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This week’s letters (05/22/12)

 

Research helped discovery of large cent variety
I would like to add that after reading the initial article in Numismatic News regarding the discovery of the 1825 large cent variety, I decided to look at the Frank Andrews text myself at the Library of Congress.
The notes from the 1883 text showed a great deal of wear. I wondered what others may have thought about it as they perused it. Hundreds of hands after all these years. There are no photos, simply descriptions of each variety. Newcomb used the text in preparing his later work and simply noted it was not known to him rather than listing what Andrews had stated about the 1825 A5 large cent. Now I felt I was more prepared to try and find one! And soon I would have one!
Henry T. Hettger
Arlington, Va.

2012-D cents found in 8 of 10 rolls of coins
I don’t consider myself a “numismatist” by a long shot, not even a facsimile of a collector, but I enjoy going through coins of all denomination looking for treasures of one sort or another.
It has been a habit to purchase rolls, particularly pennies, since that is what I can afford, and search them a couple of rolls at a time. My favorite cents are ones that are colored or have what I call “stripes,” though I have found lots of wheaties and a couple of Canadian silver coins (yeah!).
Last week I bought 10 rolls at the bank and the third roll I cracked was filled with 2012-D’s, all bright and shiny! I didn’t open the other rolls, but examination reveals new ones on both ends leading me to assume that I have eight rolls of brand new pennies. My happy dance lasted quite a while.
You have a great publication; keep up the good work.
David Bibby
Prairie Grove, Ark.

Eliminating cent to cost more in long run
I read with interest the April 24th Numismatic News and David Ganz’s column regarding the Canadian penny. Ganz is one of the few people focusing on the real issue, the U.S. “Mint’s accounting analysis” that is spreading fixed overhead costs over a small number of coins.
If you look back at the House Financial Services hearing record from April 17, you’ll see Rod Bosco’s testimony and Navigant’s February report that looked at Mint overhead that quantified this issue for the first time.
Navigant found the government would actually lose money without the penny. How?
First, the Mint’s fabrication and distribution costs include fixed components that will continue to be incurred whether or not the Mint produces the penny. Navigant estimates this fixed component at $13 million in FY 2011. Plus, there is $17.7 million in Mint overhead allocated to the penny that would have to be absorbed by the remaining denominations of circulating coins without the penny.
Second, under current Mint accounting, the nickel costs 11 cents to manufacture. In response to a 2006 question from the Subcommittee, the Mint put forward a scenario where nickel production doubled without the penny. It’s hard to see how you save money by making more nickels that are losing more money. The data bears this out. Applied to FY 2011 cost and shipment data, the Mint would have incurred an additional net cost of $40.4 million without the penny last year.
Navigant concludes that with existing fixed costs and the nickel substitution scenario outlined by the Mint, eliminating the penny would likely result in increased net costs to the Mint of $10.9 million, relative to the current state.
Fortunately the U.S., unlike Canada, will have a healthy debate on these matters. The Navigant report highlights important steps the Mint has taken to reduce fixed costs. And while the Mint is pursuing cost reductions, production volumes must remain stable. As outlined in the Ganz column and discussed in the Navigant testimony, penny elimination would not eliminate government losses, and will actually increase the overall loss to the Mint due to increased production of the nickel and ongoing Mint overhead costs.
Mark W. Weller
Executive Director
Americans for Common Cents

2008-W Buffalo is low mintage coin
This is to advise that Eric Jordan’s article on key modern coins (May 1 NN) is a great article, but has a critical mistake. “2008 Buffalo issues” in the chart on page 34 is misleading. It’s the 2008-W’s (not noted) that have the low mintages. I already made a $2,300 mistake by buying a “$50 Unc Gold Buffalo” only to learn that it was the 2008-W, not the 2008 that had the low mintage.
Michael Fey
Ironia, N.J.

