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This week’s letters (09/27/11)

 

After call from NN, Mint sends proof set
I purchased items online from the U.S. Mint. One item was a 2011 proof set, which was damaged. I sent it back on May 2, and have the printout from the label/post office, showing it was “delivered” to “PBGS U.S. Mint” and signed on May 4 at 10:28 a.m.
I sent the Mint a copy of the printout, and made numerous calls to the Mint since that time. I have never received the new proof set, nor refund. I have talked with an Angie, and recently a Dave. On July 27, I sent him a copy of the tracking label, et al. He told me on Sept. 2 that they have decided that since “they have never received the proof set,” even though he agrees the tracking info says they received it, they are not going to give me any refund, nor a proof set.
Warn your customers of this dubious new practice of the U. S. Mint. Sticky Mints.
Jim Flint
Fort Worth, Texas

Editor’s note: This story has a happy ending. After we received this, we forwarded it to the U.S. Mint. They apologized for the mix-up and are sending Mr. Flint his proof set.

No more talk about 1933 double eagles, please
Enough! Enough about who should own the 1933 double eagles, or how to go about compensating the family, prior purchasers, etc. At least Round One is over – let the matter die a natural death.
I have been a subscriber to NN since 1961 and this subject has reached heights of silly commentary beyond any other in all my years of collecting. To all: whatever your opinion is on this matter, please stop sending your thoughts to NN to publish.
R. Fee
Sun City Center, Fla.
All collectors should help to encourage YNs to grow
Have you ever planted seeds for tomatoes? There is also a seed for youngsters to grow into numismatists, but they need your help. This will also help the hobby in many ways, as they may become avid coin, paper money, medal or token collectors and dealers. Youngsters are essential to the longevity of the hobby, they replace “us” as we grow older, and leave the hobby in one way or another.
This is where you come in. We should not shy away from coin club programs that work with younger members; we should pitch in, and offer our services by sharing some of our experiences in the field, with a presentation or two. We can also donate some of those foreign currencies we’ve held on to for years, a few worn Indian cents or Buffalo nickels. Providing some time at a Young Numismatist table at a local show is another way to help out.
I read recently an article by Steve Lehr from Texas about his club, and they have a group of members that mirror many of the activities in our club. I sincerely applaud their efforts. It does take a lot of time and effort on the part of many members of the Northeast Tarrant Coin Club to do all the things his club has ventured into. Nice going, Steve.
I received a letter from a parent of one of my club YNs, who sincerely appreciated what our club has given her two boys. She wrote the following list:
Social skills are benefited. This is more important than ever, at a time when our youth are busy text messaging and no longer interacting with humans, the YN program provides an opportunity to interact with not only other children, but adults.
Show and tell gives them an opportunity to practice public speaking.
Collecting and organizing helps decision making skills, since kids ask themselves: what should I collect and how do organize it? This develops critical thinking skills.
Managing money responsibly, and asking questions like: how much does that cost at the auction, and do I have enough? This teaches the use of money and budgets. Also the club uses club money as rewards for show and tell, homework completion and for the free coin auctions at the twice monthly meetings.
Knowledge is benefited by the twice-monthly homework assignments that increase education. Exhibit opportunities let kids practice research and planning skills for setting up displays and exhibits at club shows.
Growth and maturity are aided, as kids develop a longer attention span and an eye for detail. This is especially helpful for youngsters with a learning disability, and it provides them with the chance to interact with youngsters of his or her own age.
Thanks to the ANA and their YN scholarship program, kids have the opportunity to attend the one week seminar at the ANA Headquarters. This gives them the chance to travel on their own, meet and live with other YNs and learn so much more about the hobby.
It would be great if all club officers would work in a YN program, if they don’t already. Believe me when I say that you’ll be rewarded just by witnessing their growth in numismatics. If meetings are conducted at restaurants where there is no convenient way of having a YN program, then suggest a Saturday at a local library room for an hour, and build from there.
Jim Majoros
New Jersey

