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Letters to the Editor: March 31, 2020

Artificial Rarity

In the Feb. 25, 2020 issue of Numismatic News, Steve McGowan poses 10 excellent questions for the U.S. Mint concerning the “artificial rarity” it created with the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof silver eagle. I have also criticized the creation of that and other artificial rarities in these pages and have formally asked the Treasury Department Inspector General (IG) to investigate that unethical and unfair practice.

Last Fall, I was informed by the IG that an audit of the Mint’s “artificial rarity” practice is on the IG’s schedule for 2020. Hopefully, that investigation will provide answers to the questions both Steve and I have posed concerning the Mint’s unethical creation of “artificial rarities.”

As I stated in my earlier letter, given the Mint’s knowledge, that its “artificial rarity” would sell out in minutes, the Mint should be required to immediately produce enough of those 2019-S reverse proof silver eagles at the issue price to satisfy the demand of the public and its own regular customers.

Don W. Crockett
Washington, D.C.

Two-Headed Coin

I have a coin that has two heads, one in relatively good condition, the other one is upside down to the other. Both sides have these strange scratch marks that go from the center-out, like spokes on a bike wheel. It also has some strange metal anomalies within the scratches.

Peter Kellett
Address Withheld


Hope for the Hobby Indeed

Roy Herbst is correct in his Viewpoint “Hope for the Hobby.” We need to “wake the town and tell the people...” New interest in our hobby is the key or lifeblood to it for years to come.

For the past several years, my wife and I have enclosed a full date circulated coin over 100 years old (Indian head, Lincoln, or ‘v’ nickel) with our Christmas cards we send and pass out. My college grandchildren look forward to the coins. Four in my son-in-law’s family have started collecting. Others enjoy going to work and showing off their ‘bragging rights’ to their 100-year old coins.

Gregg Bailey
Zephyrhills, Fla.

Mr. Walker’s 1939 Cent

In response to Mr. Walker’s letter which appeared in the Jan 21 issue of Numismatic News, I must make the following comment.

With decades of experience in viewing and evaluating U.S. coins including errors, I can state with authority that the 1939 cent in the photo is not a mint error coin. It is just a normally made cent that has been exposed to a very corrosive environment and then retrieved from that and been abrasively cleaned. Do not waste any money trying to have it certified.

Thomas Miller
Santa Rosa, Calif.

In Response to Medals for Organ Donors Viewpoint

Kari Browers had it right in her Viewpoint letter regarding the need for Congressional medals for organ donors and their families! Organ Donations DO save lives and benefit many others. I know because, in 2018, I received a new donor heart transplant at age 70! Now at72, I feel great - like a man of age 45.Nothing is holding me back now.

I’ve had no pain, no discomfort, and most importantly, no signs of rejection.My donor hero was 24 when he passed.He was 18 when he was told that he had brain cancer.For 6 1/2 years and through three major brain surgeries, he bravely and valiantly fought the disease. Somewhere along his journey, he decided that if he didn’t make it, he wanted to be a donor, and by having made that decision, he benefited me and 11 others. He is a real HERO in the truest sense!

I’ve met his family and have become close friends, particularly with his mother, and I’ve thanked them so many times for choosing to honor his wish. Whether a donor is still living or has passed, they and their families have given the most unselfish, loving gift that can ever be shared, and these people need to be recognized and appreciated. If you agree, first of all, sign up and register to be a donor, and second of all, take a moment to write your congressperson to support the Medals for Organ Donors movement. Thanks!

D. John Shultz
Address Withheld

Mint Error Finds

I’m fairly new to coin collecting and recently found two unique looking modern Lincoln cents in my pocket change.

The 2010 I’ve nicknamed the “Sneezing Lincoln,” as it has two dimples located right beneath Lincoln’s nose. Although I can’t say for sure, I’m told it’s a mint error and most likely two gas bubbles produced from the coining process.

The other is a 2019 that appears to be a doubled die, very noticeable on the date.

Mark Fowler
Milford, N.H.

2019 Licoln 1