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Letters to the Editor (March 1, 2016)

Mint makes fast delivery of flawless Twain coin

Just 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 is flawless. Thank you U.S. Mint.

Klaus Schwalfenberg
Torrance, Calif.

‘S’ mint quarters that aren’t proofs need a name

I have wondered for awhile what to call the non-proof “S” mint America the Beautiful quarters.

They are not minted for circulation, even though as you have noted some are finding there way there. They have been treated like orphans by the Mint as they are not even included in any of the yearly sets.  They are really not commemoratives.

While calling them circulation-strike might be more technically correct, I suggest calling them “non-proof” “S” mint quarters to reflect their rather unique status.

Frank Crowe
Address withheld

Where have all the new cents gone?

I read the article about Mint Director Diehl’s comments with interest. My question is where have all the billions of cents that are minted going? What few I do get are all decayed and scuzzy. I do not want to touch them let alone put them in my pocket.

There is no question that the cent should be abolished for circulation. However, the Mint should continue minting the cent for collectors. And the cent should be copper like in the 1950s. Limit the number and sell them at a premium. Each mint can produce 1,000,000 pieces and collectors will be very happy. They will sell out the first week and make a tidy profit.

I am also tired of reading that we should eliminate the $1 bill. The dollar bill is a necessity and much better than the dollar coin. Get rid of the circulating dollar coin.

We could stop printing the $5 bill and replace it with a $5 coin. That would make sense to me. How many $5 bills do you have in your pocket? Probably zero or perhaps one! Go ahead and check your pocket. The mint can produce a $5 coin, perhaps a little smaller than a half dollar (no cheap metal please) and I am sure people will use it more than the $5 dollar bill. And with a new $5 coin for circulation, the hobby can get excited.

In closing I again ask, where have the 8.9 billion cents gone?

Dom Cicio
Groveland, Fla.

Lock in price of 2016 bullion today

In your “Best of Buzz” you stated that pre-ordering 2016 bullion is a financially foolish temptation. I beg to differ.

Bullion prices seem to be low and I am a buyer at these prices. I also believe the prices could rise or fall at any time. I believe the prices are not going to get much lower from this level, but could rise at any time due to monetary policy and/or the geo-political situation in the Middle East or Russia.

I believe locking in the price of physical precious metals at this time is a good idea. The wait time for delivery is only about three weeks and that is close to the average delivery time of most orders now anyway. I believe it would be more foolish to wait and hope everything stays the same as today.

The prices have stayed static lately but the unforeseen can happen anytime. I paid for 2016 Eagles at the same price of today’s 2015 Eagles and expect the same wait time for delivery. Maybe you meant paper bullion (ETF) but not physical delivery. I don’t know if you meant one or the other or both.

You did mention wanting to be first on the block to have some. I don’t care about first on the block, but I do care about a sudden rise in prices. I don’t believe prices will fall much in the short run. I feel I am buying low, but that’s just a gut feeling. I can live with prices dropping. I would take that as a good time to purchase more.

I seriously doubt I am being foolish. Especially with the delivery time of current bullion. I really don’t understand why such a short wait is foolish unless you think the price of purchasing today for immediate delivery is foolish. Again, as of today the delivery time is about the same, but the prices might not be the same in three weeks. I’ll take my chances. The early bird gets the bullion soonest. Why wait if I am happy with today’s price?

I just wish I could purchase the 2016 classic gold coins at today’s price. For some reason the prices always seem to rise right before a Mint product comes out. I’m just hedging my bet.

Donald Cantrell
Address withheld

Interest in collecting just isn’t there anymore

It is hard to believe that although I have been collecting over 60 years, both stamps as well as coins, that I have never actually had any dialogue with you or your staff. Anyways, after reading your article on “S” mint quarters, I felt that others might be interested in collecting as well.

In the beginning, as a young man, collecting coins was just something one did as my dad and granddad had done for years before me. In the early 1950s we had found such items as a 1909-S VDB penny in excellent to fine condition, as well as a 1916-D dime in AU condition. These coins are still in the early books.

Over the years, especially after getting married and making a modest living, we all drifted away from collecting most everything, especially after the changes to silver coinage after 1964. That meant unless it was a mint or proof set, not much interest. I did get involved with the Carson City silver dollar bid process, as well as the trading in of silver certificate bills.

Not much transpired until the state quarter program came on board in 1999. Wow, the blood started to circulate again and a lot of time was spent going over change and buying rolls, just like the good old days. Thank goodness I had a little loose money to spend.

In 2000, when the Vermont quarters began to come to the bank, I was having breakfast at a local restaurant when I noticed a nice coin in change. It turned out to be a “S” mint quarter. I was surprised to find it in change as the mint sets had not come in yet. I still have the coin in a box along with other things of interest to me.

Because of the ways that the Mint has handled coins over the ensuing years, interest with the general public has again waned to about where it was in 1998. That is to say pretty poor. It is a sad thing when I have so much to offer my children and grandchildren, not to mention the collecting public, with the end result there being absolutely no interest in daily collecting.

Sorry to bend your ear. I just wanted you to know how sad it is out there.

Name withheld
Gainesville, Ga.

First coin issues appeared 225 years ago

Let’s celebrate the U.S. Mint’s 225th anniversary in 2018 -2021.

The Mint’s first coins were minted in 1793 with a half cent and cent. Following them was the half disme (later to become “half dime” then a 5 cents piece) and dollar in 1794. 1795 saw the first production of the gold eagles, $5 half eagle, and $10 eagle.

The gold $2.50 (quarter eagle) was introduced in 1796 along with the dime (then spelled “disme”), quarter, and half dollar. It will be 225 years of these “first issues” will be 2018-2021.

Let’s celebrate that anniversary by issuing coins in the same denominations 225 years later. Each current denomination (cent through dollar) issued today would bear the dual date of its first year of issue and the current year 225 years later, but bearing the original design of that denomination.  Since the half cent is obsolete, it could be an optional aluminum coin to be issued in “business strike” only in 2018 (more on this later). All other aforementioned coins are to be struck in their current composition.

In “business striking” the eagles ($2.50 -$10), introduce the bi-metallic coins like those of Canada, Mexico and the Euro. The exception being the $10 “Eagle” which could be a 40 percent silver-clad (perhaps less, depending upon the melt value of silver that year) coin like the half dollars of 1965-1969. The quarter eagle ($2.50) could be like the Canadian $2 in composition (golden center within a copper/nickel ring), but in its original size of 1796” (20 mm). The $5 half eagle would be the opposite (copper/nickelcenter within a “golden” ring) of the quarter eagle at 25 mm., the eagle dimension would be 33 mm. with letter edging: “225 th ANNIVERSARY UNITED STATES MINT P.” All “business struck” coins can bear the mint marks of the branch mints.

For the collector, special mint sets (all 10 coins; half cent to $10) could be produced in both the business compositions (for collectors who can’t afford the price of silver and gold bullion), and in the modern sizes as mentioned above. Another set could be produced in the original compositions and dimensions of the first issues. These special mint sets will be produced at only the Philadelphia Mint, like the first issues were

Oh what a great opportunity for us collectors!

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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