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Spotlight Organizations, Collectors in Numismatic News

Spotlight Organizations, Great Collectors in NN

As someone who only recently returned to numismatics after a 55-year hiatus, I have a lot of history to catch up on. Articles on dealers such as the re-published story on Michael O’Higgins [Page 26, June 23, 2020 issue] help me decide whether or not I might want to do business with a dealer. Such articles should include both advertisers and non-advertisers to be truly helpful (otherwise they become “infomercials”).

How about stories about some of the great collectors of the last 50 or 75 years, such as Brett Pogue or Louis Eliasberg? Perhaps articles that discuss numismatic organizations such as the ANA, ANS, Early American Coppers Club, PGA, or any of the other hundred or so organizations affiliated with our hobby and business? While such articles may prove to be “old hat” for my fellow numismatists and coin collectors who have been active the last three, four or more decades, for us “newbies” they will be most informative and definitely appreciated. Frankly, the primary reason I subscribed to Numismatic News when I resumed collecting 18 months ago was to become a better-educated collector, which includes information on what took place while I was getting an education, serving my country, raising a family and pursuing a career.

James P. Sibley
Spring, Texas

Dollar Missing from Silver Quarter Proof Set

I received a package from the Mint that should have contained a 2020 silver quarter proof set and proof Basketball Hall of Fame dollar. To my surprise, the dollar was missing. The postal worker said he had to close the box when he placed it in my mailbox. The flap that was supposed to seal the box was tucked into the inside of the box stuck to some of the interior packaging. It was never sealed correctly. I filed paperwork with the Mint, and they said it will take four to six weeks to investigate and they will issue a credit to my account if found to be at fault. Meanwhile, I ordered a new one in case of a sellout in six weeks.

R.J. White
Bensalem, Pa.

‘In God We Trust’ First Used on Notes in 1935

The claim by your reader that the motto “In God We Trust” was first used on our paper currency in the 1950s under Eisenhower is incorrect. It was instead first used under FDR in 1935. You can still buy the $1 1935 Silver Certificate either with or without Motto.

Also regarding the VDB initials, they were temporarily halted until 1918 and not withdrawn, added to the obverse under Lincoln’s shoulder with a much smaller font size.

Eisenhower would probably be quite pleased, though, if he knew way back then, that in 1990his commemorative silver dollar would become the first of any silver coin to actually bear the West Point mintmark. As a Marine Corps veteran myself, I believe Eisenhower attended the West Point Military Academy and was commissioned there as a Second Lt.

Steve McGowan
Algonac, Mich.

COVID, Not Collectors, to Blame for Coin Shortage

The July 7, 2020, e-letters ask the question of mintmarks on coins. The government did try to eliminate mintmarks after taking out the silver in our coins in 1965. The reason? “Coin collectors were hoarding the coins because of mintmarks.” (What a lot of .... that was!) Once again, the government is blaming the current coin shortage on collectors. (That’s “fake news.”) The real shortage is COVID-19. People aren’t traveling and spending money anywhere.

Now they’re thinking of doing it again. (Maybe like the USPS/BEP: create “Forever” coins?) Forever coins would really kill coin collecting. There would be no mintmark, date or value on U.S. coins. A person would have to know the value of a coin by its size and sometimes its color. (Forever stamps do have a date micro-printed in the border of the stamp, but no denomination.)

Well, perhaps having no denomination would cause confusion, but no date and mintmark would not. Having stamped “FOREVER” in place of the date and no mintmark would not be a problem. All the collector needs to do is, as the newer Forevers are minted each year, just collect four (for one of each mint) and put them away. After all, four of the billions of each denomination issued will not “short” the total supply of coins. I hope it never gets that far.

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

Coin Trees and Kangaroo Collectors

In response to Daryl Conley’s Viewpoint, “Coin Lots Make Collecting Fun,” published in the July 14, 2020, issue, I would like to comment on the above article as a most enjoyable read. The more I read, it was like looking into a mirror. All these years of my coin collecting hobby, I thought I was the only kangaroo, jumping around to different coin trees.

I did say coin trees, like an apple tree. So many apples on one coin tree: different years, different mints, and varieties. One can see my logic of the terminology “coin trees.”

Like Mr. Conley, if your taste is not there anymore for that type coin tree, jump over to a new one of a different denomination. Point spoken by Mr. Conley: you don’t have to be rich to collect different denominations. Coin lots are a cheap way of having fun and enjoying the hobby.

Thanks, Daryl, for enlightening my day. Power to the Kangaroo Collectors!

Richard Stevenson
Reagan, Tenn.