States goes into Chapter 11 because they spend more than they have and the debt was called in, I don’t think they can credibility point to the cent and say this wouldn’t have happened if we could have abolished the cent.

Name withheld

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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