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Letters to the Editor: May 26, 2020

Post Office Not Subsidized by Government

In regards to the “Viewpoint” in Numismatic News Vol. 69 No. 9, written by Ron Thompson. Congress does not subsidize the Post Office. We do not get one red penny from Congress. We earn all of our money from stamp sales and postage on packages. The only thing Congress does for the Post Office is to make the legal rules and get in the way. The U.S. Mint is the only branch of the government that makes money, and they have the support of the government too. Mr. Thompson made sense talking about coins but not about the United States Postal Service.

Douglas E. Meyer

Cent Collection Began Year of Marriage

I always look forward to getting the first cent of the current year as I have a Damasco cent album that I use to store them. I started collecting them in 1985, the year I got married. Each cent looks as new as when I first put them in there. This new 2020 cent has a “D” mintmark.

Every time my son and I pass a Coinstar machine, we always look in the reject slot to see if there are any coins in there. We have found coins from several foreign countries and worn U.S. coins. I have even received a 2005-S proof nickel in change a few months ago from a drugstore. Coin collecting is a fun and educational hobby.

Helen Desens
Covina, Calif.

Basketball Coins’ On-Sale Date Causes Confusion

The Mint offers courtesy but lacks updating current information to phone sales personnel. On April 4 in the early morning, I called to order the newly released Basketball Hall of Fame coins and I was amazed that my call was answered almost immediately. This just doesn’t happen with calls for the special limited-edition products, as the bulk retail buyers seem to tie up all the lines, not to mention purchases the bulk of the coins, causing us collectors to wait in line for a sales rep. to take our call, only to tell us the product has been sold out.

A courteous lady fielded my call and politely told me that the sale had been canceled due to the pandemic. When I asked if a future date had been set, I was again politely told that it had not been established. Your article in the April 14, 2020, issue of Numismatic News said that, while the April 4 date was canceled, a new date of April 9 would proceed with the sale. This was a statement credited to Mint officials in a March 16 release, nearly three weeks prior to the April 4 date and said that introductory prices would be good through 3 p.m. on May 11.

Why wasn’t this information given to the sales personnel at the Mint so that they could politely advise Mint customers? My call to the Mint on April 14 advised me the Basketball Hall of Fame coins were not available on April 9 and that no date was available at the time to purchase some. Does the Mint really know what they are doing or was the NN article an error?

I’m curious to know who to blame.

Robert Kraemer
Ettrick, Wisc.

Editor’s Note: Numismatic News received an email communication from the Mint stating the on-sale date move from April 4 to April 9. An April 30 announcement from the Mint lists an updated on-sale date of June 4.

What to Do with ‘W’ Coins in Proof, Mint Sets?

Should the W-mint coins that come with the proof and mint sets be placed in a 2x2? Or can they be left as the Mint packaged them?

A. Benton
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Extra Quarter Found in Silver Proof Set

I have been purchasing clad and silver proof sets from the U.S. Mint for 12 years. I have never had any problems with the shipping or quality of their products. I received my 2020 silver proof sets on April 26. Upon opening the first one, to my surprise, there was an extra Tall Grass Prairie quarter loose in the quarter proof capsule. You can tell the coin has shifted due to slight marks left on the plastic covering the coins.

I have a few questions.

1. Is this a mint error, mistake, variety or an oddity?

2. Has this ever happened before? If so, with what frequency?

3. Does this add any value other than the extra 25-cent value of the extra quarter?

I thank you in advance for any information you may be able to provide.

Larry Downing
Henderson, Texas

First 2020 Coins Found Later than Usual

On April 21 I received the first 2020 coins from circulation. They were two one-cent coins in change from a local grocery store. I’ve heard no one else mention new coins from circulation yet, though I’m sure they must be out there by now. This just seems so late for my first ones. Any comment?

Ron Rushton
Meadville, Pa.

Rise in Price for Bullion Quarters Questionable

I collect the bullion version of the 5-ounce quarters. I had always paid about $3 per ounce extra. I believe that suppliers are required to do so. Now that silver had dropped in price, the price of the item is now about $7 per ounce instead of a $15 overhead. Now they are charging about $35 per coin. The reason I started this series was that the premium was reasonable.

My question is this: Is this legal? I thought as a supplier they had to charge a certain fee of around $3 per ounce.

John (Last name withheld)
Address Withheld

This article was originally published in Numismatic News. 

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