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This week's letters (07/09/13)

Mr. Zukowski is correct that “2012” is printed on the side panel of the 2013 United States Mint Proof Set® (P15), however, that this is for copyright purposes only.
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Copyright date does not match set’s issue date
In response to Mr. Paul Zukowski (Letters, 5/28/13), Mr. Zukowski is correct that “2012” is printed on the side panel of the 2013 United States Mint Proof Set® (P15), however as you can see in the attached picture, that this is for copyright purposes only. The artwork and carton design were copyrighted the year before the set was released and therefore the years should not match in this particular case. This phenomenon has occurred in previous years and can also be seen on other sets.
The packaging is correct and was reviewed and approved several times before its release. We’d like to thank Mr. Zukowski for his feedback as it helps the United States Mint to improve its products and services.
The United States Mint
Washington, D.C.

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Searching rolls of halves, pennies fun, worthwhile
The other day I went to my local bank to get some rolls of pennies to search through. The teller, Charlie, had several half dollars in his change till.
I asked if I could have them instead of the pennies since he didn’t have any except the 2013 pennies on hand.
Charlie told me he also had a roll or halves in his drawer that he had just wrapped. I said I’ll take them. When I got home and checked what I got, I couldn’t have been happier with what I found.
I found 15 40 percent silver Kennedy halves, three 90 percent Kennedy halves, one 1943 Walker and one 1959-D Franklin.
On another trip to the bank, out of 1,000 pennies I found 750 wheaties from the 1940s and 1950s, one 1919 and one 1932. Most of all, I had lots of fun doing it. This is truly what searching is all about.
Tim Ocker
Manheim, Pa.

What can be done about scratched slabs?
I have a few professional graded coins in slabs, as I believe they are called. Three of these slabs are scraped, scratched or otherwise impaired to the point where the coin cannot be properly viewed.
I would rather not have the coins in slabs at all than not be able to see the coin as it should be seen.
If this is a recurring problem with collectors, it appears to me that it could be solved with a low rim of some sort around the slab “coin window.”
I hope you will be kind enough to respond to two questions I have and thereby help me solve my particular problem:
1. Is there any way that I can get replacement slabs that are clear and unimpaired for each of these three coins?
2. How do I remove the coin from the slab without risking damage to the coin?
I breathlessly await your answer.
Bill Moroney
Address withheld

Editor’s note: Contact the grading services involved to see if they offer any special rates on re-slabbing the coins. Cracking out coins is not an expertise that we have developed here at Numismatic News. Perhaps readers will share their experiences.

2008 Double Prosperity Set sold 7,751
Enclosed is s copy of the front page of the Aug. 5, 2008, Numismatic News. Coin dealers I have spoken to have never heard of this 8-8-08 Double Prosperity Set.
I have been unable to find any information in coin-related literature. I paid a little over $1,000 from the U.S. Mint for this set. It was enclosed in a hardwood box that looks like an expensive casket.
Can you tell me how many were sold and where I can find the information?
John Brackett
North Tonawanda, N.Y.

Editor’s note: The set contains 2008-W half ounce gold American Eagle and gold Buffalo coins. It sold for $1,288.88 and buyers took 7,751. Show the dealers the Red Book listing.

Good idea to put Liberty on a circulating coin
I like the proposal by Mark McMenamin about the 150th anniversary coins suggested by David Harper along with other ideas of his own for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the 2- and 3-cent pieces, Indian cents and Shield nickels.
All are fine idea. I suggested a 100th anniversary of the Buffalo nickel and the 1913 Liberty Head nickel. Why weren’t these picked up on?
Also, there could be a 100th anniversary set in 2016 of the last of the Barber coins and the first of the
Standing Liberty and Mercury coins. Nothing ever happens. Already its 2013 and never a word about it.
I am delighted to read that the Citizens Coin Advisory Committee is pushing to put Liberty back on our circulation coins again. I am pushing 63 years old and I have never had a Liberty coin in circulation, the last being 66 years ago.
I read in your article the reason the Presidents are not taken off the coins is that each of them has constituencies pushing for their continuation. This may be true, but if it is, then they should push for the circulation of Presidential dollars so that all the fans of all the Presidents could be satisfied.
Theodore Roosevelt had a wide following. The government didn’t even give him an inaugural party. Someone wrote an article in your paper complaining about the Ohio Perry War of 1813 quarter, but at least they had a party. There was none for Roosevelt, who did so much for conservation and coinage redesign.
Let the CCAC push for at least reverse redesign. The platinum coin gets redesigned each year. Why are they too lazy to design the rest? Revamp the reverse of the dime. Some of the platinum designs would look great on the back of the dime and on the silver Eagle. Once the door is cracked open, this could lead to more redesign.
The Shield cent design is new and refreshing. Now let’s do the dime. The quarter and dollar have new reverses. Now the silver Eagle does, too. All they do each year is give the coin a new finish, but never a new design. Why is platinum given preferential treatment? No one even buys or sees it.
Bob Olekson
Cleveland, Ohio

Editor’s note: There is going to be a reverse proof Buffalo gold coin issued in August to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the James Earle Fraser design.

Keep cent in production, regardless of cost
As a longtime frugal cent collector, I do have a problem with ending production of the 1 cent piece. I wish to thank fellow Michigan coin collector R.W. Barker for putting everything in perspective for me with his letter to the editor in the April 30 issue.
Now I understand wasteful spending is wasteful spending and the 35 cents per American of extra cost is 35 cents, so I would even be so bold as to pay twice my fair share to keep the excess Lincoln cents in circulation. I’d even be willing to pay it with the much despised current 1 cent piece if necessary. That’s putting real money not “e-money” where my mouth is.
Unlike other coin collectors, I don’t believe we should end any or all coin production. I’m radical enough to use cash and coins for purchases. I am proudly one of the few people who actually leaves home in the morning with change in my pocket.
I happene d to be in California on vacation in 1955 and remember putting aside every 1955-S Lincoln cent I received. People at that time said the same thing. There are so many of them in circulation they will never go away. Hmmm. How did that work out?
I use the 1 cent piece every day and sometimes twice on Sundays. As a member of the Serendipity Coin Club, as well as others, I’ve even stooped to pick up a lost Lincoln lying on the sidewalk.
As a true cent collector of a different persuasion I’m not in favor of limited production of any coin denomination. I do not need a certificate of authenticity to prove the coins I’m using in place of plastic are cash. I find it very satisfying to concentrate on the latest dates, finding minor rarities and making my own discoveries.
They may not be large coppers, but they sure make sense to me.
Edward Kroll
Wyandotte, Mich.

Penny as useful as any other money
In the April 30 “Viewpoint,” the writer goes over familiar ground. His condescending tone is equally familiar. Hence the term “true cent collector,” meaning “collector like me.”
Apparently, true collectors can be relied upon to tell what you should do, and what you should not collect or be interested in. Otherwise, you may never be a true collector. There must be a manual, “How to Discourage Young Collectors” by A. Lincoln Penny.
It almost seems that people who use pennies think people who collect them are odd and people who collect pennies think people who use them are odd.
The “Viewpoint” writer shows scorn by saying the few who “somehow still find the cent to be an important part of their routine ...” using 13 words to express “use.” Use is a useful word. It reminds me that every day all over the country millions of people use pennies without groaning because they do have a use. Their basic use is the same as the use of any other money.
Robert McCurdy
Upper Darby, Pa.

Keep nickel, penny, half dollar in production
I’ve always been a collector. I remember collecting stones at an early age. I have some sort of collection of most things. It just comes naturally. I believe I started with coins in the early 1960s at about age 12. I know why I did. I was seeing some unusual coins that were really different, namely Buffaloes, Mercury dimes and Walking Liberty half dollars.
My dad somewhat encouraged me. One day he came home with a shiny 1963 half dollar from the bank. I still have it. I think I was very new to coin collecting when I came across a 1955 doubled-die cent. It looked funny and I thought it was not any good. I did think about keeping it. I wish I had.
I collected the whole range – cents to dollars. My granddad gave me an XF Morgan 1900. I got a Peace dollar from a local farmer for work. My favorite coins are Walking Liberty halves, Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes and Standing Liberty quarters. When I was working in the lunch room in high school, a worker found a 1916 dime. Early on I bought a 1914-D cent in VG for $40.
Coin collecting was exciting in the early years when there was a very good chance you’d come across my favorite coins and lots of wheaties. I’ve kept my hand in it all these years.
The hobby has changed quite a bit, along with the people. It seems it is geared more for the investor than the collector. People’s attitudes are being shaped by Wall Street and advertisers in regards to actual money.
I read comments about getting rid of the cent and nickel and even the half dollar. It pains me dearly to hear that from collectors. It’s a very short way to eliminating all actual money. If young people are not exposed to real money, how is the hobby going to grow? It seems to me most “collectors” want a cashless society. I do not. They have forgotten their start.
Overall, the Mint is not losing money. It still makes a huge profit. There’s too much focus on that. I must be among the few who pays by cash, who does not follow the herd. The cent and nickel do circulate. I see them aplenty.
Name withheld

High price paid for modern proof silver Eagle
A collector just paid $86,654.70 for a 1995-W PF-70 Deep Cameo silver Eagle. For any coin made after the Bicentennial, this is crazy. It brings new hope to a hobby. Great Collections has sold many neat coins recently.
Taylor Webb
Fremont, Calif.

2013 Sac, Roosevelt dollars found in circulation
Just a few lines to let you know I have received the new Sac dollar and the Presidential dollar, Theodore Roosevelt, for 2013. They are very nice.
Virgil Griffith Jr.
Camden, N.C.

Coins shouldn’t be colorized or gold-plated
As a coin collector for about 50 years, it bothers me to see these colorized coins, gold-plated coins and the like. A friend took one of the gold-plated quarters to the local bank. They would not even give him a quarter for it.
To me, a coin is an item made to exchange for an item of value. If it is made to look pretty, it is a medal.
David Weatherby
Henderson, Texas

Good results from searching rolls of pennies
I do a lot of roll searching, especially for pennies. When I was looking through some rolls I found a wonderful specimen of one of the new 2012 Shield pennies.
I was curious how the grading services might grade it – MS-65 crummy, or maybe not gradeable.
I am sure that many out there feel the same way I do about the penny. So what’s the use of minting any more?
And a short note to share my recent cent finds: 1917-D Fine, 1919 VG, 1930-D Fine and1937-S VF.
I found these today while searching through two boxes of pennies; plus I found plenty of red Memorials. I had a good day.
Bob Atwater
Conway, S.C.

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