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Letters to the Editor (Aug. 15, 2017)

 (Images courtesy

(Images courtesy

Even seasoned collectors have something to learn

One thing I love about our hobby is that I am always learning. In the 40-plus years that I have been collecting coins, my focus has changed several times. One of my first goals was to complete some of my early sets of 20th century coins that I had started collecting from pocket change as a child. Then I moved on to compiling complete sets of earlier issues. In recent years, I started putting together type sets and others such as coins of different design issued the same year, etc. Along the way, I have learned how to identify different varieties, mint errors, etc. I recently began collecting early large cents and have enjoyed learning how to identify the various Sheldon varieties.

Although I am still working on completing many of these sets, I recently discovered I was missing some from a very recent set, the America the Beautiful quarter series. I guess I must have been asleep for the past five years, because I did not realize that San Francisco had begun minting business strike examples of the ATB quarter in 2012. If my research is correct, this is the first time an “S” has appeared on a business strike quarter since 1954, or on any business strike coin since the Lincoln cent of 1974.

Even though they have not been released into general circulation and only available in bags or rolls from the U.S. Mint, I decided to add them to my ATB set. I found a complete 28-coin set of “S” mint ATBs covering 2012-2017 on eBay for just over $1 per coin with shipping, so I purchased them. Whitman’s Red Book lists them at around $1.00 each in MS-63, so the price is very reasonable. These issues have mintages, or perhaps they are sales figures, of less than 1.5 million per year, so perhaps they may increase in value in future years. Either way, they will make a nice addition to my ATB set.

Just goes to show, you can always learn something in this hobby.

Daryl Conley
Address withheld

Time is running out for physical money transactions

All the talk over the last few years regarding the need to continue producing the cent prompts me to ask: When will money go completely digital?

Most of today’s monetary transactions involve plastic and a computer chip, not paper money and coins.

Enjoy the fact that we still live in an era when “money” is not fully digital.

I love coin collecting. I have no worries that it will remain popular for many centuries after production ceases.

Enjoy the hobby!

John Quarfoth
Lino Lakes, Minn.

No chance for collectors to buy set direct from Mint

Here we go again with the United States Mint giving collectors a kick to the side of the road!

It’s the 225th anniversary of the Mint, and they make a limited set of 225,000 and once again sell at the ANA show as well. And as far as getting through on the phone or online at the Mint, that’s a complete joke anymore. It’s awfully funny how their phone system and website work.

They know fair well there are more than 225,000 collectors that will want the set due to the enhanced finish on the coins, and this is the plan they come up with. I see no household limit, no limit per customer, and one would guess this will turn out to be all the major dealers, TV show hosts and the like acquiring all the sets to mark up. And let’s not forget the grading companies who will inundate us with the over-abundance of labels for the coins. Has anyone noticed that hardly any of these dealers and TV hosts also don’t just sell these sets and coins in their original packaging anymore? One wonders why, but it’s not hard to figure out when you look at what appears as collusion between the Mint, the dealers and the grading companies.

I keep waiting for the collecting community to put their foot down and stop purchasing what the Mint produces and put a large dent in the pockets of the Mint, the dealers, grading companies and TV hosts. Even if it was for one year, I’d like to see the outcome! Also the ANA and other groups, where are they? They want our money to join and memberships and such, and don’t stand up for anything. It’s just like the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, who never listen to the collectors for our opinions. What we would like. Who stands up for us collectors? Who cares about us?

If I sound mad, I am! If I sound soured on collecting, I am. If I sound as though I’m going to walk away from the hobby, I am pretty much there! Even after writing a letter to the Director of the Mint, I received no response, and it was sent Priority Mail no less. If this is what it’s coming down too, I’m so very disappointed and saddened with a hobby I truly loved and found such joy in at one time. What a pity, what a shame, and to think I haven’t even been able to receive or find just one 2017-P Lincoln cent yet. The customer service department at the Mint told me I could get one, if I ordered the uncirculated set. I can’t even purchase a roll of Lincoln cents from the Mint! Yep, customer service at its finest.

Name withheld

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

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