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Letters to the Editor (Dec. 19, 2017)

Membership decline means end for San Francisco club

It is with heavy heart and sad sorrow to report to the greater hobby and organized numismatics that the San Francisco (California) Coin Club has ceased.

Burdened with a steadily declining membership and even worse attendance, this once proud presence in California organized numismatics came to an end. A club, which once had attendance in excess of a hundred, ended with three present at its final meeting. A club that hosted several California State Numismatic Association (CSNA) conventions and claimed membership of several Krause Publication Numismatic Ambassadors simply could not continue.

A steady decline in membership, a tiny membership at the end was composed of more members living outside of San Francisco than within, the switch in meeting locations, plus the burden falling upon one individual to sustain the club, all these compelled the end.

I cannot deny that greater effort upon my part might have aided it. However, one individual should not have the sole responsibility.

The club died because it lost members and members who were willing to step forward. A lifeboat requires rowers and a helmsman. The club lacked both.

The San Francisco Coin Club bequeaths to the hobby a legacy of a standard of what an active and avid local coin club should be, whether hosting CSNA conventions, holding its annual Coin Fairs, issuing the multi-page monthly Two Cents’ Worth, frequent speakers and programs, wood issues and much enjoyed annual socials.

I came later in service with the club. At the end, yours truly held all the positions, a burden too much. The lesson here is simple: not one person should carry the load.

The club, for half a century-plus, was a proud presence, and its heritage shall remain.

On a personal note, I am proud to have been a member and to have served the club in its final years.

To all those before, to former members, and to our hobby and fellow hobbyists, please accept my and the club’s final message: Always enjoy our hobby and serve it well.

Michael S. Turrini
Last SFCC President
Vallejo, Calif.

Reader might have 1982-D copper cent rarity


Unless my eyes have deceived me I think I may have one of these missing LaRues. Sorry, “MouseHunt” movie quote. 1982-D small date copper cent weighing 3.1 grams.

Unfortunately my digital microscope broke and no pictures to prove it. As with your other discoverer, mine also has some blue-green crap around the rim like someone tried to clean it with copper cleaner. But the “D” is not straight, so stay tuned because I just got an eye loupe mag 14. Should be clear later tonight .

John J. Dolan III
Address withheld

Editor’s note: We will await further word from you.

Rolling up coins yields Doubled Die cent find

I am recently retired. Since I had the time, I offered to roll up the change in my sister’s coin jar. I always check for new National Park quarters, 2017 coins and any items of interest. I check the cents for major errors. I always look for 1972, 1995 doubled die obverses and the 1983 reverse doubled die. I found the latest Parks quarter, 2017-P nickel and a 1917-P cent. But the big prize was near the end of the process.

I found, after 34 years of searching, a 1983 Doubled Die Reverse cent in AU condition! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought they were just tired from rolling up over $100 in change. But the coin magnifying glass verified my find. My favorite dealer also confirmed it. It is not a copper 1982-D small date (I checked for those too) but it is the best I have found in a long time!

I recently got this 1983 DD reverse cent back from NGC. Conservation removed the spot on the back and certified the coin as an AU-58. How is that for a circulation find that was in the system for 34 years? It must have been in several coin jars for a long time.

Rich Vatovec
Birmingham, Ala.

Editor’s note: Congratulations. Thanks for sharing news of your find with us.

Space limitations reason for Mint Statistics hiatus

I have noticed that the “Mint Statistics” page is not in my issue, not even listed in the table of contents.

I hope this is just an oversight for this issue only. Advise if Numismatic News will continue the Mint Stats in future printed issues.

Gerald d’Aquin
Address withheld

Editor’s note: We have had some very tight issues recently that made us leave out some material. Mint Statistics got the short end of the stick. But it is back this week. Thanks for proving your interest by writing.

No 2017-P cents have turned up in change thus far

I have yet to see a single new 2017-P penny in circulation. And I always check my change. Seems strange.

Karl Hinds
Fowler, Ill.

Could double strikes be next big thing in errors?

I hear constantly that there are no collectibles in today’s change. I disagree to a point.

I’m a product of the 1950s. I could find Barbers, Walkers, Standing Liberties Buffaloes etc., but at the time whoever cared about error coins? I was 15 in 1955. There were some great coin stores in Boston.

In the window of one, there was a pile of brand new shiny Lincoln cents. The pile had a handwritten sign that read “A curiosity $1.” I went in and looked at some ’55 doubled die cents, but who cared? There was no space in my album, besides I had a 1955 cent.

At that time there was no Cherry Pickers guide, “Red Book,” Numismatic News that listed errors. Not many error coins were collected at that time (only by some smart people that looked into the future).

This brings me back to now. There are books dedicated to this subject. But hold on. I’ve got a dirty little secret; I hope nobody is listening. I would be shot down if I brought some to coin shows.

How about strike doubles?

There I said it out loud. I hope dealers and readers are not offended. My grandson has been looking for them for a couple years.

It has renewed his interest in today’s coins. Who knows, maybe some smart people already are watching their change?

Art Leslie
Scituate, Mass.

Should more be done today to verse children on coins?

Several weeks ago, the electronic version asked the question whether children should use cash for purchases so they could make “change” in commerce later. I think everyone should use cash – at least every so often – when making purchases. That way, they’ll know what coin is what and if they’ve gotten back the correct amount of change in their purchase.

The U.S. has become dumb in using coins in purchases. Today is not like it was years back when I was a young boy. The elementary school I went to had a “banking day” every week. It was observed by a local bank teller and classroom teacher. The young “tellers” of the school were 6th grade students who accepted money (mostly small change) from younger students to be put in that person’s savings account. We tellers got to know each different coin – cent through dollar – and how much our “customer/depositor” was depositing.

The years progressed and “school banking” was discontinued. So-called progress developed the change machine and computer, telling how much change is to be returned. All is good? Maybe, maybe not. Does the cashier know which coin is which and its face value? Perhaps. On the other hand, when a customer (like me at times) pays cash in coins (not bills), will that cashier know how much I’m giving her/him? Depends on the age of the cashier.

I’ve gone to stores where young cashiers are employed and have used Eisenhower dollars and Kennedy half dollars and have been asked “don’t you have American money?” Or, I’ve been told, “I’ll have to call my manager about these.” Even the use of a golden dollar will cause concern whether the cashier has been given “real” money. Had that young cashier paid cash for his/her purchases during his/her younger years, that cashier probably would know what was given and how much change should be returned – without looking at the register’s computer screen.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

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

More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.

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