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This week’s letters (05/01/12)

 

Good info in Heller article on gold medals
I thoroughly enjoyed the cover story by Patrick A. Heller – “Time to seek gold medals?” – in the current issue of Numismatic News. Information about the series is hard to find. His article fills in lots of information about the series.
In reading the article you might think that the medallions were issued like coins, that is, when the year on the medallion ended the medallions were no longer available. That was not true. You could get all the medallions, regardless of year indicated on them, until the program ended Dec. 31, 1985.
That, of course, is why the Mint did not issue sales or six-year mintage figures until, as the article says, May 1986. I would assume that when the program ended all medallions on hand at the Mint were melted shortly thereafter, thus the reported figures in May 1986 were final figures unless some minor returns occurred subsequently.
In the last year or so dealers were selling the odd ones that I saw they had at about melt. There are a number of reasons for that but I’m guessing the big reason is that there is not much of a demand for them, regardless of mintage. Presumably the ultimate retail buyers of these medallions are primarily medal collectors and not gold bullion buyers who want something that is very easy to sell/liquidate.
Ron Thompson
Decatur, Ga.

This hobby lets you collect whatever makes you smile
I thoroughly enjoy reading numismatic literature of any type, especially the likes of numismatic news and my emailed KP Numismatic Updates. They’re fun.
I really like your questions, but I was somewhat dismayed to read a letter from Peter Glassman of Schaumburg, Ill. It seems that Mr. Glassman has a very low opinion of the fine people that make up our great hobby, especially roll searchers of Lincoln cents.
And no, Mr. Glassman, I’m not looking for a roll of 1909-S VDB Lincolns, just that one coin that when I look at it I say, “Oh, yeah!” and smile.
Yes, I hoard Lincoln cents and nickels, dimes, quarters, halves, and silver dollars and anything else that makes me smile.
You see, Mr. Glassman, that’s what is so great about our hobby. Everybody is entitled to voice their opinion. Try doing that anywhere else and see what happens.
Michael P. Schmeyer
Halsey Valley, N.Y.

Replace cent, nickel with 3-cent piece
My comments have to do with Canada’s decision to eliminate cents and the speculations the USA may follow suit.
I have an idea that would be saving the Mint (and taxpayers) a considerable amount of money each year. Eliminate both the cent and the nickel and re-introduce the old 3-cent piece. The new 3-cent piece could be of identical composition as today’s cent and possibly made a bit smaller or larger or thicker to avoid confusion.
If the cost of manufacturing a cent is now 1.4 cents and the cost of manufacturing a nickel is in excess of 11 cents, there would be a huge bump in total seniorage to the Mint. To begin with, there would be no longer any negative seniorage from 1 cent and 5-cent production (approximately $81,500,500 savings based on 2010 production of 1 and 5-cent pieces), and there would actually be a small positive seniorage making a 3-cent piece.
The rounding up or down now only would be 1 cent in either direction using the 3-cent multiple. Example: 1, 4, 7, 13, 16, would round down while 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, would round up. Worse case scenario would be someone loses a cent.
My guess is they would be saved just as the cents and nickels are today. Additionally, there would be more collector interest in saving the existing 1 cent and 5-cent pieces until they were all out of circulation like the old 20-cent pieces are now.
Roy Marques
Hebron, Conn.

Dime to honor March of Dimes a great idea
I just read the March 6 “Viewpoint” on the overhaul of the commemorative coin program.What a wonderful idea for the March of Dimes commemorative dime! What better way to honor the March of Dimes.
I remember as a kid in school getting those March of Dimes folders and filling them up with dimes. I recalled the fun we had while reading this article as the memories came back to me. I think everyone should petition the government for a commemorative dime not dollar to honor the March of Dimes.
Also, I wonder why, with all the interest in type set collecting, one of the major coin album manufacturers has not started producing these albums. I have been looking for Great Britain, Philippines, Canadian, and Mexican type set albums for over a year. I finally got a Canadian and Mexican album, which were produced back in the 1960s (way out of date) and the two albums together cost me as much as most of the coins combined. Still haven’t been able to find the other two.
I just do not understand why all of the album companies all stopped producing these albums so many years ago. If only one of them would take the lead and start producing them again, they might get a loyal following, hint, hint, hint.
Joseph Paulk
Prattville, Ala.

