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Some submissions for letters get rejected

I have had a particularly rich group of rejected letters this week. Is it the full moon? As an editor, I have blamed that phase of the moon for many a letter that I have received over the years.

Let?s take an obvious rejected letter. In the writer?s favor, he did not use any profanity. However, he did use the word ?jerk? four times. He also didn?t sign it. Into the wastebasket it went. No, it wasn?t about me or Numismatic News. It was actually directed at the writers of other letters that have been published in these pages.

Then I had an e-mail from someone who thought I should be aware that his submissions to a nationally known grading service did not cross over as he had hoped, thus denying him some hoped for profits. I can understand the disappointment. I would like all of the coins and notes in my collection to always be upgradable. After all, I might need the money when I retire. However, I had to hit the delete key.

Another e-mail came my way denouncing the historical descriptions of recent Presidents of the United States in a newly purchased album for Presidential dollars. OK, it is the right of everyone to evaluate history, however, starting a bar room political brawl in these pages is not the point. We are all here for the purpose of collecting all things numismatic.

That doesn?t mean that politics doesn?t occasionally intrude. After all, history is nothing but politics that none of us personally participated in. Politics is what we remember.

Perhaps the maker of the Presidential coin album will have lower sales as the result of its take on history. Perhaps sales will be higher because more people agree with the album rather than the writer of the e-mail to me. Market forces will decide.

Naturally, the responses are still flooding in regarding the introduction of the Washington Presidential dollar. I appreciate the many well-articulated submissions. So far, I would say that opinions are running in a manner that most hobbyists would have forecast had we asked them two months ago.

What is interesting, and what some writers don?t remember, is the role of the hobby in creating the edge-lettering on the new dollar coin.

Remember former Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore?s listening sessions? Well, one of the ideas suggested and supported by many hobby luminaries and students of history was of bringing back edge lettering as was once done routinely instead of reeding on American coinage. Wouldn?t it be neat to see something like that again? they asked.

Well, the powers in Washington agreed with these hobbyists and gave us something different. In the current telling though, they are now part of the plot to demote the ?In God We Trust? motto that was first used on American coins in 1864 and has appeared on nearly all of them ever since. No wonder a Washington bureaucrat?s favorite word is ?No.?

I hope some of the advocates of edge lettering will write in to defend the decision to move the mottoes to the edge.

Or perhaps I should just write the old cliche that collectors should be careful what they wish for because they might get it.

I hope none of my words will deter you from sending me an e-mail or a letter for a future issue. I am not the only one interested in your opinions. Most readers are, too, except perhaps for the writer of the ?jerk? letter.

If someone writes to tell me I am a jerk for not publishing the letters and e-mails I just referred to, I will probably publish it. That goes with my job. I cannot please everyone all of the time.

What I do hope, though, is that all readers know that I try to be as fair as I am able to all readers and to let them express themselves in their own words. That?s what makes the space below so vibrant and interesting. E-mail me at david.harper@fwpubs.com, or write me in care of this paper at 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990.

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