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Letters to the Editor (Feb. 27, 2018)

Coins, bank notes still have place in today’s society


I received my latest issue of Numismatic News and went to the Letters section immediately.

Patrick Clark bemoans that there are people who want to get rid of coins and currencies and go cashless. Yes, I too have seen the blogs/posts addressing this thing. But like Mr. Clark, I do see a relevance to cash (coins and currencies) in society today. Perhaps in the future world – like “Star Trek” – cash will become irrelevant and be delegated to cyberspace credit.

There are several countries in the world that still produce their “cents” (lowest denomination of their financial computations), but then there are countries that have eliminated their “cent,” delegating it to electronic transactions (checking and plastic cards). In physical cash purchases if the amount comes to the odd “cent,” the price gets rounded up or down to the nearest five.

No problem with me. Our cent has become worth more in metallic value than its face value. Yes, eliminate it from production. But still keep it for electronic purchases and taxes.

I collect worldwide coins and bank notes and have seen many countries drop their “cent” and paper or polymer bank notes of low value, turning to coins of the same denomination. Canada is a good example, discontinuing their $1 bill in 1987 for the coin and later doing away with the $2 bill for a bimetallic coin. In 2012, Canada ceased production of its cent because, like here in the U.S., its production costs were more than its face value.

In the days of yesteryear, U.S. bank notes were backed by precious metals such as silver and gold. Today the notes say, “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” There is no backing of silver or gold for the note, which is basically worthless. So, why not have just coins for the dollar and $2 bills? Better still, bring back the quarter eagle ($2.50 coin) as a bimetallic coin. The quarter eagle was a denomination that represented 10 quarters and was produced from the 1790s to 1933, when the U.S. came off the gold standard.

Even though I do some electronic transactions (deposits and bill payments) through my bank, I still withdraw hard money to purchase goods from the local stores or services. Coins and bank notes still have relevance in today’s society as well as the near future.

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

Rochette remembered as accessible to all in hobby

As so often happens nowadays, another email message posts on the computer screen, and just recently, it was shared that the towering Edward “Ed” C. Rochette, at age 90, had passed away.

What I write here are only the weak reflections and remembrances from a fellow coin hobbyist who had the honor and unique privilege to meet and to mingle plus to share time in our “world of money” hobby with Mr. Rochette, as I would always address him.

Ed Rochette did the honor of presenting my Krause Publications Numismatic Ambassador Award back in 1995, and earlier, in 1993, the American Numismatic Association’s President’s Award, which might have been the second ever bestowed. What is particular reflective is that both honors were bestowed here in Vallejo, Calif., my home.

Some years ago, Mr. Rochette, who never failed to respond to one of my famous invitation letters, accepted to join and to attend the historic anniversary banquet of the august Pacific Coast Numismatic Society in San Francisco, Calif. This anniversary celebrated the society’s milestone 1,000th meeting. With the late Gordon R. Donnell (1935-2010), who borrowed his then millionaire boss’ huge Mercedes limo, Gordon and I drove to the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, Calif., drove right into the huge hotel’s entry. Getting out, a request was called to Mr. Rochette’s room. He and wife, Mary Ann, came down. Greeting them, I remarked, “You are going in style.” We walked out. He and Mary Ann were impressed: a chauffeured limo!

The next day, the Delta Coin Club of Stockton, Calif., was holding its Annual Picnic, in Lodi, Calif. Michael M. “Steamer” Stanley and I had agreed to take Mr. Rochette to the picnic. The club hung banners welcoming him. What was remembered for months afterwards was that Mr. Rochette could not be kept away from cooking and assisting at the flaming hot barbecue pit!

These insignificant trivia cannot compare to his leadership with and in the American Numismatic Association, his authored books and various editorships. Those are his “Everest.” What I offer is evidence that he enthralled our hobby, this world of money, at all levels, with the same enthusiasm, kindness, charm and dedication.

When a man or women passes, there is the usual and respective commentary, marking that we have lost someone important. This is the nature of life and living plus being a community, as our hobby is, our coin community.

I could ramble on and on. Hopefully, my reflections and remembrances here are worthy.

I end by sharing this paraphrased quotation found on the Internet: “As he lighted the path for our hobby, we naturally light from his light our own path through this world of money.”

R.I.P., Mr. Rochette.

Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.

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

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