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Letters to the Editor (3/10/15)

Homestead quarter shows up in Orlando

Received a 2015 Homestead National Monument quarter Feb. 16 at a local Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in Orlando, Fla.

Bill Mills
Florida

Three 2015 cents appear near Atlanta

I just got three 2015 cents in change Feb. 14 at Chick-Fil-A just south of Atlanta.

Richie Stinchcomb
Address withheld

Box of cents holds rolls of 2015-D Lincolns

I just wanted to report that I just went to my local Chase Bank branch to get four boxes of cents. The last one I opened had mostly brand new rolls of 2015-D coins. Oddly enough, I purchased these for the ANA Money Museum for a Kids’ Zone event going on Feb. 21; a penny sorting party.

Sam Gelberd
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Ignorance biggest deterrent to coin collecting

I’ve been collecting coins for well over 50 years and I believe I’ve seen about every scam there is on buying and selling coins. Many are taken by inferior, cleaned, counterfeit or high priced coins they buy. But the plain truth is most are taken by plain old ignorance.

Today it’s a completely new way to separate people from their money. It’s hard to make an informed decision with so many variables in a coin. Today a person will spend thousands of dollars on coins, but not a lousy $10 on a book on how to do it.

Is it the true grade? Has it been dipped or cleaned? What’s the true value? Common sense will tell you a coin over 50 years old will not be full red or blast white without lots of help. It should have a nice tone or at least the start to some degree. But most coins sold today are full red or blast white.

I’ve been blessed because I’ve known some of the old-timers like Virg Marshall and Robert Zucker among the few I’ve dealt with. One by one, they’ve passed on to the big collection in the sky.

Coin collecting is headed the same way as stamp collecting unless the dealers police themselves and weed out all the bad pennies. Sit back and wait for someone else to do it and it will be too late.

It will take a combined effort from purchasers, sellers and advertisers, but it can be done. After all, what is more important, profit or the hobby? The first step is to print this letter.

Patrick Slaughter
Iron River, Mich.

Thanks for clarifying market, technical grading

In the Jan. 27 issue of Numismatic News I was delighted to see that Bill Fivaz and F. Michael Fazzari responded to the letter I wrote in the Dec. 23 issue entitled “Uncirculated term confuses Mint State definition.”

I want to express my deepest thanks to both of them for responding to my letter and more importantly for helping me to more fully understand market grading versus technical graded.

There is always something new to learn in numismatics. Thanks again, guys.

Joseph Reakes
Scranton, Pa.

Tackle box of coins nets many treasures

I thought I would share this story. About three years ago in our local paper a retired coin collector came across a tackle box of world coins. He had some extra coin tubes, a box full, so the ad in paper was, “Tackle box of world coins $25, or best offer.”

Well, I called the guy and asked if he still had coins. He said yes. So I got his address. I was anxious and excited. I don’t know why I should be, I’m buying leftover scraps from a retired coin collector.

As I talked to the guy, he told me some stories on coin collecting. I was glad to meet him.
I raced home with my new treasure. I was so excited I skipped supper. My wife was not impressed. I looked through the tackle box. I had to get my world coin book out because some coins I weren’t familiar with.

In my treasure I found an 1874-C German 1 pfennig, Extra Fine; a 1919H British West Africa penny, uncirculated; a China 10 cash 1905, XF; coins from France, Egypt and Colombia; 1974 10 centavos with strong possible doubling; Danish West Indies 1905 5 bit, XF; coins from Great Britain, halfpennies, early 1900s, some uncirculated, farthings; Japanese coins; Mexican; Russian; Switzerland 10 and 20 rappen from 1900s to 1950 and some uncirculated, and many more.

Some of those coins have errors, so when my son came over, I showed him my discoveries and showed him what to look for.

My son Jordan said, “Dad, why don’t you send them in and get them graded.”

I said, “I will. I want to study them some more.”

My son said, “You’re gonna study them another few years.” (wise guy, he is 18)

A few days later Jordan said, “Dad, I ordered you an early Christmas gift. It will be here in a few days.”

I figured out in about eight hours what he got me: Strike it Rich with Pocket Change. I always wanted that book.

My son said, “Dad, this will help speed up your studying.”

I am very impressed with my new book, very helpful knowledge from everyone that made this book happen. I was very touched with the dedication from Ken Potter and Dr. Brian Allen.

Here’s the best part of my story. In the tackle box I also found a double-headed quarter. It’s old and has nice patina. It was worn as a necklace. I also found a double-tailed coin, so the book on Page 347 explains how to look for a fake doubled die coin, magician’s coin. My double-tailed coin might be fake, but I know my double-headed Washington coin is legit.
At the bottom of the box of coin tubes I found a California fractional gold coin. Whether this one is real or not I still have the weight in gold.

With the purchase of my treasure and the thrill, it was the best $45 I’ve ever spent.

Robin Gregg,
Niagara, Wis.

Editor’s note: It is always great to hear stories of collectors having fun with their hobby. But a bit of bad news: the two-headed Washington quarter is most likely a magician’s coin too.

What is value of proof silver medals?

Back in 1996 I purchased four medals in proof silver from the U.S. Mint.

One was a 1975 Bicentennial medal commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord with a Paul Revere picture on it.

There were two of the 1976 Bicentennial medal commemorating the Declaration of Independence with a Thomas Jefferson picture on it.

The fourth was a National Bicentennial medal with a picture of the Statue of Liberty on the obverse and the Great Seal on the reverse.

I can’t find these in any coin book and I would like to know what they are worth today.

Barry Rosenberg
Naples, Fla.

Editor’s note: Looking online, it appears they are retailing for around $100 for the four.

Hard to see denomination on $1 U.S. Marshals coin

I just received the U.S. Marshals commemorative coins I ordered from theMint.  Took me 10 minutes to get the box open.  Forget buying coins, where can I get some of that glue that they use?

The coins look nice but it took me a while to find the denomination on the $1 proof.  I know that no one actually spends these, but still, if they are legal tender the denomination should be readily visible.  The half dollar clearly states Half Dollar.

Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

Mint 1916 reissue coins in more than gold

It is disappointing that three of the most beautiful American coins, all first issued in 1916, will come back next year in the form of pure gold coins because the Treasury secretary cannot issue silver coins without congressional authority.

Gold versions of these coins will be very expensive and affordable only by the most well-healed collectors. It would be fairer for everyone if the coins were minted in multiple metals – silver, gold and platinum, perhaps – the way many other countries do.

Sandy Campbell
New York, N.Y.

100-pack of $2 bills easy to buy

I’m responding to “Eldon Taylor’s” letter regarding the availability of $2 bills.

A while back I sent in a letter, which you were kind enough to publish, where I shared my experience in placing Kennedy half dollars and $2 bills (to occasionally include one or two Eisenhower dollars) in the cash drawer at my retail establishment. I went on to say I have great fun in giving these out in change – the comments from my clients are wonderful.

If I don’t have a line of people I’ll take the time to share about my interests in numismatics. In addition I always have a few bills in my wallet and often use them as a tip. I absolutely love the design on the back side.

I have not tried to buy a “brick” of $2 bills but have no problem whatsoever in buying a 100-pack at my local credit union. I usually am able to get a pack of crisp, sequentially numbered bills. I truly hope we can continue to keep these beauties in circulation.

Bob Melius
Shoreview, Minn.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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