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Letters to the Editor: July 7, 2020

Frank Church ‘W’ Quarter Turns Up in Circulation

I wanted to let you know of a find at my local Ralphs in Dana Point, Calif. In my change (which, like the good collector that I am, I always check) I found a 2019 River of No Return, mintmark “W” quarter in very good condition. It was the highlight of my day. How come this mintmark is not shown in the Coin Market section of NN (or am I missing something)?

Name Withheld
Dana Point, Calif.

Metallurgy Detection Would Enrich Collecting

I know we have the obvious “wrong metal” coins like the 1943 bronze cents.However, we have many non-destructive tests at our disposal such as XRF and other reliable methods. Could one of the major grading services also catalog the metallurgy of the coins to characterize additional varieties? Early large cents have inconsistent metal sources. What if 76 percent of 1799 cents had nickel impurities of between 1-2 percent? However, a very small percentage of the coins, still genuine, had consistent nickel levels of 4-6 percent? Perhaps this led to die breaks.

We don’t care about the metal chemistry of what we buy? Only the strike and wear? Would you care that your 1861-O double eagle chemistry varied from those known struck by the Union? Would some of the grading services be willing to provide more details on the case except for the basics like now? Having the precise chemistry of an expensive coin could perhaps help with counterfeiting detection, too.

Name and Address Withheld

Nuggets are Newsworthy

I would like to rebut Dominic Cicio’s Viewpoint in the June 9, 2020, issue about his complaint toward the “Encapsulated Nugget” found in the SS America a little while ago. I think that such finds are noteworthy in numismatic newspapers/magazines. Collectible nuggets are a part of our hobby, known as “exonumia.”

However, things like nuggets and jewelry are measured differently than coins, tokens, and metals. The latter are usually mentioned in ounces and “metal weight” (ASW or AGW); nuggets are measured in grams or grains (unless they’re really big). I have no problem reading about a gold (or silver) nugget being found weighing (xx) grams found in (whatever) state, province or country.It’ll just take a little longer to “translate” the weight to ounces or pounds.

Perhaps one day I’ll get my old metal detector up and running, then I’ll worry about finding nuggets in the ground being (xx) grams/grains. If it’s in the coin news, I don’t care if the nugget is in grains, grams, ounces or pounds, it’s part of the hobby ... and it’s news!

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

Looking for Update on Dansco Album Availability

This is in response to your request for our thoughts on a hobby topic all its own. What is the status of Dansco coin album manufacturing and availability? I read that Dansco was moving its manufacturing facility from southern California to northern Washington state. Production was scheduled to resume in December 2019.

I also read that a flood inundated the town where the new production facility is located. No news beyond the flood occurred in January 2020. I am interested in obtaining several Dansco albums for collecting with my grandson. I appreciate the quality of their albums, plus they bring back memories of my brother collecting Buffalo nickels in the 1960s. My brother has completed his Buffalo nickel collection and maintains it in the 1960s Dansco album.

Ed Ulvila
Address Withheld

Coffee Dispenser Yields Indian Head Cent


About five years ago I received the pictured coin in pocket change when purchasing a cup of coffee in our employee cafeteria, a 1908 Indian Head cent. To my (untrained) eye, I’d say it’s at least a G-4.

Lloyd Alterman
Livingston, N.J.

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