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This Week's Letters (1/4/08)

A selection of email letters from readers of Numismatic News to our editor, Dave Harper.
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From the January 4 issue of Numismatic News:

Q. Two of the 2008 First Spouse gold coins feature classic 19th century coin designs because the Presidents were widowers. Will that deter you from buying these coins?

Not at all, I still plan on buying them.

Jacob Sussman
Lakewood, N.J.

The First Spouse gold program is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD! I orderered two of each of the first three in proof and uncirculated. Then the Mint got terribly greedy by increasing the price a rediculous amount when gold increased. This is an insult to the intelligence of numismatists. It will kill the Spouse program. I will never order another coin from the Mint and I have purchased thousands of dollars worth of coins every year for years. Their greed plus too many commemorative coins being produced will kill collecting ? reversing something they did to increase collecting with the state quarters program. If you wish to buy any commemorative coin or mint or proof set, just wait and buy it in the after market (usually they are much cheaper a year later).

Bill Ibsen
Windsor Heights, Iowa

I really think that prices will be more of a deterrent to me for getting any of these coins. The price of gold is getting into the scary region. First Spouse coins look good but I cannot keep up with every thing that the Mint offers, as the eagle recovery series looks really good. Just too much stuff out there and not enough money to go around.

Kyle Stromgren
Yelm, Wash.

The design will not deter me, but the $100 jump in price for the fourth coin of 2007 and the resultant slower sales of the coin have me concerned.

Harry D. Sellers
Traverse City, Mich

I like the idea that traditional Liberty designs will be reissued in the First Spouse series. Because of my limited budget, I will only collect the series in bronze medal form. I just hope the Mint or someone puts out an album to house them.

Malcolm Johnson
Vista, Calif.

The design of the First Spouse coin is immaterial because I?m not interested in the overpriced U.S. Mint material.

Robert R. Maisch
Mobridge, S.D.

I honestly can?t wait for these ?bachelor? coins to come out! To me they are by the best looking coins from the Mint in a long time. As a matter of fact, I am just buying these instead of the Spouse coins to have a ?bachelor set?

Rick Bradley

I think collectors who enjoy early type coins will be much more likely to order First Spouse coins with the rendering of Liberty. These coins would make nice ?companion pieces.?

Ginger Rapsus
 Chicago, Ill.

These coins are the only coins I want. I don?t want Presidents? wives coins, but these old coin copies are true classics to me and even though I think the Mint raised the price too much for these coins, I don?t care! If they charge another $100 I will still buy them, Why? Because I just love them.

Pat Dolan
Lakewood, N.J.

The 19th century coin designs are the only ones I am interested in, so I will buy them.

Jim Powell
New Hope, Pa.

The classic designs of this years first spouse coins will not deter my buying...quite the opposite...I will try to make room in my modest budget to purchase them. The only spouse coins that I bought in 2007 were the Jefferson Liberty...both proof and uncirculated. I like the classic designs...wish the mint would make more.

 Kenneth S. Nyberg
Coram, New York

Who cares about collecting a coin with the wife of a president on it? It just seems to be a way for the US Mint (read US government) to milk more out of us numismatists. They have raised the price of proof and unc sets as high as they can get away with and now they are grasping at any other way to make money. As a new Treasury Department intern in 1975 I attended a hearing on the hill for the US Mint budget. The officials bragged about how much profit they were making on coins sold to collectors. I think this administration has caught on to the scam and is really milking it. How about speaking out about that?

Perry Levin
Rockville, MD

The two ?Liberty? designs will actually encourage me to buy the BRONZE versions like I did for the TJ spouse. I like the classic liberty designs of old as in the versions of the real coins I?m collecting in my US Type set. However, the actual gold versions of these spouse coins are much more than I?m willing to let go for a modern coin of any kind. I?ll save those funds for the 1837 Seated Liberty Dime I?m longing for!

Robert H. Ball, Jr.
Detroit, Michigan USA

I think 2 of 4 first spouse classic designs in 2008 enhances, rather than deters me from purchasing these coins. This gives me an opportunity to aquire classic designs in MS-69 or PF-69 without paying for high grade classic coins. In fact I am delighted with my PCGS PF-69 classic design Jefferson first spouse coin.

Gary Herrmann
Madison Wisconsin

You asked ? Would classic designs of 19th century coins designs would deter me from purchasing these coins, and my answer to you is No; but the price will most certainly deter me.

William Kitching
Swansea, South Carolina

It makes no difference if they were widowers or not, they were the first spouse live or dead unless he remarries.
Why does Congress or the Mint think otherwise. Congress should know that how, many of them are divorced or having affairs and still in office. Such knit-picking. Why do we want some fictious image to associate with the President Dollar. Jefferson was different.

Richard Tindall
Trinity Texas

This week Dave wants to know:

Bald Eagle commemorative coins go on sale Jan. 15. Are these being pushed out of the limelight by regular issues like First Spouse, American Eagle and American Buffalo coins? Editor Dave Harper wants to know. E-mail him at Please include your first and last name, city and state.