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This week's letters (07/02/13)

I read Dennis Matuszewski’s letter in the June 11, 2013, issue of Numismatic News and I would like to know if there is any way I can get a copy of the article he referenced.
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Please send copy of article that you published in 2000
I read Dennis Matuszewski’s letter in the June 11, 2013, issue of Numismatic News and I would like to know if there is any way I can get a copy of the article he referenced from the Feb. 8, 2000, issue about heirs selling coins.
Steven Kawalec
Clifton, N.J.

Hello, I was just reading the 6/11/13 issue of Numismatic News. The letter “Heirs need to know value of coins before selling” was quite close to home as I am 76 years old and none of my heirs have much interest in my collection. Is there any way to get a copy of this article/book mentioned in this letter?
Henry L. Pearce
Lewisville, N.C.

Editor’s note: We received so many requests for copies that the article is reprinted in the “Viewpoint” column.

Current U.S. coin series fail to interest collector
How is the coin collecting public reacting to the Presidential dollars? The National Park quarters? The non-circulating commemoratives?
Any real interest in a palladium bullion coin?
When will the Native American dollar series be over? It is not much of a series with the designs being offered in my opinion.
I have really just lost interest in the junk the Mint is producing. National Park quarters to me are a waste. And the 5-ounce silver versions are just a waste of silver. I like a few Presidential dollars. No interest in palladium. The current Jefferson design on the nickel makes me ill. The same for the Sacagawea dollar.
Wayne Pearson

Date on proof box refers to copyright, not issue date
Paul Zukowski mentioned in the May 28 letters that his 2013 proof set boxes are dated 2012. That is actually a design copyright date for the design on the box and is not related to the contents of the box.
Kevin L. Bruner
Address withheld

How could such a typo appear in the paper?
I know typos appear all the time, but really, Numismatic News, May 28, 2013 issue, p. 26, “Georgia show attracks bigger crowd” hit me hard.
This is a headline.
Who should I contack about this? Ken aye subtrack any muny frum my subskripshun? That would hep sum. Aye seam to be loosing mi skils uv prufereeding. Mi mined is going. Ken anewon hep me?
I know you put in the mistakes just to keep us old fogies alert. No need to teach spelling in school anymore, or handwriting, or grammar, or vocabulary, or anything else about the English language because we don’t use it properly.
Have a grate daze.
Dugles Jenins
a.k.a. Doug Jennings
Address withheld

Casino proves to be great source for 2013-D coinage
Want to get 2013-D coins? Go to Mississippi. I went to the casinos down there (you can look up where they are) and when I got my change from my “credits” they were all in 2013 coins, 1, 5, 10 cents straight from the bank roll.
I asked to buy some of the rolls. All the casinos said no. It was the weekend and they needed their change. The banks were closed and I had to get home before I was wearing a barrel for clothes.
I did not get any 25-cent pieces as the change machines only cash credit slips from the slots, but the cashier said they got “new quarters” that Friday. So go south collector to get Western coins. I hope you have better slot luck than I did, but I did get to keep my clothes.
Tom Mooningham
Maryland via Tunica, Miss.

It took until June to obtain examples of 2013 coinage
Here it is June 7, 2013, and I finally received this year’s coins, few but finally. My wife scored two new dimes from the local hospital in the cafeteria during lunch. She then came home with one dime, one nickel and one penny from a co-worker she swapped change with, and I finally got a dime from the 7-Eleven near my house.
All coins were “P” mintmarks and in very nice condition for circulated coins. I couldn’t believe it has taken almost a half year to get new year coins. This is the longest since I began collecting in 1995.
A. Jones
Charles Town, W.Va.

Coins searches yield new ‘D’ and “S” mintmarks
I finally got a 2013-D nickel in a box of nickels May 18. On June 3 I got a 2013-S Perry Victory in 100 of machine quarters.
Jay Cook
Lakewood, Wash.

Sky-high coin prices might be new form of showing off
$248,750 for a dot cent
Impressed? Wait a moment, there’s more.
$3.2 million for a 5-cent piece of nickel (alloy?) I don’t even know if I used enough zeroes, the dollars are so high.
Nothing happens unless a willing seller is approached by a willing buyer is an old saw.
Then, a monetary agreement is made at that point. Why? What else could you purchase with $3.2 million. Homes now sell on the market in the millions dollars. We see stock trades on the market in the 10s of millions. So, is 5 (that’s five) cents worth an amount I can’t even calculate in percentage of increase as an investor? How many years must pass before even a modest 5 percent increase in value could be realized. Would it be 10?, 20? Ever?
I worry that the gap between the haves and the have-nots has gotten so out of whack we’ve lost track of why we “save” and invest in coins for the future. I would gladly sell my entire coin accumulation for $2,500, which would be ridiculous.
Have we lost sight of numismatics as a self-directed hobby in favor of who can throw the most money in the hat to show they have it and can afford it? Kind of reminds me of the hotshot at the casino who pushes all his chips in hoping he has the winning hand.
Just asking.
Robert L. Brommer
Address withheld