Thank you CSNS for ANA table at Schaumburg show
Thank you Convention Chair Kevin Foley, Bourse Chair Jerry Lebo and the rest of the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Board for once again providing a free table to the American Numismatic Association (ANA) at your 73rd Anniversary Convention held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center on April 16-21, 2012. We were able to sign up around 15 new members for the ANA and participated in the YN Treasure Hunt. A special thanks to David Hall, from Hallmark Rare Coins & Precious Metals, Inc., from Kodak, Tenn., for the donation that paid for the shipment of the Coin Show Kit. We also want to thank ANA Vice President Dr. Walter Ostromecki Jr. for helping at the table.
This Schaumburg, Ill., CSNS Convention appeared to be a huge success and we rate it an MS-70. The show featured a sold-out bourse of top notch dealers, an outstanding Heritage auction (featuring coins and currency), major educational programs and club meetings, a well done program and guide to educational exhibits, a good public attendance, excellent security and security room, free numismatic publications from Krause Publications and other firms, most grading companies, free parking, many nearby hotels and attractions. Another great feature was the free Wi-Fi for dealers provided by eBay.
We have attended many conventions since 1968 and consider the exhibits at this convention the second best “ever,” since the Chicago 1991 ANA. We named the exhibit area “The Miracle Mile of Exhibits.” Exhibitors (and judges) are treated like royalty at CSNS conventions. They receive not only gold prizes for all winning classes, but also a silver round for judging and exhibiting. They are also invited to a special dinner and awards breakfast. Kudos’ to Fran (and Ray) Lockwood, along with Jack Huggins, for their work in this area. This convention center (attached to the hotel) is one of the best in the country. We hope to return to the next CSNS convention held in this same site on April 24-27, 2013.
John and Nancy Wilson
ANA National Volunteers
Ocala, Fla.

‘Exonumia’ coverage much appreciated
Thank you very much for your “Exonumia” column. I enjoy the coverage you are giving to elongated coins, wooden nickels and encased coins. I look forward to the column in each issue, and order many of the items reported on. I find this area of collecting interesting, fun and a relatively low budget specialty.
Mahalo! And keep up the great work!
Michael Mochizuki
Aiea, Hawaii

A couple of questions for readers to consider
Kudos to Edward Meyers’ article “Keep the paper’s focus on the hobby.” I second the motion!
As long as I’m writing I may as well mention that we all know the Mint is a government agency, thus not interested in making money, nor keeping the collector happy, so why bother to offer them suggestions? Maybe if we could afford a lobbyist (like the favored big boys who are the only ones who can buy silver “bullion” Eagles from the Mint for resale) we could get the Mint to sell directly to the public? How much would the Mint make? I’m sure someone reading this will help me out.
Dave, why don’t you take a poll on these two questions: 1. Should the paper focus on the hobby? 2. Should the Mint sell bullion silver Eagles directly? Not that the second question would matter, but we could vent.
Cliff Nelson
Hayward Wis.

No 2012 cents showing up in Phoenix area
Just read your article about 2012 cents showing up late in circulation this year. I live in the Phoenix, Ariz., metro area and have been wondering why I haven’t seen any 2012 minted coins. Sure isn’t the weather as it’s beautiful here. I check my change every day as I am looking for any goodies I can find, but still haven’t seen a 2012 coin.
Scott Kane
Phoenix, Ariz.

Keep letters focused on numismatic topics
Thank you for Edward Meyers’ “Viewpoint” in the April 24 Numismatic News. Mr. Meyers’ thesis is that any numismatic publication that regularly publishes “Letters to the Editor” that have little to do with numismatics (and a great deal to do with the writer’s personal and political biases) is straying from its numismatic mission.
His secondary message is to those of us in numismatics who write letters to the editor. Do our thoughts relate to numismatics, or to other topics less connected to our wonderful hobby?
Thank you, Mr. Meyers for this “Viewpoint,” which should help to keep all of us on track, whether we are numismatists who write to numismatic publications, or numismatic periodical publishers, who publish readers’ comments.
Bob Bair
Denver, Colo.

Politics has always been part of numismatics
I read Mr. Meyers’ “Viewpoint” in the April 24 Numismatic News and was a little confused. I am not a highly educated man but our currency and coins has everything to do with politics. Was it not our elected official back in the 1780s that voted on making coins and a U.S mint? The creation of the branch mints was political. Was not the creation of the 20-cent coin a political decision?
Whether we like it or not politics has played an important part in coin and currency collecting and will continue to do so in the future. I agree with Mr. Meyers that we all get tired of the political rhetoric but whether we are trying to get rid of sales tax on coins or fighting laws like the one passed in Madison, Wis., politics will always be a part of our hobby.
Jim Coulthard
Box Elder, S.D.

One outing nets 2012 cent, roll of 2011 pennies
Always on the lookout, I just received my first 2012-D cent at the Lucky Store in Petaluma, Calif., on April 21. I received it in my change and happened to notice another roll of shiny pennies waiting to be put in the cashier’s drawer and asked to buy it.
On getting home with my spectacles on I found it to be a roll of 2011. I was still happy to find my first shiny 2012 penny.
I enjoy reading my Numismatic News from cover to cover and especially other readers accounts of their finds. Good luck in keeping an eye out fellow numismatists!
Name withheld

2012-D cent received in change in Colorado
In change at King Super grocery store automated checkout in Louisville, Colo., I received a 2012 cent. It was a “D” of course
Erik Jansen
Louisville, Colo.

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