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Letters to the Editor (4/7/2015)

Coins cleaned, but carefully

I have cleaned coins, but generally avoid doing so. I once put together a 20th century type set and birth year set for my daughter, and I cleaned some of the coins just for presentation purposes. They were all common date coins pulled from circulation so no value over face. I also lightly cleaned a 1794 cent I received as part of a lot of large cents. It had no date and was real dark, so I touched it up with a coin cleaning solvent and Q-tip to bring out the hair details so that I could identify it.

Daryl Conley
New Mexico

Thanks to all who helped at ANA Money Show

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) National Money Show (NMS) held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on March 5-7 was a very successful coin convention.

Attendance at the show was steady for the three-day event.

Our personal thanks go to ANA Convention Director Rhonda Scurek, Executive Director Kim Kiick and all the staff for their tireless work. Thanks also to President Walter Ostromecki Jr. and the board for their work on this convention.  A huge thanks to General Chair Danny Bisgaard, his committee and volunteers, the hosts Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association, Willamette Coin Club and Salem Numismatic Society and the National Volunteers for their outstanding and dedicated work on this convention.

Everyone connected to setting up, working during show hours and helping to breakdown did a superb job. We were pleased to see the ANA volunteers and local committee work well past the time the show ended and right alongside the ANA staff.

A special thanks to the exhibitors, judges, speakers, PPI Security, the numismatic press participants, Coin Television, the U. S. Mint, show sponsors and patrons, scout and kids zone activities, show program, coin club tables and meetings and medal and commemorative stamp designers. Thanks to Stack’s Bowers  for holding a successful official ANA auction. The ANA owes a debt of gratitude to the over 400 dealers who had tables or purchased early bird badges.

The museum showcase had many outstanding coin and currency items displayed, and once again the ANA had an appraisal area of experts that visitors could go to and get an evaluation on their numismatic items.

Make sure you visit www.money.org and Facebook to see the videos and many pictures taken at the convention by Kurt Bellman, the Wilsons and ANA staff.  We look forward to the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. on Aug. 11 – 15.

John and Nancy Wilson, ANA National Volunteers
Ocala, Fla.

Mint offers multiple Roosevelt sets

Today, March 13, sales of the U.S. Mint’s 2015 commemorative March of Dimes proof and uncirculated silver dollar coins went on sale. The obverse design depicts President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dr. Jonas Salk, two leaders in the fight against polio, while the reverse design depicts a baby swaddled in the hand of an adult, representing the March of Dimes’ dedication to the health of babies.

At a cumulative mintage limit of 500,000 pieces across all product lines, I highly doubt that this will ever reach rarity status. However, at noon May 4   the 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set will go on sale. This special set will contain the 2015 proof March of Dimes silver dollar, a 2015-P reverse proof silver Roosevelt dime, and a 2015-W proof silver Roosevelt dime struck at the West Point Mint. This set is supposed to be priced at $61.95 each, however there is a product limit of 75,000 sets.

This is the first time that the U.S. Mint has produced a “silver” dime at the West Point Mint and the first time the reverse proof finish has been used on the dime. The only other time that the U.S. Mint has minted a dime at the West Point Mint with a “W” mintmark is when it was included in the 1996 Mint sets. Those complete mint sets go for about $20-$22, because of the “W” dime (clad).

Many of the 1996 sets have been stripped of their dimes, accordingly and probably slabbed and sold separately, because that is the coin of rarity and value in those sets. Similarly, I think that we will see a “run on the Mint” for the March of Dimes Special Proof Silver Sets, for both the silver “P” reverse proof and the silver “W” proof.  Time will tell, but if the mint plans on releasing these at a show, get ready for a stampede!  Hopefully that won’t happen.

Another rosie collectible that doesn’t seem to have spurred quite the interest, but in my opinion is a sleeper at this time, is the  Franklin D. Roosevelt 2014 Coin & Chronicles Set. This set has a product limit  of only 20,000 pieces and includes the following: a Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential $1 “S” proof coin, Roosevelt “S” proof dime (clad), Presidential 1 ounce silver medal made of 99.9 percent silver (40.6mm wide-like an ASE planchet), and a 1 5/16- inch bronze medal and four stamps. Sales figures of this set as of March 13 has only reached 11,748.

To me that would indicate that this set, particularly the 1ounce silver medal, is currently a sleeper and could prove to be a future rarity.  I was wondering what others think regarding these Roosevelt sets, whether it be the March of Dimes dollars, Special Set, or the Coin and Chronicles set. It seems as if the Mint is trying to promote collectors toward collecting the Roosevelt theme.  It  certainly is interesting and the designs are very appealing as well.

Robert S. Matitia
Address Withheld

If you don’t like American money, go elsewhere

If Jack Nugent from Arizona is so unhappy with American money, why doesn’t he take his beloved foreign money, get on his donkey and take a one-way ride into the sunset?

I’m sick and tired of reading about these grumpy old men whining about our currency. They should be happy they have some. If they are not happy, just leave.

Dennis Renken
Tecumseh, Mo.

America needs to up its game in coin design

I agree with Jack Nugent’s view that our American coinage has become second-rate (even ludicrous) and displays little of the American people or any of the events that have made our nation stand out above all others throughout the world.

For many years we’ve drifted into constant use of second-rate ideas and designs of coins that have an absence of the “wow” factor. None seem to  move the younger generations into a desire to learn possibly take up the hobby and learn more about why an outstanding American is shown on a coin.  We desperately don’t need athletes or politicians, except maybe a president 30-50 years after leaving office.

What I disagree with is his position of wanting the cent eliminated from our coinage. He would be destroying the worth of collections (all or part) of those who began with the cent many years, or decades ago, and have continued collecting that coin while having branched out into many other coin denominations.

As always, there is no easy solution to coins and collecting, but a severe house-cleaning begs for a return to sanity in coin design and deployment. Unfortunately, America has become second-rate in that aspect.

R. Brommer
Address withheld

U.S. needs to stop making useless coins

I absolutely agree with Jack Nugent’s “Viewpoint” commentary of March 10. It’s time for the United States to stop making silly and useless coins and join the rest of the world.

I do, however, differ a bit on what to change to. Nugent would drop the penny and the nickel and add a $2.50 and a $5 coin. Although I see some merit to these additions, I think John Q. Public would firmly reject them. My scheme would drop the penny and half dollar, change the dollar to a 10-sided (gold colored) coin,and add a $2 coin. The paper $1 bill would also be eliminated. The U.S. also needs a viable high-value currency, such as a $500 bill.

Pennies have been a nuisance for half a century and half dollars have never circulated in that time period. This configuration of coin and currency would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually. It accounts for inflation, is rational and would be simple to implement.

John C Steele
Davis, Calif.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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