Local Ohio bank turned up red seal $2 note
I thought I would share my recent find. In early July I received a $2 bill with red seal at my local bank here in Orrville.
Paul Stangelo
Orrville, Ohio
Highlights from the ANA World’s Fair of Money
The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money Convention held in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 16 to 20, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, was one of the largest and most successful shows we ever attended. As a convention site, it is hard to beat this location, most hotels are only a half block away, there are free hotel shuttles to nearby O’Hare airport, there is an excellent convention center and the Rosemont Police Department keep the show very safe.
A huge thank you to the ANA staff, especially the 26 members that attended, including Convention Director Rhonda Scurek; President Mishler and the Board; the host Chicago Coin Club, and their Chair Robert Leonard, along with all the volunteers and workers. The CCC club had about 100 volunteers who were very noticeable with their blue shirts. Thanks also to the National Volunteers, exhibitors, judges and educational speakers for their tireless work; along with the numismatic press, media, sponsors and patrons for their contributions. Like all ANA conventions, this show had so much going on that it was impossible to do everything you wanted, unless you attended multiple days. The bourse had around 600 tables, which included 20 coin clubs, the U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and other mints from around the world.
Thanks to Stacks Bowers for having a wonderful, multi-session auction. The sale featured selections from the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection, along with other important consignments.
The ANA Museum Showcase featured many rare items brought by the Association, and the Smithsonian brought their special exhibit as well. Several ANA members also brought exhibits in the ANA showcase area. One featured dozens of cases filled with rare Illinois National Bank Notes, and another featured a rare Ides of March exhibit. The 43rd Treasurer of the U. S., Rosa “Rosie” Gumataotao Rios, attended the opening ceremonies and helped to cut the ribbon. The Tuesday Shedd Aquarium visit and dinner, along with the Friday night banquet were spectacular.
Thanks again to everyone who helped to make this a very special convention, one that offered something for everyone who attended. We hope to see you at the next two NMS’s, which will be held in Pittsburgh, Penn., Oct. 13 to 15, and Denver, Colo., May 10 to 12, 2012. The next WFM will be held in Philadelphia, Pa., on Aug. 7 to 11, 2012.
John and Nancy Wilson
Ocala, Fla.
Solution to dollar coin, paper dollar obvious
Overwhelmingly, readers who replied to the $1 coin program question know what the answer is: Halt production of the $1 bill, and start using the $1 coin.
It worked in Canada. The dollar is worth what the quarter was worth some years ago, and the quarter circulated well. We, the taxpayers, want a coin program that is economical. The common sense of the readers should be heeded by our lawmakers. Somebody please tell our lawmakers to quit spending our money on stupidly manufacturing paper money.
John Matejko
Pearl City, Hawaii
Queen’s stories good for lightening mood
Whether John Queen’s stories are true or not doesn’t matter. They are pure, interesting entertainment! That’s something that we all need in this day and age, especially with gold and silver bouncing around like a couple Mexican jumping beans and the markets going crazy.
A good, funny story now and then does people good, and Queen is the type of guy you can sit down with, have a few beers and swap stories with. Keep the stories coming John, we enjoy them. In reference to the email in the Aug. 30 issue, from James D. Santeufemio of Pittsburg, Pa., I am also in favor of the burnished finish on my 2007-W silver Eagle. I also own a few examples of “blazing white” Morgans and Peace dollars. I don’t care for them as much, and I would rather have a nicely toned example of them. The vapor- and bead-blasting that the Mint uses on the burnished version, can hide a lot of “production sins.”
Prior to my stroke, I worked as a machinist, and we would bead-blast parts we made to hide tooling, de-burring and file marks. We used a variety of mediums: glass beads, sand and walnut shells, though glass beads were preferred to give a nice frosty, satin finish.
Michael P. Schmeyer
Halsey Valley, N.Y.
Will government live up to its word on saving money?
Is the government really bent on saving money as they say? Are they doing something to show that they are serious? Will they actually put their money where their mouth is, or will we have more years of useless rhetoric that always begin and end with words? Let’s see if they hold fast to their promise of saving like they say they are. Are they people of their word, or do they talk the talk, but not walk the walk?
Case in point, if they were sincere about balancing the budget, they would eliminate the useless cent. They would also eliminate the paper dollar, and replace it with the coin as most other countries have safely and wisely done to save money.
One need not worry about carrying around too many of the coins, a common objection, because one only needs to carry one of the coins. It would only be used in transactions involving odd amounts. For example, if you purchased an item that cost $2 with a $5 note, you would receive a $2 bill and a dollar coin, not three dollar coins. It would cost half as much money to produce the same amount of money in $2 bills than $1 bills.
I suspect the government will ignore these suggestions, and in a few years we will have to raise the debt ceiling again, which we seem to do every few years now.
I don’t have much faith that they will listen to reason, they certainly haven’t in the past. If they had, we would not be in this predicament. If the cent and paper dollar would be eliminated, I would have faith and optimism that the government is sincere. If it doesn’t happen, it will be same old, same old, and in a few years from now we will be having another budget crisis. Wake up already.
My grief was uncontainable when I read of the outcome of the 1933 $20 gold trial. Now the government could start a witch hunt on 1913 Liberty nickels, since most pattern coins were not sold to the public, like the 1885 Trade dollars and others.
I truly had hoped in this day and age more liberal ideas would prevail. Perhaps the 1933 $20 coins were stolen, I can’t say, but it is obvious that the 1913 nickels were never officially released, either, so on that regard the whole trial must have been a sham. Perhaps we should boycott all the Mint products. If the 1933 coins weren’t officially released then why can’t they be released now? Perhaps have a lottery, or sell them, the way the GSA Morgan dollars were sold a few years ago.
Bob Olekson
Cleveland, Ohio