People of The Netherlands don’t mind rounding prices
In the June 11 issue, you had typed an article on the one- and two-cent euro coinage being considered for dropping. Here in The Netherlands neither coin circulates. As for the rounding up/down, people don’t seem to mind. This scenario only is done when cash (euro) is used in payment. Debit and credit cards pay the exact amount.
I had given a similar viewpoint in my email question responses (on the cent subject). Within the same time frame, someone typed in that it costs an average of $35 per person to mint the cent for circulation (in favor of keeping the cent).
With the one- and two-cent euro coins not circulating, for myself, I use cash. Over a year’s time, I don’t lose even three and a half euros in total. Can I dare to say, saving 90 percent on the person’s $35 dollar total. I wonder how he came to this figure?
Gary Kess
Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands

If you want to know what kids are thinking, ask them
A lot has been written in Numismatic News about the effect of electronics and the Internet on young people being involved in coin collecting. So I asked the Young Numismatists (YNs) in our coin club, the Buffalo Numismatic Association, to write about why they like coin collecting.
Below is the winning essay and they do not mention electronics or the Internet. Instead of us old-time collectors hypothesizing and conjecturing reasons about the involvement of young people in coin collecting, maybe we should ask them. The reason is clear, they like the interpersonal interaction with other kids their own age.
If you want to attract young people to coin collecting, start a YN group in your coin club and offer the Boy Scout Coin Collecting Merit Badge. I did and now I have about 20 to 25 kids that come to our coin shows (with their parents) every month. I hope to have even more next year. Additionally, there are a number of parents (mostly Dads) that took a break from coin collecting and have now returned to it because their kids are interested.
If the ANA wants to get young people involved in coin collecting, they should create resources that local coin clubs can use to get youngsters involved. It’s not hard. It just takes a little time and dedication. Isn’t that why our coin clubs exist?

Why we like being Young Numismatists
By Matt N. and Liz N.
Collecting coins is fun. You may find rare coins which no one else has. Going to coin shows and the meetings are fun. We like completing collections of coins. We like starting new collections of coins, too. Getting big and small coins is fun.
Looking at all our “loot” when we get home is super fun. It is fun having different coins like ones that have errors and ones that look like they are worth 50 cents and then turn out to be worth $10.
It was very interesting learning the different parts of a coin. It’s interesting learning the qualities of a coin that you never knew.
We had fun talking to other kids that have the same interests as we do. We like comparing the coins we own to the coins the other one owns. It makes us want to own both coins. We enjoy talking with our parents about coins. We can learn a lot about our cultures through coins and money and changes in them through history. We enjoy going to coin shows and seeing others collections and making wish lists for ourselves that we would like to own someday.
James Bucki
Buffalo, N.Y.

Why haven’t we abolished cent and paper dollar?
There is a folk song titled, “Blowin’ in the Wind.” One of its refrains ask, “When will they ever learn?” This song was popular in the 1960s and 1970s during the Vietnam War era, but could be applied to today’s troubles with government spending and waste in producing currency, which includes both coins and paper.
Over 30 years ago, the United States changed the composition of the cent coin from bronze to “copper washed” zinc, hoping to reduce the cost in the cent’s production. It might have worked for a short while, but today the cost has risen back to nearly twice the face value of the coin. Yet, the government continues to produce this coin, which has virtually no purchasing power, by the trillions each year.
Most nations of the world have eliminated their lowest denomination from their “physical” accounting systems and have gone on to rounding to the “nearest zero or five.” Their “cents” exist only in the virtual world of electronics (credit/debit cards), saving their governments millions in the process.
Recently, Canada has eliminated its cent and has seen savings in doing so. The euro group is also considering ceasing production of both the euro cent and 2 euro cent coins, which are made from copper-plated steel planchets, as these low values have little or no purchasing power in the community.
Even with steel at its core, the euro cents are becoming increasingly more costly to produce as well as less popular with the public. Soon, the United States will be the only country to have a worth-less coin costing more than it’s worth. When will (we) ever learn?
Once again, over 30 years ago, many countries of the world eliminated their lowest denominated paper bills for coins of the same denominations. Over those 30-some years, those governments have seen savings in the millions, even perhaps billions. The U.S. produced dollar coins in the 1970s, but both were unpopular with the public. The Ike dollars were too big and heavy, like the dollars from earlier in the century. The Susie dollars, though they were smaller and lighter, were unpopular because they were a little larger than the quarter and made of the same composition (Cupronickel clad copper core). And the paper dollar still circulated.
Twenty-one years later and 13 years after Canada produced its Loonie dollar coin featuring the Loon on the reverse, the U.S. got it half right by minting the Golden Dollar, but not eliminating the paper dollar. While the Canadians are saving millions each year by producing only dollar and $2 coins we in the States are wasting money by producing both a dollar bill and Golden dollars.
The U.S. government is looking for ways to cut spending and waste. Right here is one of those ways; eliminate the $1 bill, even the $2 bill, and produce only coins.
When will (we) ever learn?
Several years ago, some countries of the world switched from paper to plastic, or polymer, for their folding money. Even though it costs a little more for polymer notes in the short run, there is savings in the long run.
In the U.S., a paper note lasts anywhere from about 22 months to nearly 10 years, depending on its denomination and use. The longevity of polymer notes is still inconclusive, however, there are other advantages to polymer notes.
Canada has recently switched to polymer notes and found that the counterfeiting rate has dropped significantly since their conversion. Unlike paper money, a polymer note cannot be properly reproduced by a printer/copier machine. Polymer folding money is the future of the modern world.
When will (we) ever learn? The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

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