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This week’s letters (11/27/12)

I feel like I’m Rip Van Winkle! I have been collecting coins on and off since the 1960s. I have a lot of coins and being recently disabled and basically retired I have a lot of time on my hands. I thought of my collection of tidbits and jumped back in! Much to my surprize things have changed!
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How to get back in hobby without spending lots?
I feel like I’m Rip Van Winkle! I have been collecting coins on and off since the 1960s. I have a lot of coins and being recently disabled and basically retired I have a lot of time on my hands. I thought of my collection of tidbits and jumped back in! Much to my surprize things have changed!
When I went to the local dealer I was not treated well and I’m now seeking another dealer. But to get to my point, if your coins are raw they seem to be scrap, at least according to this dealer. When I went to inquire about submitting my coins for grading it seems that I have to join a club to be able to have them looked at? All this does is add more expense to the cost of the so called experts!
I would guess that these clubs are owned by the grading companies to add to there already extreme profits. Where can an average Joe have his coins graded and not spend a small fortune? If the industry wants to grow it should make it more user friendly and cost effective but that’s only my opinion. Please advise me on a plan without breaking the bank.
Al Montana
Address withheld

Editor’s note: Welcome back to the hobby. If you live in an area with an active local coin club, join it. It is the quickest and cheapest way to a solid numismatic education.
Third-party coin grading is now the way of the numismatic world. To submit coins, you have to follow the rules as laid down by the grading service.
The good news is there is no need to be in a rush to do anything. The coins you have will retain their value while you figure out how you want to reconnect with numismatics. Once you have found a coin dealer you are comfortable with, he or she will prove to be a valuable source of information for you.

Looking for list of U.S. silver medals since 1970
Just received the new book American Silver Eagles: A Guide Book to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program.
When I got to the 1993 Philadelphia Mint bicentennial set I saw the silver medal in that set and I got me to thinking how many silver medals has the Mint made since 1970? I found info on the following coins but wondered if there were some I am missing. I was thinking about collecting them: 2011-P 9/11 medal proof, 2011-W 9/11 medal proof, 2003 n.w.r 4-piece set proof, 1993-P bicentennial proof, 1992 Franklin proof & unc, 1988 Young Astronaut unc, 1976 Bicentennial proof, 1975 Paul Revere proof, 1974 John Adams proof, 1973 Bicentennial proof.
I am not sure if there are proof or uncirculated coins that I missed.
Name withheld

Link dollar to silver, keep cent, nickel
The cent is history. We have other previous coin types in the monetary system which are now in collectors’ hands. I will remember the cent affectionately.
I read what is said about eliminating the nickel and the penny from our monetary system.
I do think our dollar is presently too cheap. In the 1920s, Germany had hyper-inflation. They solved that problem by pegging the German mark to the U.S. dollar at 4 marks to the dollar. It held and Germany went on to become a world economic power.
The road we are on may lead to hyper-inflation. I don’t think we need to go there. Were we to amend our Constitution to say that the value of our dollar is worth one ounce of silver, that would solve many problems – maybe even create a few.
For nearly the first 200 years of our existence we nearly had a dollar that was nearly worth one ounce of silver. We even had Silver Certificates. My thoughts are that we need to keep the nickel and the penny at all costs, even if it calls for us to make the dollar worth one ounce of silver and even call it the Eagle.
Ed Coles
Cameron, Mo.

Need info on 1943 quarters regarding mottos
I have been putting together a set of Washington quarters and understand the major rarities and mint over mints, but I am still puzzled by the terms of “light, medium, and heavy motto” for the year 1943 for both the “P” and “D” mint.
While I find PCGS and NGC holders stating either none or one of the motto styles, the Red Book is silent on all of the options that are available. Is it a matter that maybe there are just two and medium is used for light by one third-party grader or are there really three motto styles? And since they are not covered in much detail in the Red Book, where can I learn more?
Even less is mentioned about the “D” mint 1943 quarters. Do they have two or three varieties? Since I want a complete set, I guess I need to know just what really exists. Would you know approximate mintage numbers of each style and values for those styles?
I hope either you or someone can do or find an article that refreshes these facts for the hobby.
Alan Hepler
Laytonsville, Md.