How I spent my summer vacation – going to class
So I entered a contest with the Hobo Nickel Society and won. Oh no! Going back to school to learn about coins, not cool. To sit in a class on my summer vacation, no way. I am not going, no way.
Next thing I found myself in Texas, what am I doing here? So off to Colorado Springs. I landed at the airport and a big guy named Tiny was there to pick me up. I do not know anybody; I do not want to be here. I hate it, but look at those mountains, pretty cool.
OK. I am in school. Who are all these people? Where is the TV? Nope, no TV So I am off to class, ancient coins – not cool – what is the big deal about old coins? I do not want to see old coins. What are these big ones? Aes and half aes. OK, don’t laugh, be cool. And these? Julius Caesar-Nero, Augustus, Hardin, pretty neat. Two-thousand-year-old stuff in my hand. Really, really sweet. Thank you, Scott. Oh yeah, three kids in the class were 10th graders and speaking Latin and I thought I was smart.
The food has been kind of weak, but they had to tear out the cafeteria. Maybe it will be better next year. I look in the corner. There is an ice cream machine and in the next room, homemade cookies. I could live off this forever. Yeah, OK, pretty cool. Now what next?
Oh no, I signed up for a night class. Was I nuts? Well, I went just for the heck of it. How to close a deal or as I called it, how to be nice to customers or something like that. We spent big money on coins and made big deals and all that stuff. I got an A+.
But wait. It is Thursday night? Dinner and it is almost over. This was fun. I mean really fun. I think I am going to stay next week for Texas stuff and Mexican coins. Especially since John and Ricardo straighten me out on the Mexican-American war. The Americans thought they won. Now we are stuck with southern California and Texas. Maybe we can sell it back and fix the debt.
At night the old guys sit around and play guitars. Ron Landis played banjo and mandolin and Sunny played guitar and don’t trust anybody over 70. Pretty neat. They called it the Moonlight Lounge.
I would like to thank Susan and the ANA staff for a wonderful two weeks. Well, this week is near the end too. Hello, ice cream machine. I think I will miss you the most, but I have to go home. No place like home. What? South Florida? Traffic, work, bills. No way. I don’t want to go; I don’t want to be here. Maybe I will come back next year. I probably won’t be doing anything else next summer.
John R. Petrow
South Florida

 
Walking Liberty coins too nice to melt for silver

After reading the recent article entitled “Key Dates Alive in Market” by Debbie Bradley, I cogitated awhile before responding. In the article, Marc Watts of Gaithersburg Coin Exchange was quoted as saying, “If I had my druthers, I’d rather melt them,” referring to Walking Liberty halves that are now worth double their previous numismatic value in silver content.
I personally feel that this is blasphemy coming from a numismatist. I can understand that some collectors want to make a profit on purchases at some point. I have also sold silver coins for the silver content. But I didn’t do it because “I’d druther do it” (i.e. rather than holding them for their intrinsic collector value). I’m retired and we needed the money.
Therefore, without any further clarification regarding Mr. Watts’ statement, I have to assume that he is simply stating that the money means more to him than the “collecting.”  Walkers are beautiful coins. Wish I still had some.
Dan Sowards
Austin, Texas

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