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Letters to the Editor (Nov. 10, 2015)

Kennedy, Eisenhower worth of C&C Sets

Sorry to be nit-picky, but, the folks whose letters were published Sept. 22 (print edition) as e-letters did not understand the question as none of the four responses had anything to do with the Coin and Currency Set.

The Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set went on sale Aug. 11 to a quick sellout and website issues.

The Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set went on sale Aug. 11.

I was surprised that you published them. Two of them were complaining about the Ike Coin and Chronicles Set. One supported continuing to make proof and mint sets every year and the fourth, well, if the Royal Canadian Mint makes them, then we should too. Clearly, they were confusing the Enhanced Sacagewea and Dollar Bill Set with the Presidential Coin and Chronicles Set. Just for the record, as of this writing, the Coin and Currency Set is still available from the Mint for a very reasonable $14.95 (maximum mintage of 90,000)

As to the Oct. 20 issue about whether or not to make a Nixon or Ford Coin and Chronicles Set, the “anti” group laid out legitimate reasons of which I agree, but, they fail to make the same crucial observation as the “pros.”

The Coin and Chronicles Set was first introduced in 2009 with the Lincoln set. It was offered because of the greatness of the man and what he accomplished in office. I doubt that anyone would argue this point.

The second C&C Set was Theodore Roosevelt. He was a good president, but I think he got a C&C Set because of his impact on United States coinage. He was the impetus to some of our greatest coins, which we collect and appreciate to this day.

The third set was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was, to the 20th century, what Lincoln was to the 19th. The impact of his accomplishments still affect our lives today. I feel that he was well deserving of a C&C Set.

All this brings us to today. Are Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson worthy of a C&C Set? Kennedy, was (is) loved for what might have been, and he definitely gets kudos for his handling of the Cuban missile crisis. Eisenhower was arguably a war hero and as president, he is directly responsible for our interstate highway system (most of which hasn’t been upgraded since it was built). Truman’s claim to fame was using the first and second atomic bombs. Personally, I wouldn’t want that on my tombstone. That leaves Johnson. He passed crucial civil and voting rights acts that never would have passed had Kennedy not just been assassinated. So, who is deserving?

Kennedy is a no-brainer, even though we all groaned, another Kennedy set? Eisenhower maybe, Truman and Johnson, I don’t think so. These C&C sets came into being because of money. The Mint introduced the enhanced coin and currency set without even mentioning the enhanced dollar; it was an afterthought. Obviously, the realized they had caught lightning in a bottle.

The Presidential dollar is limping off to oblivion next year. A reverse proof coin could breathe new life into an unwanted series. The problem? Only four Presidential coins are released each year, so, as they say in Oprah land, everybody gets a coin, or Coin and Chronicles Set as the case may be.

The folks who are vehemently “pros” don’t seem to be aware that before 2015, the Mint had only produced three C&C sets for three exceptional presidents.

Nixon and Ford, not a chance. And don’t even get me started on changing the rules so that Ronald Reagan gets a coin.

Bill Rodgers
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Americans don’t want to use dollar coins

I would like to respond to a few points in William B. Tuttle’s letter, “Switch from paper dollars to coins to save money” (NNE Oct. 27, page 12).

Tuttle states that of the 19 published respondees in the BNR e-letters section, the majority agreed to the posing question, “Should $1 bill be dropped in favor of dollar coin?” Well, the other 319 million Americans have already spoken with their wallets and the dollar coin is a dead issue.

And whether or not minting long-lasting dollar coins instead of currency could save “the government” money is also probably a moot point since the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint have separate budgets. Finally, “goldie” is not a thing.

Sandy Campbell
New York, N.Y.

Hold on to gold, silver for the long term

Your editorial of Oct 27, entitled “Time to replace silver with gold?” is based on a false premise.

Purchase your copy of The Essential Guide to Investing in Precious Metals today to get started on making all the right investing decisions.

Purchase your copy of The Essential Guide to Investing in Precious Metals today to get started on making all the right investing decisions.

People do not buy gold or silver with the intention of immediately selling it back. They are either collectors or investors.

