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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 1, 2019


Last May 28, I filled out a Mint form telling them I was missing a bonus cent from three I was supposed to receive.

In the box they were shipped in, the three cents were in a small cellophane bag, but the ends were open and not taped or stapled. I searched every part of the shipping box and the missing cent was not there. It had to have fallen out before the box was sealed.

I have called the Mint customer service several times and each time I was told they had my form and the replacement cent is “pending”.

Why is it so hard for the Mint to stick another cent in the mail and be done with it? It seems so simple to me. I am VERY disappointed in this terrible customer service.

Robert Jacques
Hartselle, Ala.

Coin Show Etiquette Viewpoint

I read with interest the “Coin Show Etiquette” Viewpoint. I thought the subject was a good one. As I read through the part of the article about coin dealers and how buyers should treat them, I was looking forward to reading the part of the article that covered the other side of the subject – the buyers and how coin dealers should treat them.

I reached the bottom of the page with great confusion – looking for a “continued on page such-and-such,” and flipping to the next page for the rest of the article.It apparently did not exist. How could you write an article about “Coin Show Etiquette” and not write a section on how dealers should treat buyers? This article turned out to be a microcosm of the problem many buyers attending coin shows have with the dealers – they are expected to show respect bordering on worship to the dealers, but the dealers being respectful of the buyers doesn’t even warrant being mentioned. This is why many buyers prefer to buy their coins online or straight from the Mint. Let me know when the other half of this Viewpoint article is slated to be published.

Don Crosby
Williamsport, Md.

Editor’s Note:


Thanks for your close attention to detail. You will find the second part of the “Coin Show Etiquette” Viewpoint on p. 7 of this issue.

In response to “What’s Wrong with Penny?”

In a rebuttal (of sorts) to Mr. E. B. Robinson’s question “What’s wrong with Penny?” I answer: Nothing really.I just pointed out in my Viewpoint that the coin minted in the U.S. and other countries around the North American continent mint it as “CENT.”Yet, we (Canadians and Americans) call it “PENNY,” a throwback from our colonial times.Heck, even I’ll “slip up” and call my Lincoln cent a penny. But it still says “CENT” on the coin.

Even though Jefferson’s coin, the 5-Cent piece, says “5 Cents,” I still call it a nickel.But that’s not the first coin to be called “Nickel.” When the U.S. coined the first 3-cent piece in the copper-nickel composition, it was originally called a “nickel.” I imagine when the copper-nickel 3-cent coin was phased out, the nickname went to the 5-cent coin of the day which was also copper-nickel. (Early U.S. 5-cent coins were silver and known as “HALF DIMES,” or “5 Cents.”) Even the Canadians today call their 5-cent coins nickels as well.

As for the dime, quarter, and half, well I call them as they say they are. That’s because the coins are minted as “DIME,” “QUARTER,” and “HALF...” Earlier coins say “DISME” (does anybody know how to REALLY pronounce that word? Was the “s” silent, like in island?) or, later show the denomination (“10c,” “25c,” and “50c.”) I have a good collection of Canadian coins (both “early” and modern) and except for the Canadian silver 5-cent pieces, I will call them “nickels,” “dimes,” “quarters,” and “halfs,” despite the fact they’re minted as “5 cents,” “10 Cents,” and so on.

I guess it’s all a matter of semantics: “You say ‘POTA(“long A”)TO,’ and I say ‘POTA(“short” “A”)TO.’”Whatever you want to call your (low denominated) coin collection, enjoy it.

William Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

Auctions are for Everyone

First off, thank you Numismatic News for publishing information on the Heritage Auction featuring the Donald Stoebner collection of large cents (cover ad on July 16 edition) which was held Sept. 4 - 9. I would have never known about this sale otherwise, and I was able to acquire four of the Stoebner specimens from this auction.

Even though I was unable to be physically present during the live portion, my proxy bids plus additional increments were enough to win four of the ten lots I bid on. These were all certified coins from PCGS, and even though they are graded only as “Genuine” with various grading issues, I am very happy to have them. These will also be the first pedigreed coins that I ever added to my collection. I was able to print photos and text stating where they came from to prove their provenance in case I ever decide to sell them. For now, they will take a place of pride in my large cent collection.

So, to any collector out there that thinks these kinds of auctions are only for high-end bidders with loads of cash, I can attest that even a hobbyist collector on a small budget such as myself can acquire coins if you play your cards (or bids) smartly. In case the readers are wondering, my four purchases only came to $414.00 including buyer’s premium. My maximum bids with buyer’s premium would have been $516.00, so I got what I wanted for $102.00 less than I allowed myself to spend.

Daryl Conley
Truth or Consequences, NM