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Letters to the Editor (April 18, 2017)

FUN president appreciates convention remarks


I want to thank John and Nancy Wilson for their overwhelmingly positive review of the 62nd annual Florida United Numismatists Convention held Jan. 5-8 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. I’m sure every FUN officer and board member has a bit more hop in their step after reading John and Nancy’s comments.

We’re also highly pleased that the American Numismatic Association was successful in their efforts to attract several new members and several table sales for their future conventions. Growing our national numismatic association should be one of the top goals for every regional, state and local numismatic organization. We at FUN are proud to do our part.

Finally, I’d like to amend a few statements that were made by John and Nancy. First, the recent FUN Convention, as huge as it was, was not the largest FUN show ever held. That honor goes to the 2016 Tampa FUN Convention. Convention Chair Cindy Wibker reported that 1,010 tables were used at that convention, making it the first coin show to top 1,000 tables during my 58-year career in this grand hobby and, of course, the first FUN Convention to top 1,000 tables. The recent Ft. Lauderdale show featured about 1,500 or so dealers sharing 865 tables. Keep in mind that the larger national coin firms are only counted as two tables even if they use 20 or more tables at our show.

In about 10 months, the 63rd Annual Convention of Florida United Numismatists will take place at the Tampa Convention Center. Once again, the ANA will have a complimentary table, presumably manned by the amazing duo of John and Nancy Wilson. To say we are looking forward to it would be a great understatement.

We at FUN cordially invite all of you to attend America’s biggest coin convention!

Randy Campbell
FUN President
Tampa, Fla.

Coin issues available from the Mint for too long

I subscribe to several coin news and magazines. Recently, I received a coin magazine that brought up an article about the Mint “holding on” to various coins and NCLT (non-circulating, legal tender) rounds.

This writer agrees with that magazine’s argument about keeping certain topics and their coins available for years after the original issue. For instance, the 10-year America the Beautiful quarters and sets, a collector can still buy the first year issues from all three mints (“P,” “D” and “S”). If this writer wished to venture into the ATBs, he could very well start from the beginning, right in the middle of the series without going to the secondary market. (Sorry, folks, I ain’t gonna do it! I got burned out putting together the states and territories set.)

So, the Mint’s decision to run these Goliath-type programs and their coins is going too far, for at least the earlier issues (2010-2015). If you’re a collector wanting these issues and didn’t get them then: TS (Tough Situation)!

Another program that should end is the 1916 centennials for the gold dime, quarter and half.

Why are these coins still available from the Mint in 2017? Centennial means 100 years in my book. The exception would be for the Standing Liberty issue, which Lady Liberty got covered with chain mail in 1917. And the half dollar’s mintmark was moved to the reverse in 1917.

The golden dollar “Prexie” (Presidential) issues, along with their spouses, expired in 2016.

Why are they still available? From the 1938 to about the ’50s, the Post Office issued a set of definitive (long-running) stamps featuring all the presidents from Washington (1 cent) to Coolidge ($5), throwing in Ben Franklin for a half cent stamp in the series. Will the “Prexie” coins run as long as their postal counterparts?

The other golden dollar issues are a waste as well, as long as the paper dollar is being printed.

This author would be very much interested in purchasing a set of Native America Heritage bimetallic (copper-nickel outer ring with the “golden” center) quarter eagle ($2.50) coins similar, but slightly larger than, the Canadian “Tooney” ($2) coin. Better yet, stop the $1 Native American Heritage series and just produce the quarter eagles in a “Prominent American Natives” series from Pocahontas to the Last Code Talker of World War II. Have each person on the coin for one year only.

Eliminate both the dollar and $2 bills so that the golden dollars and quarter eagles can circulate freely like Canada’s “Looneys” and “Tooneys” do in Canada.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

2016 was record year for coins found while biking

2016 is the seventh year since I began to commute to work by bicycle. I have noticed and picked up coins along the way in a category I call “F.O.R.” (Found on Road). My first coin for 2016 was a dime that I found on Jan. 4 and the last was a quarter on Dec. 30. In between, the totals for 2016 were 82 pennies, 11 nickels, 20 dimes, 23 quarters and four golden dollars for a total of 142 coins with a face value of $13.12. 2016 set records for both the number of coins and face value found.

There was a quarter that was so worn that you could not tell the front from the back. There was also a 2015 quarter with an MS-62 obverse and a chewed-up reverse. The oldest coin was a 1951-D penny in VF. It was also the only wheat penny. Foreign coins found were a 1987 Canadian dime and a 25-cent coin from Ecuador dated 2000. The nicest coin was a 1983-P penny – bright red with mint luster MS-60.

This was the first year I found dollar coins: two Washington, one Monroe and one Garfield. That makes the elusive half dollar the only denomination that I have yet to run across on the road.

I might have discovered a new category of coins: taco coins. There was a penny and quarter that were folded in half to resemble a hard-shell taco. During the year I also found some tools: two screwdrivers, two wrenches and six sockets.

Some people might think I’ve lost my marbles by spending so much effort on F.O.R. coins, but I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, I found a white base marble with a green swirl.

Name withheld
Des Plaines, Ill.

Coins should be valued as historical national treasures

I must get my hard-copy magazine late, because when I go to the website to answer the poll, you have moved on to the next question. So pardon me if my answer is an issue late, but I wanted to comment on the question in the March 7 edition: “Should Morgan dollars graded ‘Good’ be worth more than melt value?” My answer is yes. Many people, myself included, collect for the sheer enjoyment of collecting. We may rarely, if ever, sell our coins, so we are not into the hobby to make a profit. Coins are also a part of our history, therefore we are not collecting a commodity to be bought, sold and bartered; we are collecting bits and pieces of our nation’s history, not just in coins, but in the people themselves.

Every time I find or purchase a circulated coin, especially those in grades below Fine, I look at them and ponder, “How many people have handled this coin, and what did they buy with it?”

That dollar, quarter or nickel could have belonged to a farmer cultivating the open prairie; it may have been the last coin in his pocket and he may have used it to purchase a loaf of bread to feed his family. It may have been used by a cowboy coming off the dusty Sonora into town to purchase a cold brew at the local saloon. Perhaps a soldier carried that coin in his pocket as he went into battle. These are romantic notions, indeed, but entirely possible.

Every coin has a history, whether we can trace it or not, which is why every coin should have at least some collector value, regardless of condition. Every coin should be considered part of our national treasures. Would we value any of our other national treasures at “melt value?”

Daryl Conley
Truth or Consequences, N.M.

Editor’s note: The print issue is not coordinated with the online poll question. It is coordinated with the Friday e-newsletter. Sign up for it and never miss a poll question. Go to:

2017-P cent, dime show up in restaurant change

I saw a letter to the editor recently in NN where a man, Gerald from Louisiana, spoke of the new 2017-P cent and the ad from Rite Aid drug store.

Well, today, March 18, I received in change from a fast food restaurant a shiny new 2017-P cent along with a 2017-P full band dime.

I was going to inform David Harper of my circulation find as I had forgotten about the cent coming out with a “P” mintmark this year until I read Gerald’s letter to the editor. David, keep informing people to look for new coins as they appear in the early part of the years.

George Furr
Archdale, N.C.

Kennedy half in 1967 mint set has reverse doubling

Enjoyed your article about the 1967 Kennedy. My son was born in 1967, and I purchased a Special Mint Set from the U.S Mint. I am also a collector, so I had the entire set graded. The Kennedy came back MS-65 with doubling on the reverse.

Name withheld
Charleston, S.C.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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