Coin collectors are well known complainers about the U.S. Mint.
Some complaints are justified.
Some are not.
When I returned from the Texas Numismatic Association convention to the office on Monday, waiting for me was a pile of mail.
In that pile were two letters from collectors. Both were complaints about the U.S. Mint.
However, the views expressed were diametrically opposed to each other.
One letter writer complained that when he recently went to order an Eleanor Roosevelt First Spouse uncirculated gold $10 coin, he was told by the telephone operator who took his call that the coin was no longer available.
His complaint to me was to ask why the Mint simply cannot make more.
I don’t know why he asked me that question because it seems to be in direct opposition to his reason for wanting to buy the coin in the first place.
He points out the low mintages in his letter. He underlines in red the fact that 2,377 proofs were sold and 1,866 uncirculated.
It seems clear that he is attracted to the low mintages.
If the Mint makes more, those low mintages will cease to be so low.
Perhaps his plea is for the Mint to make precisely one more.
The lesson to be drawn from this is if you want a Mint issued coin, don’t wait eight months after it is first offered to attempt to buy it. The Roosevelt coin went on sale last Sept. 4.
Taking the opposite point of view was a letter writer who misunderstood the difference between the March of Dimes commemorative silver dollar mintage maximum of 500,000 and the 75,000 maximum number of the March of Dimes Special Silver Set that includes a proof example of the dollar.
The writer believed that the Mint had changed the maximum mintage of the set to 500,000.
This is the second handwritten letter I have received from a collector who has made this mistake. Both stem from conversations with the Mint's hired telephone sales takers.
Of course, the set is very desirable because the proof and reverse proof silver dimes in it do indeed have a maximum mintage of 75,000.
The current sales number stands at 74,806 as the Mint works its way through returns and expired credit cards.
Admittedly, this particular letter is based on a mistake, but when taken with the other letter that arrived with it, the Mint is being urged to make more coins and to make fewer at the same time.
Neat trick if this can be done.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."