Collectors do not look at it in terms of return on investment and so are not part of your equation.

Investors are into precious metals for the long term.

It had long been said that you should not buy gold or silver if you are not willing to hold it for at least five years.  People who buy silver instead of gold are the ones who believe that silver will outperform gold by a considerable margin over such a time frame.

Of course, there are always those who buy it hoping for a quick profit and who cannot afford gold. I do not think those people make up a large percentage of the buying population, but if they do they are liable to be disappointed.  Short term nothing can be predicted.

Steve Fawthrop
Radford, Va.

Coins in special Kennedy set are real

Back in June 2014 I purchased a three-piece Kennedy set from a well-known coin auction site on TV.

The set was called the Kennedy Mint Strike Set and it is graded by ANACS. It consists of a Specimen-69 Philadelphia, a Denver MS-69 and a San Francisco Proof-69DCAM. They said that the set is  the only modern day set ever struck with a mintage of only 5,591. The highest grade was 69 and only 250 sets graded at 69.

I have been searching everywhere and reading my Numismatic News and have not seen these anywhere.

Can you please help find out the origin of this set, or is it even a legitimate set?

William Tracy
Mountainair, N.M.

Editor’s note: The coins in the set are legitimate U.S. coins with very high grades as attested by ANACS. But the set sounds like a privately assembled one. We are not familiar with it.

Girl Scouts didn’t get surcharge from coin sales

The Girl Scouts of America didn’t receive any surcharge money because of poor coin sales.

The United Negro College Fund didn’t seem to do much better on the coins minted to benefit them.

Did they receive the surcharge money?

H. Prince
New York City

Editor’s note: The Girl Scouts so far have the distinction of being the only surcharge beneficiary not to receive the money.

Searching nickels brings more joy than profit

Searches in 2015 of 211,960 nickels  yields small rewards, including 112 silver Jefferson war nickels (three 1942-P, five 1942-S, 19 1943-P, 1 1943-D, 39 1943-S, four 1944-P, four 1944-D, five 1944-S, eight 1945-P, two 1945-D and 22 1945-S).

On a financial basis, this is a waste of time. However, as a collector, it is fun.

Liberty Head nickels included 1906, 1907 and 1912 dates. There were 16 Buffalo nickels (four with no dates), three impaired proof Jeffersons, 1968-S, 1970-S and 1998-S, four 1941-S Large “S” mintmark variety and 1954-D over S in VF.

My most recent find on Sept. 19, wow, a 1917-S Buffalo nickel in Extra Fine condition from a machine-rolled $2 roll.

With over billions of coins circulating, I will definitely find another wow coin. I don’t think anyone will ever get below the tip of the iceberg, so keep on searching.

C. Takasane
Honolulu, Hawaii

Why buy new Mint coins instead of classics?

I have been a coin collector for over 50 years. I admit I don’t understand collectors today.

I recently decided to start selling part of my collection. I listed 267 coins on eBay, mostly Morgan and Peace dollars, Walking Liberty halves, Barber coins, Bust halves, etc.

I expected to have no problem selling these coins. However, out of 267 coins, only two sold. In the meantime, every time the U.S. Mint issues a new overpriced, overproduced product, they sell thousands within hours.

I don’t understand the fascination with these junk coins the Mint produces strictly to make huge profits.

If I have $60 or more to spend on a coin, I would rather buy a nice old Mint State Morgan or Peace dollar or some other old historical U.S. coin.

I don’t want to waste money on modern U.S. Mint products that wind up losing their value on the secondary market.

It seems like today’s collectors are willing to waste money on any gimmick the U.S. Mint can dream up.

David Hansen
Asheville, N.C.

Eagle or Mount Denali might be better than portraits

Concerning the $10 and $20 bill designs, all of you woman-haters out there, lighten up. Stop making this a gender issue.

If a woman does end up on one of these bills and you get it in change, what are you going to do? Refuse it?

Regarding presidential “stature,” several of our past presidents have done shameful things. Anyone remember Monica Lewinsky? Just put a nice picture of a bald eagle or Mount Denali on it and get over your bias.

Barbara Miller
Chicago, Ill.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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