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Letters to the Editor: Aug. 4, 2020

Should Bank Employees Be Allowed to Search Rolls?

I always enjoy reading about coin hoards and the article about the Atlanta hoard was no exception. However, it raised an issue that has bothered me for some time.

How is it appropriate for bank employees to just sort through bags of coins for rarities? I’ve had two unfortunate incidents involving this issue. One was about 20 years ago when I was hunting for silver Eisenhower dollars. I went to our credit union and asked for 50 of them. At the time, there wasn’t much interest in circulated Ikes, and area institutions seemed to have plenty. What bothered me was when the teller collected the coins, he very deliberately stacked them, and checked the edges himself, obviously looking for any silver coins.

Then, about five years ago, I went to a small bank in the next county and asked the teller if they had any Ikes. Three of the tellers all looked at the fourth one, who very proudly announced that “when they come in, I take them!” She was the lead teller for that bank.

The story about the Atlanta hoard made me want to ask if that practice (employees of financial institutions getting the first option to remove rare coins for their own personal benefit) is considered ethical?

Name Withheld
Evansville, Wis.

YN’s Viewpoint Earns CSNS Scholarship Offer

I saw the “Viewpoint” written by Radek Molchan entitled “YN Perspective Key to Hobby Future.” On behalf of Central States Numismatic Society, I would like to offer Radek a scholarship to next year’s (2021) Summer Seminar to take the “How to Build an Award-Winning Exhibit” class taught by CSNS member and award-winning exhibitor Larry Sekulich.

CSNS is known for having a hobby-leading exhibit area and we are dedicated to that aspect of the hobby. We are also dedicated to nurturing the future of the hobby and exhibiting. So we would like to help Mr. Molchan if we can.

Mitch Ernst
President, Acting Education Director
Central States Numismatic Society

Editor’s Note: We have reached out to Mr. Molchan to put him in touch with President Ernst. Numismatic News applauds CSNS’s commitment to YN education.

Non-Collecting Public’s Coin Confusion Continues

Even during the pandemic, things stay the same. Today at the grocery store, I went to pay for my items with two Ike dollars. The cashier, a teenage youngster, looked at the coins and did not know what they were. He showed the coins to another cashier, who appeared to be in his 40s. The older cashier proclaimed, “We don’t take those. I don’t think they’re real.” An older lady customer in the next line exchanged two $1 bills for my two Ike dollars. My change came to 19 cents, so I gave the youngster cashier six cents to get a quarter back. The youngster cashier gave me my six cents back with another 19 cents change. Some things stay the same.

Lyle Okamoto
San Jose, Calif.

More of the Same from the U.S. Mint

I received the U.S. Mint 2020 Collector’s Guide in the mail the other day. I was disappointed. Silver Presidential medals? Who wants that? Please don’t tell me there is going to be another Nixon coin! The dollar coin with the statue of Liberty has too much blank space. So unoriginal. Couldn’t they have put some eagles flying by, or Air Force/Navy jets with long condensation trails flying by?

Sure the Liberty, Buffalo and Mercury coins are good, but they are old hat. The basketball coin is excellent, and I am wanting a Liberty coin with an Asian American female as Liberty (I don’t know what that newer one is supposed to be, searching the web does not help), but I guess everyone else must love all of this as we keep getting more of the same.

I would prefer more originality and beauty and not the same old, same old. The bats from American Samoa are accidentally topical, but not for me. Maybe if there is a change of administrations, we will get some people at the Mint that are interested in interesting and beautiful products.

Tom Ray
Woodbridge, Va.

Numismatic Mishap for VDB Lincoln Cent

A couple of observations in regards to Wayne Fisher’s letter in the June 23 issue of Numismatic News: “VDB Coin Delivery Makes for a Good Day.”

One would think after having collected coins since Mr. Fisher was “5 years old,” and that it took him “... almost 55 years to fill the 1909-S VDB slot,” he would have learned NOT to use “a pencil eraser” (ouch!) to rub over the designer’s initials on the reverse to confirm such.

Alas, such a circulated copper cent (if in its original state) would have exhibited a brown patina which had formulated over its 111 years. No doubt because of the pencil eraser rubbing, the VDB will now stand out and outshine the rest of the coin’s surfaces and thus reduce the value of this extremely popular Lincoln cent! Perhaps Mr. Fisher would have been more clear-headed had he not been “sitting under a tree drinking wine” when “the mailman delivered it.”

In a perfect world, Mr. Fisher might also have contacted the numismatically uneducated gentleman who had offered the coin on eBay and offered him an additional, equitable amount of money for his exciting find! Thus, he might have acquired a new friend for life, maybe even introduced him to the wonderful world of numismatics, and it would have been “a good day” for both parties. Ah, indeed, if only we did live in a perfect world.

Sam Lukes
Visalia, Calif.