Great location for recent Milwaukee coin show
We would like to thank the South Shore Coin Club (SSCC) for giving the American Numismatic Association a free table at its 48th annual show held March 29-31 at the Milwaukee Wyndham Airport Hotel.
It was a nice convention that had 60 tables, exhibits and a decent attendance. Show security was outstanding. A Boy Scout merit badge clinic was run by the Milwaukee Numismatic Society in conjunction with the show. Forty scouts were certified to receive their merit badges.
This location is superb to host the show as the hotel has free shuttles to the airport and parking. Many hotels and restaurants are also nearby. We were able to sign up or renew 18 members for the ANA. A special thanks to Andrew Kimmel, Paragon Numismatics, from Milwaukee, for donating money to ANA, for the shipment of the show kit. We look forward to next year’s convention to be held at the same location on April 4-6, 2013.
John and Nancy Wilson
Ocala, Fla.

2009 coins finally showing up in circulation
I wanted to drop you a quick note to mention that I am just recently starting to see 2009 cents circulating with regularity. Up until a few months ago, 2010 and 2011 cents were far more commonly seen. The distribution of 2009 reverses seems pretty much equal.
I still have seen only one 2009 5-cent piece in circulation, and no dimes at all.
This is south-central Pennsylvania. And yes, I still check every coin.
V. Kurt Bellman
Harrisburg, Pa.

‘Viewpoint’ writer talks dollars, cents
I am sorry for my haphazardly written “Viewpoint” that was published in the Feb. 17 Numismatic News. I was trying to express two main points.
First, since there is rampant government spending not in greenback but paid out in electronic transactions, the number of dollars held in banks, corporations, and individuals around the world has increased. Those dollars outweigh the number of greenbacks that exist. Therefore, there is an expansion of dollars through the use of electronic transaction.
Next, factor in that those greenbacks are not backed by precious metals, common metals, beach sand, mud, or anything. The value of the U.S. dollar is only the perceived value of the holder or merchant. The demand for the U.S. dollar over another currency is based on the dollar’s perceived value.
So, take simple economics and build a supply and demand chart placing the number of dollars (electronic and greenbacks) versus the world’s demand on the axis. If we make the demand constant, and increase the number of dollars (federal government spending), the value will drop. Conversely, if we hold the supply of dollars constant and decrease the demand, the value will also go down. If the supply increases, the dollar will be easier to obtain resulting in the perceived value of the dollar going down (less rare). Less rare results in lower demand.
Therefore if both the supply increases and the demand drops, the dollar will lose value. If the value of the dollar is compared to the rest of the world’s monetary system, then precious metals will go up in value. I was using the Canadian dollar’s change from $.72 to $1.05 to show the lowering of the dollar’s value. It might not be perfect, but it is a close neighbor that American can relate to.
As for my second point, sorry for making the large jump to conclusions in the last two sentences. I was trying to say that by rounding to the nearest dime, I could lose out on some money; I can make it up by bring a brown bag lunch. By bringing lunch from home, I will save money; it is also healthier.
As for the half cent, the minting of the half cent was stopped in 1857 and by 1860 there was little effect to the economy. People just stopped using the half cent. Therefore, if we should stop making the cent and nickel, the public will become accustomed to only using the dime as the lowest value coin. Since both the cent and nickel coins have less purchasing power than the half cent had in 1857, their removal from our monetary system will have less of an effect than the loss of the half cent. Both the nickel and cent will slowly fade into history.
As for the Canadians, that was a splice of two separate thoughts (half cent and stop printing of dollar bills) that resulted in “of the 1860 Canadians.” The Canadians abolished the $1 and $2 bills and moved to coins. Yes, there was grumbling for a short time, but everyone got used to the Loonie and Twoonie and it has became a fact of life. Americans will adjust to the change from bills to coins, or most likely plastic in the form of credit and debit cards.
As for Mr. McCurdy, yes, things can be very simplified in Viewpointland, but I was trying give people a different perspective. I am sorry for making some jumps in thought that make the “Viewpoint” difficult to read. I hope this explanation helps.
Randolph Hutton
Orlando, Fla.

Louisiana mail carrier finds 2012 coins
I am rural mail carrier in North Louisiana. I make change on a daily basis for people purchasing individual stamps on the route.
This past week I received two new 2012 pennies, and 1 “P” nickel. Also, two weeks ago I found a 2012 penny on the ground in front of Lowe’s store.
Mike Froelich
Ruston, La.

Getting difficult to hold small coin, stamp shows
I am starting to wonder what the future will hold for the small coin and stamp shows around the country.
For the past few years I have been show chairman for Black Hills Coin and Stamp Club. I have noticed it is getting harder and harder to get dealers to commit early to coming to the show.
Gas and lodging is going up and up with no end in site. Places to hold the show are harder to find and require booking over a year in advance.
We normally have our show in September, but our 2013 show will be in August as the Civic Center where we have our show is booked already for all of September 2013. Even some of the advertising requires over a year advance notice to get on the electronic bill boards.
It seems that more and more dealers are waiting to the last minute to commit to the show so they have a better idea on their cost when coming to a show. This makes putting on a show very difficult.
We spend all the money from table fees on the room and advertisement cost, but when the dealers don’t send their money in until the last month before the show it’s hard to take ads out at that late of a date.
I hope small coin and stamp shows will be here forever, but I am beginning to wonder.
Jim Coulthard
Box Elder, S.D.

