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Take edge letters off Presidential dollars

I read all the pros and cons regarding the new dollar edge lettering in Dave Harper

I read all the pros and cons regarding the new dollar edge lettering in Dave Harper?s July 24th column. I agree with the majority whose opinion is that the edge lettering should be removed

Here are my arguments.

1. The most important case. The U.S. Mint lacks the ability to properly produce edge lettered coins. The Washington dollar was struck with ?blank edge? lettering. The Adams dollar resulted in double-died edge lettering. Both coins have presented both upward and reverse striking with no regard to proportional positioning to the obverse and reverse of the coin. The incompetence of Mint workers is clearly evident. When the state quarter program began in 1999, there were rotation ?errors.? Later it was revealed the rotation problem was considered the deliberate pursuit of Mint employees in an effort to create a rare quarter. Is this edge lettering the same effort of Mint workers? Or is it simply incompetence? Let the reader and collector decide. Maybe the federal government should investigate.

If rotation of the obverse/reverse coins must be 180 degrees, why shouldn?t edge lettering be consistent as well? The lettering should be facing the obverse on all coins and all coins should be aligned with the same angle as the obverse and reverse. If the U.S. Mint cannot perfect the production process, then it should throw in the towel.

2. I recently received my 2007 Presidential dollar proof set. It is impossible to view the edge lettering in the plastic cases in which the coins are encased. I had read months ago that the U.S. Mint planned to produce a presentation case in which the edge lettering would be noticeable. Well, that never happened. I may have blank rims but will never know because I won?t break the case. In Italian the expression is Chissa!, ?who knows??

3. Although I don?t believe the Sacagawea dollar should be produced simultaneously with the Presidential versions, they are. Neither will circulate until the dollar note is discontinued. If both the Sacs and Presidential coins are being produced there must be consistency in their production. There is obviously sufficient space on the Sac for dates, mintmarks and mottoes. Since the Presidential dollars are the same size and composition there is enough space to engrave these items on the obverse and reverse. The new dollars do look like a token or medal, not a U.S. coin. ?In God we Trust? appears on the obverse of all other circulating U.S. coinage. ?E Pluribus Unum? appears on the reverse. Currently the date and mintmark can be seen on the obverse of every coin except the Philadelphia cent. There seems to be sufficient room on the cent and dime to engrave these items. Why not the dollar?

Since the U.S. Mint cannot seem to correct the faulty edge lettering production process, move the mottoes, dates and mintmarks to where they should be; obverse and reverse with 180 degree rotations. New design production will bring increased popularity to the Presidential dollars. Elimination of the dollar note will force the new dollars? circulation.

Four dollar coins in a pocket are not too heavy. Just go to the grocery store, get behind an old lady with her 20-pound pocketbook and wait five to 10 minutes while she counts out her 99 cents in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Enough said for too heavy.

Dr. John G. Hamer is a hobbyist from Bradford, Mass.

To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send e-mail to