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Letters to the Editor: March 17, 2020

Boycott the Mint

I too was mad at the Mint for the way they handled the November American silver eagle fiasco. It’s amazing that 30,000 were sold in 10 minutes. I tried to get through at noon as usual, but there was a busy signal. It’s too bad us collectors can’t hold off buying from the mint for one month. I wonder what they would do.

John Daniels Jr.
Rock Hill, S.C.

How to Gain New Collectors

I see this question all the time: What can we do to bring new collectors into the hobby? I think the answer is really simple and here is what I do. I take all my old numismatic publications when I am done with them and put them in doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, barbershops, gyms, etc. I put them anywhere there are magazines. My favorite is one of the local grocery stores who has a bookcase where you can leave books and magazines or take them. Every time I have dropped off numismatic publications, they are gone within a day! People are hungry for this stuff but they don’t know it exists if you don’t put it out there. I can go back to any place I have dropped off these publications and they are either gone or well-worn. Give it a try if you have nothing to lose and new collectors to gain!

Kent Adams
Vermilion, Ohio

The U.S. Mint Enters the Land of Unintended Consequences

Some years ago the bean counters (accountants) at the U.S. Mint noted that the yearly proof and mint sets that remained unsold were confined to oblivion and disposed of however the mint does it-disassembly, melting, incineration, whatever. This was a dead loss in every way. So, the bean counters had an idea. Why not simply offer and sell surplus year sets until they were gone regardless of how long it took? Everyone would seem to be a winner. The U.S. Mint would turn a dead loss into a gain and coin collectors would have the chance to acquire year sets they had missed.

Unfortunately for all, the U.S. Mint bean counters had entered the land of unintended consequences. The once vibrant proof coin and uncirculated year set secondary market has collapsed. Proof coin prices are well below what they were before this mint business change. Collector demand has also collapsed for mint-issued proof sets. Sales that once totaled a million or more, last in 2011, don’t even break the half-million mark based on the most recent figures (2018.) Mint sets have not fared any better.

Sure, the mint last year jazzed up the sets by offering special W mint marked Uncirculated cents, proof cents, and Reverse Proof cents as a bonus. This year the same deal is being offered with nickels. I can easily predict dimes will be offered in 2021. Still, until the mint stops offering coin sets beyond their year of issue, the secondary market has no chance of recovering.

Considering this sad story, you’d think foreign government coin distributors would take heed.

However, San Marino, the euro-issuing independent state inside Italy, apparently did not get the message. For the first time ever, I received an official offer, by email, to purchase unsold 2 euro uncirculated and proof coins from 2017, 2018, and 2019 as well as the uncirculated year sets of 2018 and 2019. I am hoping this unfortunate announcement does not crash the secondary market in San Marino coins which I suspect is not very big. For sure, this unexpected announcement has not led me to more. Happy Collecting.

Name and Address Withheld

Error Coin Find

What is the best process to grade and appraise this quarter (shown below) so that I may sell it for the best price? Also, what is the best auction to sell this to get maximum value?

Christain Mueller
Address Withheld

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20200214_125650 (1)

Why Did the Mint Raise Their Price?

I am a subscriber of the 5-ounce America the Beautiful coins; the price of silver has not risen so why did the mint go from $154.00 to $178.25? Because it is the last six coins in the series so they really want to stick it to the public!

That’s okay because they are just stabbing themselves. I used to order quite a few subscriptions but am getting less from them. They forget we are paying their salaries and if orders go down, so do their jobs. Their quality of coins has gone down, they are going for quantity, not quality anymore!

Daniel Kuziela
Address Withheld