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Letters to the Editor: Sept. 3, 2019

12-S Lincoln

This is in regards to Mr. Vodney’s article in the Aug 6 issue of Numismatic News. I found the 12-S Lincoln back in my dad’s change back in ‘58 when I started collecting pennies. He would always empty his pocket of change when he came home from work. What a find!

It remains the best Lincoln I found that I kept. I also found the ‘55 DD as a kid but spent it before I started collecting. I obviously didn’t realize what I had.

R. Cramer
Address withheld

 

Don’t Give Up

About 3 weeks ago I picked up a box of War in the Pacific P minted quarters and an additional 20 rolls from 2 banks in the Cleveland, OH area. After going through all 70 rolls my brother and I came up with 32 W quarters.

Compared to an earlier find of American Memorial Park – P box of quarters we only found 15 Lowell – W quarters. So to everyone who is having difficulty finding 2019 quarters out there in circulation, they are difficult to find, but not impossible.

Ralph Fuller
Cleveland, Ohio

 

Do I Have a Rare Set?

I believe iT was Sept or Oct 2017 that the US mint released an eight coin set and it was the only one that included the “S” mintmark Silver Dollar.

I have visited shows and some coin dealers and none have heard of this set. I purchased the MS70 First release set. I have not seen this in any of my subscriptions to Numismatic News in the sections of set release quantities or in the pricing of coins.

Is this a rare set?

Timothy Kenyon
Address Withheld

 

Barry Skog Got Just What He Deserved!

I flipped the page of my latest copy of Numismatic News and saw a big bold headline and mug shot of Barry Skog!    He will do 30 months of jail time for various charges related to coin mail fraud and peddling counterfeit coins.  Hoorah!   He scammed me going back to August 2014.  My one attempted transaction with him turned into a long, drawn-out nightmare!

When I figured out early on that he was setting me up to take me to the cleaners, I began building my case. What he did not know was that I was taking photos and making copies of every package, envelope, email, and coin slab.  This dragged on for months.  I turned my entire file over to the Minnesota Attorney General.  That office aggressively went after Skog and asked me for all available documentation, which I gladly provided. I may never see one dime of restitution, but Skog got caught, and that’s enough for me.

David Smith
Somerville, Tenn.

 

My Coin and Currency Set

World-class US Mint quality control. I wonder why their customer base is shrinking and they can’t figure out how to attract new customers??  Hmmm.


Sean Stanczyk
Address withheld

 

In Response to Tom Miller’s Viewpoint

As a coin collector for many decades, I agree with Tom Miller’s assessment that major changes are needed in how the U.S. Mint is operating.  More and more of our coinage is not really “coinage.”  A coin is a money, something that is intended to be used in commerce for the sale, purchase, and exchange of goods. 

The Mint is now, though, turning into a gigantic coin dealer, churning out all sorts of nice and pretty stuff that isn’t really “coins.”  Whatever all this stuff is, it isn’t money.  It isn’t intended to be used as actual money.  The 5-ounce “quarters” are one example.  They cost something like $150 each and obviously are not intended to be used as quarters worth 25 cents.  Same for all the bullion coinage, gold, and platinum, none of which are really “coins.”  And likewise for the Presidential Spouse gold coins.  While the denomination on some of these items is stated to be a certain amount, the gold or silver content is far in excess of that.  Does anybody ever spend any of these to actually buy anything or give change when something is sold?

And now, we have mints operating in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and West Point, all busily producing a  bunch of “stuff” that isn’t “ coins.  Nobody seems to intend to spend them or use them as coins.  They are pretty and some of them resemble coins, but they are more like tokens and medals.  The Mint should do a cost analysis and see how much it costs to produce all this stuff that is not coinage.  That includes the cost of operating a myriad of minting facilities across the country; i.e., the cost of maintaining the land and buildings, air conditioning, heating, staffing, employees, etc. 

Seems to me we should be able to look at maybe shutting down at least 2 of the mints, It is bad enough to be spending 2 cents to make a penny.  But why are we spending anything to be producing stuff that isn’t even intended to be used as a coin in the first place?  It might make sense if the mint is making money off of this, but is it?  If we factor in all of the costs of operating all of these minting facilities, is a profit being made?  Has anybody done a cost analysis?  I don’t know what it would come up with, but it needs to be done before the government goes further down the road it has chosen to embark upon.

William Rodis
San Antonio, Texas

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