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This week’s letters (05/29/12)

 

What’s so special about high mintage coin sets?
Am I to believe the Mint will produce as many American Eagle San Francisco proof sets as the public orders during the four-week ordering window? Could this lead to a 400,000 to 500,000 mintage?
I see this move as about as exciting as collecting proof sets, which every Tom, Dick and Harry has that are not valued anywhere near the original purchase price. It appears this set will be worth only the going price of silver if it is produced in numbers like any other silver Eagle.
I would really like to know why others pursue this hobby if only for the sake of purchasing an item that everyone else has. I think clarification by the U.S. Mint is needed in regard to its intentions of how many sets will be minted for all concerned numismatists.
I surely will not make an attempt to purchase this item if no set mintage is not announced before June 7 and it becomes another loser like Presidential or First Spouse issues. There has to be a reason for spending a great deal of money on collectibles. I would love for others to come clean and tell me why they want to collect low mintage sets.
Bill Peyton
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Mint needs to do better job on releasing coins
I have ordered five of the National Infantry special sets. I keep watching for its status and the date keeps moving. Now the date is Aug. 9.
I could see why our country is in the shape it is. Our government can’t make up its mind? The date must have been moved about eight to 10 times already.
I also am waiting for next issue of the 5-ounce ATB to be issued. I always look to the Mint site for next release date. This is already May 5. Then when they do release them they will do one every month instead of every two months. Government forgets we are trying to survive, so releasing them so close together is a burden on some people. We are not rich like them!
Thanks. As always, Numismatic News is the best!
Daniel Kuziela
Chicago,Ill.

2012 cents finally show up in southwest Tennessee
I visited my bank April 9 on brief business. When I got up to the teller window, I noticed that her coin tray had many, many shiny new pennies stacked in it. I asked the nice lady if she knew whether they might be the 2012s. She checked and they were all 2012 Denver mints. So I asked to swap a few from my pocket change and Inow am the proud owner of several.
These are the first 2012s of any denomination that I have seen here in southwest Tennessee.
However, I must admit, I do not frequent Walmart, McDonald’s, Home Depot or any of those other high-turnover retail places. Maybe they got some earlier. Not many people that I have asked have seen any 2012 mintages. This seems to be quite late for first coinage to turn up. It’s usually anywhere from late January to late February.
David Smith
Somerville, Tenn.

U.S. should have unified currency with Canada
I was ecstatic when I read that the Canada Mint has decided to dump the cent. Finally someone is doing things right. We have only to follow suit with the same instead of doing a detailed, expensive study whose advice we do not follow anyway. Perhaps their decision will influence us in the right way. The same goes for the dollar coins, too. Why do we need a study to see what is obvious? But they refuse to see or listen.
We should even go one step further like Europe has done and have a unified currency with Canada. I believe we already do with Ecuador and Panama and a few other places. Ohio is a state bordering Canada and when I was young, Canadian coins circulated freely. I found this fun, interesting and exciting, and a combined currency could bring back the fun I miss. Imagine how much fun it is in Europe to get currency of a dozen neighboring countries. Years ago, I remember penny boards of “P,” “D” and “S” mints. How much more thrilling if they could be of a dozen countries, as in Europe, all circulating together in a unified currency.
Canada also has made it interesting by making coin sets in the designs of 100th anniversary coins. They made 2008 coins like 1908 to commemorate the opening of the Royal Canadian Mint, 2011 to celebrate the 1911 dollar, also 100th anniversary gold issues. Why don’t we do this with the 1913 Buffalo nickel in 2013 and the new 1916 silver coins in 2016. What an idea.
I have read that the Mint may wish to increase the silver in the proof sets to 99 instead of 90. I find this unimportant. Why not instead, an all-silver proof set including all six coins! This would be more exciting.
I noticed the U.S. Mint is selling birthday year sets of five coins. In case the Mint was unaware, we have six circulating coins, not five. They need to go back to grade school to learn how to count.
Bob Olekson
Cleveland, Ohio

Why does high-mintage quarter list for more?
In the last NN issue, you featured an article on the ’82 and ’83 Washington quarters. It piqued my curiosity on their values versus mintage even though there were no issued mint sets.
Question: Although the 1983-P Washington quarter has the largest mintage of 674,000,000, it is valued higher. What was the criteria for this?
Dave Myers
Portland, Ore.

Editor’s note: Higher mintages tend to indicate that a coin is more common than a coin with a lower mintage, but if few collectors save the coin with the higher mintage in Mint State at the time of issue, the secondary market will be affected by the relative lack of supply and prices get bid up accordingly.
The important factor for both years is the lack of mint sets. They are often broken up for Mint State examples, but when they do not exist they can have no impact on the available supply of Mint State coins.

Letter author apologizes for using writer’s words
Regarding Louis Golino.
I’m so sorry if I offended his titles. I’m sorry if he’s so sensitive and makes a mountain out of a mole hole.
Life is too short to get all boiled-up like this while the planet is crashing all around us. Perhaps you should worry more about the economy and what George W. Bush and Obama have done with it in the past 12 years.
As a public figure such as yourself now, remember, it’s the economy, not a few words. Not so much your “Magic 8 Ball,” crystal ball and predictions for the future either. I never knew it cannot be used without the permission. It’ll never happen again. Please forgive me. I’m sorry openly here.
Chuck Schroeder
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Don’t rush to make lots of commemorative coins
I would sound the alarm bells at the idea of U.S. coinage makers embracing the trend to make more commemorative coinage. The great danger is that of potentially churning out too much, and, not knowing when to stop. Pandora’s Box, once opened, is hard to close!
Based on the average Australian collector’s experience, the numismatic hobby will, firstly, enthusiastically embrace it, then become somewhat selective as choices grow, then find that the plethora will overwhelm them and interest is stifled. Small-time collectors, who make up the bulk of the industry, will stop collecting or specialize as they cannot keep up with the whole range, nor the cost..
In turn, the makers will turn out more attractive designs, precious metals, etc., to appeal to a different market – the investors. They will limit the size of editions, but emit more as non-circulating legal tender. This is the Oz experience!
“Coins” that rarely get handled by other than investor-collectors are really glorified medallions even if they are made officially by our Mint.
Thousands of the sorts of “basic” coins that do make it into circulation, will be gathered up, as is the way of the public. The state quarter series is a good example in your nation!
They will reside in the back of dresser drawers, in tins and cardboard boxes along with the dreams of the original hoarders of accumulating “wealth.”
On the eventual awakening, Grandpa’s treasure trove will probably never be as great as his dream!
Graeme Petterwood
Ravenswood, Tasmania, Australia

Nice to see a half dollar in circulation
A funny thing happened the other day when I went to pay my cable bill. When the clerk opened the cash drawer she had many golden dollars and to my surprise, Kennedy half dollars.
I haven’t received a half dollar in years. It was rather refreshing. I remember in ‘68, when sodas were a dime, a customer at Pizza King received a half dollar as part of his change. Annoyed, he slamned it on the counter and insisted that he didn’t want it. He than calmly explained that it didn’t work in the vending machines.
I hate that we only make the half dollar in coin sets. Today, prices are more than a dime for a soda. Perhaps, if it were smaller, 27mm with a heptagon shape like the 50 pence coins in the U.K., it would be more likely to circulate without being too big and vending machines could accept them.
Wayne Pearson
Union City, Ind.

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