CCAC welcomes comments online
I received a message today that came in through the “Contact Us” porthole on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee website. This stuff gets passed around by the chairman of the CCAC and widely read by the members. And it is often discussed at the CCAC meetings with the director of the Mint, chief engraver and/or other staff that is present.
If you would remind the readers that the website is ccac.gov and they can go to the “Contact Us” page for the info@ccac.gov email address.
Erik Jansen
Mercer Island, Wash.

Type set album upgrade needed to stay current
I’m curious as to how many type set collectors would like to see an upgrade to the Dansco Type Set album that would accommodate the more recent changes to our coinage.
As it stands, the album does an excellent job of capturing coin types from the 18th through the 20th centuries while technically allowing for some of the 21st century coins – Sacagawea dollar, Statehood quarter, and the American Eagle dollar for those who opted for a more recent selection in their albums.
By numismatic definition, “type” marks a change in design, and in recent years there have been enough changes in types to warrant an upgrade to the album. As all of these changes have occurred since the dawning of the 21st century, it could be as simple and easy as developing an additional page entitled “21st Century Coins” (or even a continuation of the “Modern U.S. Coinage” page) and provide openings for the four bicentennial Lincoln coins, as well as the new Lincoln Shield design, the four Westward Expansion nickels (which featured changes to both the obverse and reverse) as well as the Return to Monticello (new obverse, enhanced reverse), the D.C./Territories and America the Beautiful quarters, the Presidential dollars and even the Spouse commemorative coin. These additional coins are easily attainable and have contributed significantly to the hobby.
I am a second generation collector largely in part due to these changes and their availability, which has also sparked my daughter’s interest in the hobby – a third generation. It would seem to me that production of an additional page would be a minimal expense and sales of the same would be a sure thing. Upon hearing a rumor to this effect, I wrote to Dansco Corp. to ascertain the validity. A year later I wrote again. The only response was an order form for their already-stocked update pages.
Although this is something I would really like to see happen, I know I can’t make them do this, however I would be content to at least be provided with a straightforward response – it’s in the works, it’s not feasible to them, etc. In the days of modern technology with a zillion ways to communicate, they can’t seem to find one. Perhaps if other collectors write to them, or even better, just cut this article out and send it to them with comments, it might happen. If not them, maybe Whitman, Warman’s, Littleton, etc. Their address is: The Dansco Corporation, 4313 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016-4114.
Steve Owens
Baltimore, Md.

Nona Moore’s greatest gift was kindness
Nona G. Moore, Numismatic Ambassador, class of 1985, passed away recently, having a massive heart attack.
She had emailed me about a week before her death, after a long hiatus, wishing me well, asking for updates, and wanting to make some donations to the California Exonumist Society (CES). As she said, “at age 92, it’s time to adjust.” Sadly, she passed away just about a week later.
Nona was “old school,” and there are not many of those left in our hobby, this world of money. She believed and practiced that our hobby was, first and foremost, about friends rather than those round metallic disks some of us pursue. In fact, until her final email, after all these years, I never really knew what she collected.
I knew that she collected ‘friends’ though. From the first time we met, and through the years, when are paths crossed in southern California, her smile, her kind and low laugh, and her openness were always evident, and something anticipated. She became your friend, and she even became my late Mother’s friend, exchanging cards and greetings with her until her passing. In fact, she remarked once that she enjoyed receiving an occasional card from my late mother. That kindness shall never be forgotten, and is what our hobby, or any avocation, should be about: kindness toward others.
When we last met, she asked me to do give the invocation at some dinner, a function that she had done for years. Little did I know at that time that it was symbolic of the passing from generation of coin hobby advocates to another generation of coin hobby advocates.
Ending, our hobby – this ‘hobby of kings and king of hobbies’ – has always been blessed and enriched by women, and men, as Nona. She may not have had a great collection or national stature; yet, she practiced one of the greatest of treasures: kindness toward others.
Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.

2012-P nickel shows up in New Jersey
If I recall correctly, you had recently requested Numismatic News readers to report any 2012 coins encountered in circulation. Last week my wife received a 2012-P nickel in change.
Mel Kassenoff
West Orange, N.J.

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