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Letters to the Editor: July 2, 2019

Answers to Previous Letters


1. “Crystal ball fails”- you can go back to 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollars, 1973 Eisenhower Dollars, and of course, the famous 1950-D Jefferson Nickels. No one has gotten rich on these coins. There are no crystal balls in Numismatics.

2. “Keep the ads coming”- I totally agree,how else can you keep the publication going? The parent group is bankrupt, so I ask all subscribers, to read the ads and purchase coins of interest.

3.The section on collector finds is not necessary, unless it’s a 1913 Liberty Nickel, that’s important. I don’t need to hear about a silver Washington Quarter.

4. “Dealer only accepted cash”- it is well known that dealers only accept cash for bullion coins to keep prices low.They mostly allow credit cards, but the buyer must pay for what the credit card company charges the dealer.

5. For the person that said coins shows play no part in coin collecting who has a nice $78K valued collection. Bring it to a coin show,I am sure the best offer will be $20K. You can go to multiple dealers. I agree that coin auctions are for the rich.

I hope this answers many questions to the recent letters to Numismatic News.

Ronald Rescigno
Basking Ridge,NJ.

Editor’s Note:

Thank you Ronald for offering your insight on our previous letters. I’m sure readers appreciate it!

Along Came Mike

I read about the great 2019 coin hunt idea and being new to the hobby I liked the idea, but along came Mike at some late night hour on HSN offering these “W” mint marked graded coins for close to $75.00.

To tell the truth it made me feel a bit sad that I may never find mine in change.As good old Mike takes partial credit for perhaps bending the mint’s ear to start such a program, I now know why. It is to fatten his wallet. The man has NO shame.

Jeffrey Booth
Bozrah, CT

Bicentennial Coinage

Bicentennial coinage was immensely popular when the new Bicentennial coins were first released in mid 1975. They featured a dual date 1776/1976 with all new reverse designs. They were selected from a design contest of many entries by the U.S. Mint.

Mintages were at recent highs and the supply seemed virtually unlimited especially late in 1976. As I recall, demand was huge as people young and old were saving the new coins. Even the Bicentennial proof sets were at record sales. Over seven million were sold!

The Bicentennial coinage was in honor of America’s 200th birthday, and what better way to celebrate than on our nation’s coinage!

Mark Switzer

Counterfeit or Only Existing Piece?

I have an 1838 50c piece stamped in copper with a reeded edge. I have owned this coin for about 50 years and at one point had it looked at by a dealer in New Hampshire who told me the coin was a counterfeit because it was stamped with the 1838 dies in the 1850’s.

But after consulting with the Smithsonian’s numismatist I was told it was a pattern. “Why would a counterfeiter stamp a 50c piece in copper?” It is interesting to me because, according to Dr. Judd’s book on patterns that I have, besides one other, the only patterns of that year were designs not chosen for minting. There doesn’t seem to be an existing pattern of the minted design.

Could I have the only surviving pattern of that design?

James Marvel
Sweetwater, Texas

New Half Dollar President

Your article written by Ken Potter in the May 14 issue of Nuimismatic News has me searching for the copper alloy 1982D. I have found about 20 but when I weigh them on my digital gram scale, to my unbelievable surprise, I had found one that weighed three grams. Also, I have found a 1982 that weighs three grams and both of them are small dates.

Changing the subject, when is the U.S. Mint going to change the half dollar and put another president on them? Kennedy was a great president but we need a new half dollar with a new president.

I would like to have the U.S. Mint coin $5, $10, $20, and $50s to replace or help along the bills we use everyday. I mailed the 1982 and 1982D small date pennies to a grading company on June 3.

George Parks
Kaplan, La.

Editor’s Note:

Hello George,

Since 2002, the Mint only produces non-circulating half dollars for collectors. We suggest you reach out directly to the U.S. Mint with your suggestions. Their contact information is available at their website

Using eBay to Sell Coins

I just read Mr. Cicio’s “State of Coin Collecting” Viewpoint and I agree with almost everything he has to say but I can’t help but wonder... if coin collecting is in decline, why are all of the coins I want still so expensive?

I do disagree with the part about needing to ask children or grandchildren about how to sell coins on eBay. I am 68 years old, I have no children or grandchildren, and I sell things on eBay all the time. I realize that some older individuals are computer illiterate but please don’t put all of us older guys in the same bucket. If you are not making as much money selling your coins as you would hope for and not using eBay, it is your own fault.

Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, IL