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Letters to the Editor (June 27, 2017)

Rite Aid no-mintmark 2017 cent scandal imagined


Wouldn’t this make for a wonderful plot to a mystery novel?

The U.S. Mint sends a subpoena to Rite Aid telling them to produce the mintmark-less “model” penny they used for the cover of their flyer. After many months of denying that one exists, and this was just an artist’s rendition, they finally admit that they actually have a full roll of them. Should they turn them over to the Mint – and would the cents be confiscated on the spot?

Rite Aid hires the lawyers that defended the Langbord’s 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold who at first refuses the case but then, after secret meetings with the head of the marketing and art department of the large pharmaceutical chain, accepts the challenge.

Finally it is determined that Rite Aid actually was searching for these elusive 2017 “P” coins and hoped that their customers would bring them in to buy all the items in the 1-cent sale (as advertised). Only the 2017 “P” coins would get the second item free.

Maybe a bit far-fetched, but stranger true tales are out there.

Just for fun. I enjoy the conversation. And as a cent searcher, I think the cent coin should live forever. How many books have been written about the Lincoln cent and its illustrious past?

By the way, so far I have not found any without the “P” – but I have both 2015 and 2016 doubled date dimes, if you are interested – and reverse error 2015 (“P” for plain) cents with extra metal above the left top of the shield, left, as you look at it.

I think pennies should have tiny chips in them that would play music, a single note maybe, when placed on a newly developed iPhone or other device. Can you imagine an orchestra full of a blending of those sounds? An A# would be most valuable – or how about a G, or a full octave of notes – with the mintmark designating the sound. Then everyone would want the penny to live forever. Right? OK, maybe that would be too expensive for the cent coin. Then let’s do it with the dollar coin. Make everyone want them in their pocket. But would they spend them? Hmm.

Keep the conversation going.

Tom Jillson
Address withheld

Collector recalls several instances of paper finds

In response to your “Best of Buzz” question in the May 30 issue of NN, I have found U.S. paper currency more than once. As a teenager in the ’60s, I worked for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation as a “picker.” Our numbers were assigned to pick up the trash left by beach-goers at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. During one such cleanup, I found a wallet with just under $200 in it that included one each of a $100, $50 and $20 bill. I turned the wallet in. At the end of the summer season, the cash was given to me since no one claimed it.

A second instance comes to mind of when my children were in school in the ’80s, which was walking distance from our home in upstate New York. I decided to walk to pick them up. I took a shortcut through some woods and came upon the remains of a party: campfire, beer and soda bottles, paper snack package wrappers and some cash just thrown around. I don’t remember the exact amount but it was under $20. Kids! LOL.

Now fast-forward to a few years ago and I once again I am at Orchard Beach but as a metal detectorist. I’ve always managed to find small coins and some minor pieces of jewelry. One day there was a strong wind blowing off the waters of the Long Island Sound that moved the sand about a great deal. Sticking up through the sand I noticed something green. Sure enough, $17 in cash: a $10, $5 and two $1s. Imagine, a metal detectorist finding paper money!

Pete Acampora
New York, N.Y.

High quality pages would work for U.S. Mint medals

I’m a bit behind on my reading, so you may have already heard from others. I know of no albums that are specifically marketed as being for the 1-5/16 inch medals from the U.S. Mint; however, both Dansco and Whitman (and possibly others I’m not aware of) sell high-quality pages that are available in a number of millimeter sizes. Measuring an actual medal with calipers would be useful, but the 34mm size is likely to be the right size, or 33mm if you like them snug.

While I have no idea what album Mr. Agular has for the older medals, I have seen a number of commercial albums for various medal series sold in the U.S. that were custom products by Whitman, but still used their standard size and color scheme. The blank albums by Whitman might fit right in with what Mr. Agular already has. Wizard Coin Supply has useful photos on their website:

Jon Radel
Address withheld

Charging church 5-percent fee isn’t right thing to do

I fully agree with Mike Gasvoda that the church should not be charged with a fee of 5 percent, which the auction house made $99,000. This is really cheap on Heritage’s part. They make a lot of profit for the work they do. I agree they have expenses as well. So, I feel you should chime into this and see what members think as well as put pressure on them to at least charge only 1-2 percent instead of 5 percent. This is a church, which is supposed to good for the people. They do not deserve to be just a regular customer.

Steven Angle
Address withheld

Mike Ellis best fit for president of ANA board

The first time I met Mike Ellis, one of the striking things he said to me was that he considered himself one of the luckiest people in the world. He felt this way because he loved coins and he had a job working with them. That really struck me since I, like most of the members of the American Numismatic Association, love coins.

As a board member of the ANA, Mike has consistently fought for programs that benefitted the collector. He was first elected to the ANA board as a reform candidate to help turn around the ANA from a very dark period of poor policies and judgement. He advocated transparency as well as keeping the meetings of the ANA board open to the membership. He helped guide the board in that direction and achieved what was needed for the membership.

We are fortunate to have some experienced candidates for the board. I am sure all have good intentions for our organization.

What we do need is a president who has proven himself a friend to the average member. Expensive, full-page ads in numismatic periodicals should not determine who is elected and, in fact I, believe the membership is smart enough not be swayed by the amount of money spent on a campaign but rather by the person who is running.

Mike has done a lot for the ANA and for us regular collector/members. Let’s put him back on the board as our president. Who better to lead and represent us than an experienced leader and experienced board member that loves coins and the ANA?

John C. Saccenti
ANA Member #R87806

FSB dime respondent doesn’t get quote correct

This is written in self-defense. I had responded to Sam Lukes’ idea that an MS-65 1945 FSB dime should be worth even more than $13,500. