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This week's letters (10/29/13)

In the Oct. 1 issue of Numismatic News, longtime NN contributor Paul Green states that, “The precise reason for the Eisenhower dollar was not really for use in commerce. It was simply a case of wanting to do something to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower after his death in 1969.” I heard a different version.
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Ike dollars helped Nevada casino industry
In the Oct. 1 issue of Numismatic News, longtime NN contributor Paul Green states that, “The precise reason for the Eisenhower dollar was not really for use in commerce. It was simply a case of wanting to do something to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower after his death in 1969.”
I heard a different version.
Years ago, I was told that after silver coins became worth more than face value in the 1960s, and the “real” silver dollars disappeared from circulation, Nevada casinos were stuck with thousands of dollar slot machines that no longer had a circulating coin that fit. (All machines of that era only took real coins, rather than tokens).
The Nevada Senators then pushed for a new dollar coin that had the identical dimensions of the old silver dollars, so these thousands of dollar slots could continue to be used, rather than be junked. The death of Ike was a convenient excuse for the issuance of the new dollar coin, not so much to honor him, but to ensure the casinos wouldn’t have to take a bath on all that expensive equipment. As they say, “Follow the money!”
I can attest that I, as a coin-collecting Navy sailor home-ported in San Diego in the 1970s, who occasionally junketed to Vegas on weekends, personally witnessed at close range the zillions of Ike dollars floating around the casinos at that time. This, of course, was before they were a collectible. (The Ikes made real nice clangs in the slot machine tray when you hit a winner).
I’m too lazy to do a whole lot of research as to the reasons the Ike dollar was pushed, but I know someone out there must know of the role the casino industry and the Nevada legislators may have had in its creation.
Tom Felhofer
Luxemburg, Wis.

A nice set of Lincoln cents is achievable
As always as I read your articles they tickle me, entertain me and, as with this one, make me pause and reflect.
You see, I began actively collecting in the summer of 1961 and since funds were a problem, I began by searching bags and bags of Lincoln cents. At this time one usually came across a couple of Indian Head cents, a few nicer early dates, etc., in a 5,000 coin bag of cents. The pieces of some value not needed for my collection I would auction at our club meetings, providing a few additional dollars monthly to spend on coins.
Over time, perhaps 15 years or so, I assembled a complete set of circulated Lincoln cents, including the 1909-S VDB.
I passed on the ‘22 no “D” and ‘55/55, deeming them oddities as they weren’t meant for circulation! Besides, they were big bucks even then.
As I added more and more uncirculated Lincolns to the set over the years, I decided I wanted a better set than the VG to UNC collection I had. Finally, in 2011 (Yes, 50 years after I began to collect Lincoln cents). I had a complete set of uncirculated and certified Lincoln cents.
Then I went after the proofs, today lacking only the rare 1909 VDB proof. I then added the ‘22 no “D” in AU-53, as I felt I could afford the coin in this grade. The ‘55/55 is MS-64, and the only coin in the set minted after 1929 that is not at least MS-65. No coin, other than the 2’2 no “D” is less than MS or Proof 64.
So, I guess my approach after reading your thoughts is that if one can live long enough, is dedicated enough and has a few extra bucks from time to time, a nice set of Lincolns can be assembled, even today.
A subscriber to NN since 1961,
Dick Fee
Address withheld

Why aren’t San Fran Mint quarters in mint sets?
In 2012 the U.S. Mint in San Francisco started minting uncirculated quarters that were only sold from the Mint in rolls or bags, but not in the mint sets.
In 2013 they repeated this with selling in rolls, bags or three-coin rolls with “P” and “D” mints as well, but not in the Mint sets. Why did the Mint make the decision not to issue in the uncirculated mint sets? Why doesn’t the “Coin Market” list a price for these quarters?
Roger W. Armstrong
Burlington, Iowa
Editor’s note: It was a marketing decision by the Mint not to add the “S” coins to the mint sets. As for pricing for the “S” quarters, that will appear shortly in “Coin Market.”

Great coins still out there to be found in circulation
Just a quick jot to say I finally received a 2009-D Puerto Rico states and territories quarter in circulation Sept. 30. Also got a 2005-P Jefferson/Buffalo” nickel as well.
Yes, collectors who don’t want to pay extra for circulating collectible coins, the coins you’re looking for are out there. They’re still in great (XF–AU) condition. Oh, the thrill of the hunt!
Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

Reader seeks info on Boston Mint in 1787
I am contacting you in regard to some research I am conducting regarding the two Boston Mints.
I have already purchased the book by Louise Jordan, which is an excellent read. However, I am looking for anything regarding the second mint in 1787-1788.
If there is anyone you would know who might be able to assist me, that would be wonderful.
Stan Devou
Boston, Mass.
Editor’s note: Any information or suggestions should be sent to

1911 nickel shows up in circulation in Oregon
My sister, who lives in Medford, Ore., knows that I collect coins so when I visited her recently she showed me a nickel that she got in change in early September. She did not know what it was, but she thought it was probably pretty old.
Much to my surprise, it turned out to be a 1911 Liberty Head nickel. The grade of the nickel was only About Good to Good.
I guess it goes to show that there are still are treasures to be found!
J. Roberts
Fox Valley in Wisconsin

Keep reader poll results on file for reference
I would like to suggest that you keep the weekly reader polls and poll archives open so that NN can gain a larger sampling for each of the survey questions. That way readers could go back and enter their own responses or just review the old poll results.
John Thill
Lenexa, Kan.

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