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Letters to the Editor (December 6, 2016)

Blog inspires quest for dateless Buffalo nickels


Your blog on dateless Buffalo nickels really inspired me! Let’s see if I can make some finds. I’m going to get a bunch of rolls of dateless nickels and get date restorer. Wonder if I’ll find another 1914-D. Or even an overdate! That would make my day.

Ginger Rapsus
Chicago, Ill.

Majority of nickels inspected showed dates

Just for the heck of it, I bought $50 worth of undated, worn out Buffalo nickels for a few cents over face value. I then ordered a bottle of Nic-a-Date acid and cleaned the date areas, and to my surprise 98 percent of the coins showed a date. I was able to get 49 of the 68-coin set. I now am on my way to collecting an almost worthless coin collection. LOL. Who says coin collecting can’t be fun?

J. Karpinski
Address withheld

Cash more practical than gold for day-to-day life

I just read with interest the article in the “Numismatic Update” e-newsletter how sales of gold Eagles decreased in 2007 when the economy was strong and increased in 2009 during the recession. I personally do not own any gold. Never bought any. Were the people who bought all that gold in 2009 better off than me? Can you take gold into a supermarket and use it to buy groceries? Can you pay your mortgage with gold? Can you pay your utility bills with gold? No, no, no and no. People are lulled into a false sense of security. Unless there is a worldwide catastrophe of cataclysmic proportions, I’ll take cash in the bank over gold any time.

Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

Mint addresses gold Libertys for sale on TV

It is 8 p.m. Sunday evening, Nov. 13. I just finished watching the Home Shopping Network channel on cable TV. During the show that I just watched, a fellow by the name of Mike was selling the Walking Liberty 2016 Centennial half dollar gold coin, ANACS graded SP-70 for $1,799. They don’t go on sale by the U.S. Mint until Thursday, Nov. 17. I called the show and was told they have 178 of them and “must have gotten them a little early.”

There is an order limit, they don’t go on sale until the 17th, and he already has 178 of them – all graded SP-70 by ANACS. What gives here? Do some folks get special dispensation from the Mint, or was this guy not telling the whole truth? And the sale price at the Mint will be a little north of $800. Jeez.

David Hegg
Watertown S.D.

Editor’s note: We sent this inquiry to the U.S. Mint for its official response. Here it is:

“As we have previously said on several occasions, dealers are never given preferential treatment for any product that we offer.

“The Walking Liberty coins go on sale to everyone this Thursday, November 17th, at noon Eastern Time via our website and call center. The household order limit is three, and the mintage will be 70,000.

“Unfortunately, we cannot restrict any company from making claims that they have the coins available for sale. However, we can assure all our customers that no firm or individual has any Gold Walking Liberty coins – despite whatever claims they may make. We can also assure our customers – and your readers– that the coin will be offered on our website or through our call center at a price that is far below what your reader may have heard or seen on a shopping network."

Mint should have allowed for three-coin gold sets

I recently wrote to you concerning your “Best of Buzz” article on the mintage limits you thought should be established for the Standing Liberty quarter and Walking Liberty Half gold commemoratives. As it stands today, we are already above your suggested mintage limits on the Standing Liberty quarter by more than 10,000 pieces.

Your prediction that the collectors, dealers, etc. would only spend the same amount of dollars for each of the three coins seems not to be holding up too well. As I stated in my letter, to not allow each collector to at least have the opportunity to put together a complete three-coin set is a disservice to the collectors of these commemorative coins.

While I will agree it will most likely be a stretch to sell 100,000, and selling 125,000 Standing Liberty gold quarters would be impossible. We are well on our way to maybe selling 80,000 to 85,000 quarters.

The Mint’s initial offering on the Mercury Dime of 10 per household was ridiculous, and then to follow it up with a limit of one per household on the Standing Liberty gold quarter was plain stupid. The Mint went from one extreme to another, but as I said earlier in my last letter, the Mint does not need input from anyone to make the wrong call on their programs. They have been doing this for years now. A limit of two or three coins would, in my opinion, be a better option on these types of programs.

I see a Mr. Robert Matitia wrote in “Best of Buzz” that the gold Standing Liberty quarters will not break 65,000 pieces. Well, I guess his letter was a little premature as we now stand at 75,388 per Numismatic News, Oct. 18, Page 4 (now 80,000). Most likely we are somewhat above that total number by now.

On another issue, I read some time ago the publishers of Red Book were in a tizzy of where to put the Mercury dime in the Red Book. I did not comment on this subject at that time but would like to put in my thoughts today. I have no clue how other collectors feel, but I bet some would think the same way I do and that is the Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter and Walking Liberty half dollar minted in gold are a three-coin commemorative set. They should be listed with the modern commemorative in the Red Book, not with the old silver issue coins of the same basic type.

One more point: I believed the Mint missed a golden opportunity by not setting aside some of the mintage of these three coins – let’s say 25,000 of each – for three-coin commemorative gold sets.

David L. Kline
Beaver Springs, Pa.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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