Looking for information on Jefferson without initials
A few years ago, I read a question in your “Letters” section in regards to 1990-D Jeffersons without designer’s initials on the obverse at the shoulder. If you responded with an answer, I missed it.
Can you please give me any information about the missing initials, including rarity, value, etc.?
Jim Dreger
Castro Valley, Calif.

Editor’s note: Coins with weak or missing letters and other elements of design like designer’s initials usually are the product of dies that have had a small portion of their surface partially or completely filled with grease and debris, preventing planchet metal from flowing into that portion of the die. Coins with missing letters carry little if any price premium.

Numismatic editor tries his hand at science fiction
The age of rocketry began in reality in Nazi Germany’s Peenemünde site but was anticipated by science fiction years earlier. Two of the greatest sci-fi novels ever written were penned in 1933-1934 by the novelist team of Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, established authors not previously known for such adventurist literature.
When Worlds Collide (1933) and After Worlds Collide (1934) received little attention in the Thirties, but George Pal’s 1951 movie, “When Worlds Collide,” brought them into the light. Pal’s influence in Hollywood waned and the sequel movie never appeared.
Starring Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen, Larry Keating, John Hoyt, Hayden Rorke, Stephen Chase and others, it was a smash hit though made on a low budget and with limited special effects. It ends with a landing on “Zyra” as Earth is crushed. Stuart Whitman was an extra in the film. It won an Academy Award.
Pal’s movie is set in the post-WWII, pre-computer era. Its principal difference with the book is that Dave, not Tony, gets the girl, Hendron’s daughter.
The opinion of this writer is that After is the far better of the two books. After had a hurried and unsatisfactory ending, however, leaving the reader’s mind clamoring for more, more!
Reading After would assist readers to understand this sequel. Much in this sequel depends upon knowledge built from the Wylie-Balmer original.
The story line is basically that two planets, while circling each other, are torn from their orbits and cast adrift in space, and after millions of years headed for earth.
This retired newspaper and magazine editor, well-known for numismatic non-fiction books, decided to do a “sequel to the sequel” while confined with a broken hip. Though lauded for non-fiction, it’s his first attempt at fiction. Should it satisfy, the effort will have been merited.
I chose not to do science fiction of the present day or what is to come, but took the unusual step of creating science fiction from the past. I chose the Depression era.
Russ Rulau
Iola, Wis.

Get rid of $1, $2 bills so coins can circulate
The $2 bill like the Eisenhower dollar and later the Susan B. Anthony dollar were terrible ideas and only served to enrich the U.S. Mint because the uninformed saved them and the government profited by seigniorage. Likely looked at as novelties and given as holiday gifts like the silver dollars of the past that seldom circulated. Terrible idea.
Eliminate the dollar and $2 bills and maybe we will finally see Presidential and Sacawagea dollars circulate and maybe issue a $2 coin.
Canada, Great Britain and the euro have no bill less than a 5. What is the U.S. Mint missing?
William H. Brownstein

Generals Arnold, Bradley deserve silver honors
I’m a fairly new collector in the hobby, just over five years, and I really like the military themed commemoratives. Both my father and I are veterans.
But it baffles me why Generals Arnold and Bradley are thought to be lesser five-star generals. They shouldn’t be relegated to a clad half dollar. Generals Arnold and Bradley are equally deserving of a silver dollar as are five-star admirals Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King.
Lastly, while I’m on my computerized soap box, why wasn’t a man added to the Girl Scout coin? Seems fair since a woman was required to be on a Boy Scout coin. Just saying.
R. Scott Broome
Address withheld

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