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Letters to the Editor (3/3/15)

1969 $1 coin honors moon landing, Eisenhower

It is amazing how many people do not know that in 1971 the Mint put out a large dollar coin in honor of both President Eisenhower and the landing of the Eagle on the moon. Not just the under-40 crowd, but also those up to 60 years of age have no idea of an existing coin.

I also have a 1969 Lincoln cent with a counterstamp between Lincoln and the rim. It shows the Eagle landing on the moon with the earth in the background with July 20 above 1969. I also have a token from Sunoco Oil Co. dated 1999 with the date 1969, “Man’s First Moon Landing” and showing the first footsteps being taken on the moon.

Do I want another U.S. coin honoring this great event? You bet I do. The Mint had better hurry before one of the coin making islands beats us to it.

W.B. Kelly
Address withheld

Reissue 1916 coins in multiple metals

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The 1916 Standing Liberty quarter design is one of three coin designs to be honored in 2016.

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.

A few thoughts on coin designs, paper money

After reading Robert Olekson’s “Viewpoint” in my recent issue of Numismatic News, I think he is barking up the wrong tree so to speak. Although the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee may have some influence with Congress, it may not be enough to stimulate the change needed to rid ourselves from the boring designs on our coins and currency.

A better spot to go would be the House committee that makes the decision to create new coins or designs. Write to: House Subcommittee on Consumers Affairs and Coinage, c/o Current Chairperson, 1740 Longworth, Washington, D.C. 20515-0534.

It seems to me that the ANA is either too lazy to push Congress for new modern designs on our coins, or there is no lobby to get a representative or senator “inspired” to introduce a bill for change. The Legislative wing of our government is supposed to listen to its constituents, but instead it listens to those who have the most influence to do or not do things. Over 100 years ago, the government reps voted out monopolies and trusts. Why wasn’t the Crane Paper Company, with exclusive rights to manufacture “paper” for our currency since the 1860s, broken up then? Today Crane still operates as a monopoly exclusively producing “paper” for our folding money.

The world is turning more and more to polymer, a plastic similar to page protectors. Even though polymer has some cons like it gets brittle in cold weather and tends to stick together to other polymer notes in the heat, it is more durable than paper notes.

Also, polymer cannot be duplicated from a printer, as some parts of the poly note can be left blank, which would show up white in a printed copy. Thus, the poly note is harder to counterfeit. It is time the U.S. should print out polymer notes for all denominations from $5 to $500.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph of the article, our coin and currency designs are boring and so last century. Even though the clad coins are difficult to counterfeit, the paper money is not.

A couple weeks ago, I suggested producing a coin and/or a note commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo XI. The Kennedy half dollar would be the best coin for this. As the dates could be doubled (1969-2019) on the obverse. After all Kennedy said during his time in office, “We shall go to the moon within the decade 1960).” And the back of the coin could read “50 Years – 50 Cents” under a depiction of “The Eagle” on the moon, as it was on the SBA Dollar. ( I ask, what did Susan B. Anthony have to do with Apollo XI on the moon?)

Perhaps by 2019 we will be issuing polymer notes. And if the $1 bill is still being produced, “retire” George Washington and replace him with Kennedy on the obverse. On the reverse could be that iconic picture of Neil Armstrong descending the ladder to step onto the Moon. A little “artistic license” could place 55 stars (for the states and territories of the United States) in the background along with the earth in the background. That could be the grand finale for the $1 bill so the dollar coin could circulate freely. If the Canadians can get used to a $1 coin without a $1 bill, so can we.

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio    

Markups too much to invest in bullion silver

Recently I have read numerous articles about gold and silver. One article stated that with the value of silver around $16 an ounce, silver seems to be a good buy. However, I disagree for several reasons.

First of all, where do you get silver at current silver value? Dealers charge anywhere from $5.50 to $7 per ounce over current value for silver Eagles, rounds or bars. Silver would have to go up considerably just to get back what it costs. I don’t consider it a good investment at that that high of a markup with the strong U.S. dollar, lower oil prices and the U.S. economy continuing to improve and the stock market at all-time highs. I don’t see silver going up anytime soon.

If I could buy silver at actual silver bullion value I would buy it, but with dealer markups so high, I don’t consider it a good investment. Why pay more than it is worth?

I would not mind a small markup over bullion value, but with markups at $5.50 to $7 per ounce, the only ones getting rich are the dealers.

David Hansen
Asheville, N.C.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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