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Letters to the Editor: April 28, 2020

Scout Coin Collecting Program a Great Success

Troop 18 - Coin Show

Scouts from Troop 18 in Knoxville, Tenn., recently attended a Knoxville Coin & Currency Show to work on the BSA Coin Collecting Merit Badge. Attending the coin show completed one of their requirements and also enabled the scouts to complete their collections requirements if they were missing any coins while assembling at home.

It was interesting to note how this age group collected the 50 state quarters program and the America the Beautiful quarters program interchangeably, as a single series, when trying to fulfill one of the collecting requirements. It was also interesting to see each scout’s collecting interests and what appealed to them outside of the merit badge’s collecting requirements.

Many thanks to Robert Bruner, Don Rhodes, Robert Hamby and all the coin dealers in attendance that were able to interact with the eight scouts and their parents, making this an enjoyable experience for all.

Nate Valukas
Knoxville, Tenn.

Young Numismatists Teach Dad About Coins


I wasn’t sure who to send this to and thought it was a little interesting since the business of numismatics has a hard time attracting young people.

Please realize no one in my house is into numismatics except for my kids, who gained an interest several years ago when a friend of mine gave them some coins. He also gives them your monthly magazines when he is done with them. No family member has any numismatic knowledge basis.

My kids like to put together exhibits to compete against each other and usually pick up coins working as pages at shows like FUN, GNA, etc.

My kids, Radek and Marley Molchan, are 12-year-old twins from Knoxville, Tenn. They both had prepared their GNA exhibits; however, due to COVID-19 school has been canceled and most kids are at home. While they have different types of school work they have to do (math, science, etc), one of their assignments was to present a topic of choice. It could be about TikTok, clothes, COVID- 19, etc. – anything that they wanted. Additionally, it was only supposed to be an oral presentation.

Both created very in-depth PowerPoint presentations (which they had never done before). I thought it was awesome that they picked something like coins, and my son taught me a lot about the El Cazador, which I didn’t know about – especially the role it played in history.

Thus, I thought it was interesting that they both picked coins to present and that they put a lot of effort into doing PowerPoint presentations. I thought it might be interesting to see that young people can still be interested. Honestly, the GNA show is their favorite show because of how they work with the YNs, and I think it really keeps their interests up.

Rick Molchan
Address Withheld

New ‘Red Book’ Has Regurgitated Info, Errors

The Red Book 2021 Edition, as usual, is really a regurgitation of the last one. There are the same uncorrected typos, the silver Eagle section is once again in error, they’ve confused the value of the now-fabled Fiasco Mint coin 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof ASE (which isn’t even listed) and given the $1,250 amount to the 2019-W Enhanced Reverse Proof from the Pride of Two Nations ASE.

They also have listed the last item under the ASE Sets “2020 Pride of Nations Two-Coin Set Enhanced Reverse Proof Silver Eagle and Israel Silver Coin.” The U.S. Mint says they have no idea what that set is and have no info for such a set.

Whitman needs a professional numismatist proofreader for their typos. Over the years, Whitman has made a few changes at my suggestion. Lately, they just don’t seem to care. I’ve suggested that they note things like the 1990 Eisenhower commemorative be designated as the first silver coin to bear the “W” mintmark, and the 1993 Bill of Rights commemorative half be designated as the first silver half dollar to also bear the “W” mintmark. I’ve asked them to show the 2016-S silver Eight Piece Limited Edition set has a “W” ASE in it.

Whitman is certainly the biggest publisher in the field of numismatics – I have 14 of their publications – but I’ve yet to find even one that is typo-free. Is this the best they can do?

Steve McGowan
Algonac, Mich.