Email is a wonderful way of communicating, but some days I just have to shake my head.
Today is one of them.
For the second time, I have received an email from someone who says he had worked in the same Boston office building as famed attorney F. Lee Bailey in the early 1970s.
He wrote that he knew that Bailey once accepted payment in gold.
Therefore, F. Lee Bailey must have had something to do with the United States legalizing gold ownership as of Dec. 31, 1974.
This email is not good history.
Congressman Phil Crane of Illinois led the charge to legalize gold ownership in the United States.
Of course, there were other gold ownership supporters, but Bailey is not to be found among them.
The email had the salutation: “My Dear Q” in all capital letters.
The email’s first recipient on the address list is Q. David Bowers. I was third.
I chose not to respond.
This morning, the same email was once again sent to me.
The number of recipients was greatly expanded to include other numismatic luminaries, including Ken Bressett.
But we were not alone. The email was also addressed to the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Time Magazine, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.
I guess we in numismatics cannot be trusted to break this story.
On Monday, I had received an email from a woman somewhere in America saying she wanted to sell a very rare coin for $400,000.
She helpfully included four images of the coin in question.
They were all fuzzy.
I could tell the coin was a Mercury dime.
I could not make out the date, but I could see that the coin was no longer quite round as it had apparently been hit on the rim.
The reverse had no mintmark on it, so I could not even imagine someone with a 1916-D dime.
In any case, she wanted me to help her sell it along with the rest of her collection.
I responded that from what I could see of the coin, it was worth $1.
I did not pick that sum out of the air. It is basically melt value.
A person from a foreign land has sent me another group of photos of what he hopes will be valuable errors.
I declined to analyze them for him one by one.
Previously, he had sent images of coins, and my helpful response apparently has nominated me to review all of his potentially rare coins.
In his favor, he is very polite. I appreciate that. Not all writers are.
Perhaps it is his timing that is working against him.
Not long ago, I had responded to an emailed inquiry from a fellow in India about a number of coins.
He had photographed the pieces and and included the images in his email.
My response was apparently taken as an invitation for more, because I received 24 emails one afternoon in quick succession, all with multiple images of all the low value and no value coins issued around the world in the 20th century.
I responded that I could not help and requested that he stop sending me emails.
I admit that I am a bit fearful that this week's polite email writer could be the next person to send me 24 emails.
What is absent from my email inbox this week is much of the usual volume of comments from regular readers that I put into the Letters to the editor section of Numismatic News.
I hope they are all taking a well-earned summer vacation.
After Labor Day, they will be back.
Please come back.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
• Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.