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This week’s letters (04/17/12)

Mint’s high-price products impede younger generation

The U.S. Mint has done it to us again.
My kids and I have been collecting Presidential dollars since 2007. They were one of the only coins we could afford to collect since we could get the rolls at face value from my bank.
Now the only way to get them is to buy them from the U.S. Mint at $32.95 a roll plus $4.95 shipping. I can’t afford to pay $37.90 for $25 worth of coins.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Mint has become very greedy over the last few years. The average collector can no longer afford to buy the high-priced U.S. Mint products.
I used to collect proof silver Eagles, but the Mint now charges double the value of silver for a proof silver Eagle. When it comes to buying a tank full of gas for my vehicle or buying a proof silver Eagle, I have to go with the gas.
It’s no wonder kids don’t want to collect coins anymore. They can’t afford to thanks to the greed of the U.S. Mint.

Thomas Bennett
Asheville, N.C.

Do silver rounds offered by NN have collector value?

I’ve subscribed to Numismatic News for many, many, many years so if you can go back a few years to around 1986 up to 1989, NN offered 1-ounce silver rounds to commemorate “Red Book” and “Blue Book.”
I have six of these rounds. My questions are, is there anybody who collects these, do they have any numismatic value or is their value limited to the spot price of silver?
These are still in BU condition.
I appreciate your time for reading my letter.

David Moake
Munster, Ind.

A little dealer courtesy goes a long way with collectors

Love, love, love your magazine! You are the best in the business.
I recently attended my first coin show in 20 years (as a kid, I went to a few) in San Jose, Calif. Overall the show was great! Tons of great coins and bills to buy or browse.
I am still what I would consider a newcomer with only minor knowledge of coin collecting, but I am learning and open to the knowledge of the dealers I meet. I enjoy learning and asking questions. I always try to be polite and never linger without purchasing something. One thing I have learned (on my job as a checker in a grocery store) is that you always treat your customers with respect and a smile and you give them the time they need to make their purchases.
At the San Jose coin show I was put off by a few dealers who wouldn’t take time to explain things like the condition and pricing of their sales items. A couple were downright rude.
As a customer, I will not buy from you if you are rude. If these dealers were polite or even nice, I would have given them my hard-earned money, but because they were rude I spent my money with other dealers.
If you are a dealer at a convention, a show or anywhere, please put on a smile and be polite to your customers or you will lose them.

Dan Kennedy
Address withheld

What’s with two-headed quarter found in change?

I recently found in change a two-head state quarter. (No mintmark or date on either side.) Is this a Mint error?
I enjoy reading Numismatic News, especially letters, Coin Clinic and the various columns.
Thank you for your kind attention in this matter.

Peter M. Cavallo
Port Hueneme, Calif.

Editor’s note: No, it is not an error coin. What you have is a magician’s coin made by cutting two quarters in half and soldering the two reverses together. Check the rim and you should be able to see where they were joined.

Antique mall find produced unexpected autographs

Smart dealers who have showcases at antique malls know that if they put new stuff in on Thursday they catch the weekend crowd. Smart buyers know this and hit the malls late Thursday afternoon.
It was on Thursday at 3 p.m. when I hit an antique mall in Adamstown, Pa. I found three crammed binders, which were a dealer’s autograph collection, in his show case. The price was $300.
Among about 1,000 autographs was close to 50 space ones. Neil Armstrong and his two companions on the Apollo flight signed their famous photo to him as a high school student. My cost basis was 30 cents.

Charles Wonderlin
New York, N.Y.

Cent search will continue after some exciting finds

I have been searching $25 boxes of cents since the early ’60s. I’m now considering quitting; however, my last box contained:
26 wheats
One 1958-D in mint condition
One 1909 VDB
One 1944 (This coin is interesting because of its appearance. I researched it and found the 1944s were made from reclaimed copper cartridges.)
I have changed my mind and will continue searching. They really are out there!

Kaye Munshower
Wayne, Pa.

Portion of Notgeld catalog available to collectors

More than 35 years have passed since Battenberg Verlag Munchen published a new edition of Dr. Arnold Keller’s catalog of German Notgeld, Par IV Serienscheine (Revised by Albert Pick and Carl Siemsen).
Now long out of print, the introductory text contains valuable information for the German Notgeld collector.
I have reproduced 10 pages of this material and offer them free (self-addressed, stamped envelope appreciated) to interested collectors.
Dwight L. Musser
P.O. Box 597
Scott Depot, W.V. 25560
Decision in Mercedes wreck case doesn’t add up
Reference is made to the return of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, article reported in the March 13 issue of the News. I am perplexed by the decision of U.S. Magistrate Mark Pizzo.
Based upon Spain not making an effort to find the ship, remove the cargo or making more valid claims. After all the ship was not in Spanish waters. It was in “salvage” to anyone.
My opinion at present is that Odyssey Marine Exploration was cheated. Possibly they were paid for their expenses in this matter but I feel the return to Spain was not correct. Please set me straight on this.

Gerald Garrison
Tucson, Ariz.

1838-O dime had a twin sister

I always enjoy reading Paul Green’s Item of the Week articles, not only for identifying some unique quirks in numismatics, but also for possible collecting ideas to add flavor and depth to my collection.
The March 20 column was an excellent example of something unique. But there was one fact that needs clarification. The 1838-O dime is tied as the first silver coin minted outside Philadelphia! Its twin sister, the 1838-O half dime was also a first.
And while the dime had a fairly large production number (406,034 minted), the half dime (with its 70,000 mintage) offers a more scarce option at about the same price levels as it sister dime. Both designs are the No Stars on Obverse variety, making them twins.

Jay Stevenson
New Franklin, Mo.

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