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Letters to the Editor: June 2, 2020

What Type Set is This?

I used to collect Standing Liberty quarters in Fine condition. Several of them had evidence of clash marks like a star in the field. Error coins are caused by mishaps during the production cycle and are one of a kind. Varieties are the result of a modified or otherwise changed set of dies and their struck coins are all alike. So, what are the coins that are all alike of a clashed set of dies? Errors, varieties, or what?

Horst Seeley
Manchester, N.H.

Vatican Numismatic Office Handling Payment Poorly

I just received the order from the Vatican Numismatic Office for ordering the 2020 mint set, proof set, and a couple of special commemorative coins. The total cost was 272 euros.

For 20-plus years I’ve paid by credit card. The payment options were Bank Check, International Postal Money Order, Bank Transfer or ePay, but no mention of a credit card. All of these options require travel and person-to-person interactions in the middle of a pandemic. Apparently, the marketing [staff] missed this detail. I sent them my credit card information. If they can afford to lose a customer of 30 or so years and don’t accept my order, so be it. I’ll let you know how this turns out. It is not leading to happy collecting.

Name and Address Withheld

Silver Proof Set Reveals Extra Dime

I’ve been a collector of the U.S. Mint almost all my life (over 60 years) and have done so out of sheer habit and for the beauty of their products. I’m a proud American and coin collector and just received my 2020 Silver Proof Set and was admiring the beauty of the coins. To my surprise, when I turned it over to see the reverse side, I was shocked to see an extra silver proof dime wedged in it over the gold $1 coin. I’m wondering how often this type of error occurs? I know I’m going to keep this as it is a great conversation piece, one that I will remember the rest of my life. I would like to follow up more on this type of error in the future.

David Goodman
Shreveport, La.


Mint Needs to Rethink Its Set Offerings

Perhaps the U.S. Mint should change the annual Silver Proof Set. After all, this set contains three coins that are not silver proofs at all: the cent, nickel and Native American dollar. The only set the Mint puts out that contains all silver proofs is the Limited Edition 8-Piece Set.

Redundancy exits as well with the annual Proof Set, which of course has the exact three coins in it. Yes, they are proofs, but why get the same three coins again? A novel Idea would be to either get rid of those coins and replace them with the American silver Eagle or actually make those three coins out of silver. Or instead, change the wording on the packaging to read “Partial Silver Proof Set.” Not only because of the three coins that are never silver, but also if the set does not include the American silver eagle then certainly it would still remain what it is, a “Partial Silver Proof Set.”

Also, (don’t get me started) what does “Limited Edition Set” mean? Does it imply only so many of the coins contained therein were produced? No, that isn’t it. Although, all coins have a limit as to how many are produced (eventually, that is). Does it mean the coins contained therein are limited to only that set? Yes and no on that one. Those coins can be had in other sets, or can be purchased on an individual basis. But, if you want them all in one box, then there you go!

If you had those coins graded and slabbed, then what good would the box be? Oh, that’s right, you get a label that says at one time they were in a box as a set. I went to the grocery store the other day to get some burgers. I saw two different packages with the exact weight and content of the meat with two different price tags. One label read, “Private Selection” and the other just read “Burger.” The butcher told me there was no difference in the product and said I had to pay a premium for the Private Selection.

Well, there you go!

Steve McGowan
Algonac, Mich.