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Letters to the Editor: Feb. 11, 2020

Numismatic News Update

A smile came across my face while reading the “Editor’s Note” in the Jan. 7, 2020 issue of Numismatic News.

It is a welcome announcement that Numismatic News will focus on the print issue. One could reasonably suppose that hobbyists who collect tangible items –coins and currency in our case – will have an affinity toward a tangible news magazine over an electronic version. The decision by NN’s new management to prioritize print media anchors this connection. Much appreciated.

JW Houghton
Jacksonville, Fla.

Advice For Collectors

What is coin collecting really about? In two words, sorting coins. I have been diligently sorting through coins for 65 years. Not only is it a form of meditation, like any repetitive act, but I still find good stuff. I encourage readers to find a good bank that has a coin machine so you don’t have to roll up your coins and always check reject bins for foreign coins, silver coins, etc.

You can still find Wheat cents, silver nickels, Indian Head cents and nickels, and foreign coins. It is a more profitable pursuit than getting ripped off by the U.S. Mint whose products usually depreciate in value. As for buying silly MS-70 coins at very exorbitant prices, don’t do it! If you are a collector who wants to make money, buy only keys in fine or better condition (no condition rarities.)

So, if you want to be a kid again and enjoy your hobby, sort through coins and go to a coin show. You can always get better deals than a retail store and meet some really interesting characters. Another thing to avoid is dealers who charge too much for coins that will never appreciate in value and charge too much for postage, handling and shipping, insurance, and processing.

Also, don’t buy any coin online or through television (that’s the worst.) I recommend that you see it in person before you buy it. I hope you have fun with the “hobby of kings” and “the king of hobbies.” I’m still waiting to find a ‘09 SVDB in change.

Bruce Chukoian
Address Withheld

Coin Collector For Life

I have been a numismatist since I was very young. I started out collecting coins when people still had (maybe) a silver dollar or half dollar in their pockets. When I was a youngster, I would always check the coin returns of any vending machine (cigarettes to soda pop) I saw. If nobody was looking and I had the money, I would buy a pack of cigarettes just for the two, or maybe three cents at the bottom of the pack. It seemed Pay Phones would always lie to me: “PUSH FOR COIN.”-- NOT!

My Junior High School (middle school to the youngsters) would split the lunch periods in half to show movies. I would sit in the front row and retrieve the cents that the boys in the back row would roll down the aisle. I don’t know who or how many did that, but I’d like to say “thanks, guys!” (I had a good start on the new Memorial Back cents as well as more “Wheat” cents.

I got away from all that “childish” stuff for a long while. But suddenly I was awakened as I walked by a person using a Coinstar. It was taking a lot of coins, but rejecting some too. I introduced myself as a coin collector and offered to buy the rejects. The person replied, “you can have them, they’re junk anyway!”

Any collector who isn’t picky about the coins he/she finds, and for a great price, look around. In the return of the Coinstar, or sometimes around it, on the ground, or in your change after purchases, there might just be something there.

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio