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This week's letters (10/22/13)

Jim Charlton, who died Sept. 20, was a long and dear friend of mine.
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2014 U.S. Coin Digest

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Charlton was great Canadian numismatist
Jim Charlton, who died Sept. 20, was a long and dear friend of mine. Having had an interest in Canadian coins, his catalog then known as “Charlton” was the bible to Canadian coin collectors.
I first met him at a Canadian Numismatics Association convention in Toronto and later after I began Canada Coins I interfaced directly with him on many occasions.
Among them was the FUN Convention in Florida where he later spent his winters. He and his wife Mary were great friends and ones that helped me to a great extent in my publishing endeavors.
Jim will be dearly missed as he was not only a great numismatist, but a true gentleman.
Chet Krause
Iola, Wis.

Reader enjoys columns by editor Harper
Dave Harper’s “Class of ‘63 and “Best of Buzz” columns in NN are always excellent.
But the “Best of Buzz “column in the Oct. 1 issue (“Take that; I’ll pay cash”) struck me as especially thoughtful and well crafted.
Thanks for all you do.
Mark A. Brown
Syracuse, N.Y.

Liberty a good choice for coinage designs
I wholeheartedly disagree with the letter from a few weeks ago suggesting new Liberty coinage is a waste of money.
Royalty and emperors have long affixed their visages to coins to remind their constituencies to love them. Our coinage has slowly drifted away from Liberty to long date runs of presidents. Perhaps that is a contributing factor to why we live in a society that worships presidents as heroes and ignores the ideas of liberty.
Kudos to my freshman representative, Andy Barr, for proposing this legislation.
Mark Leaver
Lexington, Ky.

Still good finds on show’s last day
I attended the Philadelphia Whitman Show on the last day (Saturday) only. Many dealers were long gone by then, but a respectable number hung in there until the bitter end.
I was able to find pieces I needed from about five different dealers on that Saturday. Sometimes, the issue is not how many dealers remain, but which ones. Concentrate on those that are there, and don’t worry so much about those that are not. Besides, John Mercanti’s talk was worth the trip even if no dealers had been left.
V. Kurt Bellman
Harrisburg, Pa.
Chinese dragon 10-ounce silver bar – real or fake?
It was good to see your question about possibly buying counterfeit silver bars by mistake because this matter has had me worried for some time.
I was in Phoenix a few weeks ago and stopped in at a large, indoor antique barn where there was a booth selling coins and silver bars. I was aware of the fakes coming out of China so I checked out a few 10-ounce silver bars that certainly look good.
They are encased in plastic sealed pouches and display, in large print “2012” and small print “year of the dragon”. Below that in small print is “10 ounces troy” and “.999 silver.” To the right of 10 ounces troy is a large Chinese symbol. The top three-quarters area of the bar has a Chinese dragon symbol.
I bought three bars at $20 per ounce and everything looks great, but there is no way to tell if they are genuine. I have a bad feeling about this purchase, which is getting worse with time. Is there any way to confirm the authenticity of these bars?
The salesman wasn’t very knowledgeable about coins, and continued to count the many silver dollars spread out on his counter with his bare hands. He did have a 10-ounce Johnson & Mathey silver bar, but he wanted an additional $10 for it. I thought this was strange but didn’t pursue the matter.
This experience has taught me to stay with reputable dealers only, or the U.S. Mint, for all my coin and bullion purchases. These bars (I bought three) may be OK, but the nagging feeling that I got swindled is not a very comforting position.
Has anyone on your end heard of the 2012 Year of The Dragon 10-ounce silver bars? Your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Bill Graney
Tubac, Ariz.
Editor’s note: We searched for the bars online and there are a number available for sale. There are photographs you could compare yours to.
As a suggestion, if you want to find out if your three bars are genuine, take them to a reputable dealer to have them looked at, measured and weighed. If they are genuine, you might ask if you can trade for more familiar standard bars, though that would cost you some money.
On the other hand, you would then be able to sleep at night.

Mint packaging sells on eBay, so don’t throw away
Roger Muellemann wrote to ask if there was any reason to save Mint packaging when he got his coins certified. You said “. . . there is no commercial reason to save the original Mint packaging.”
I found that you could sell such packaging on eBay. Obviously, it’s not worth a large amount, but people will buy it.
Thus, I don’t throw it away. Of course, I have trouble throwing anything away, but that’s another problem.
Mike Thorne
Starkville, Miss.

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