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Letters to the Editor: Nov. 12, 2019

War in the Pacific ‘W’ Mintmark

I was in the self-checkout at Walmart four weeks ago here in Mt. Vernon, Ill., and received a little bit of loose change for my purchase. I didn’t check it until I got home and was very surprised to find a War in the Pacific with a “W” mintmark.

I’m just wondering if it’s something that I should send in to one of the grading companies. In other words, would it be worth more later on by doing so?

I understand that it’ll cost at least$30.00 to do so and also heard that “in the raw” is only worth maybe $25. Ihope to hear a reply.

Name and address withheld

In Response to Richard Giedroyc’s Commentary

I politely disagree with erudite and longtime numismatic colleague, Richard Giedroyc, whose Numismatic News story, “Get Rich” Promotion Wrong Angle for Healthy Market Growth,” was critical of a recent CNBC story entitled, “People have been making up to $100,000 off ‘coin hunting.’” He doesn’t think the hobby will benefit with an angle about “hitting the jackpot as if this is a lottery.”

My cordial disagreement is that anyone who wants to troll pocket change and roll-after-roll of coins is doing so only because they are looking for specific coins. And that means they have acquired at least some elementary numismatic knowledge, even if only about one or two types of potentially valuable coins. Numismatic knowledge is a basic first step to becoming a coin collector.

Some coin-hunters initially spurred on by the greed factor, may expand their knowledge and become longer-term collectors. But the first step is absorbing some info about coins, including perhaps what potentially valuable items you might find in pocket change.

(Disclosure: I was among those quoted in the Oct. 2, 2019, CNBC story. On behalf of the Professional Numismatists Guild, I told the reporter: “But it’s not just about the potential financial reward. It’s the thrill of the hunt and the joy of discovery.”)

Donn Pearlman
Las Vegas, Nev.

Issues Regarding Coin Show Etiquette Viewpoint

Regarding the Viewpoint article “Coin Show Etiquette” published in the Sept. 3 edition of Numismatic News, some great advice was mentioned in the article and I appreciate it.

I do, however, take issue with two points.

1. Grading

The author states that “Grading is subjective, so why argue about grading” then spent three paragraphs explaining how to ask a dealer how he arrived at a grade.

Regardless of how nicely you ask, you are insulting the dealer by doing this. It is not important to agree on grade, all you need to agree on is price.

2. Returns

It is never acceptable to buy and then return a coin at a coin show. This leaves the dealer vulnerable to fraud on the buyer’s part (i.e. switched coins and other issues.)

John Quarfoth
Blaine, Minn.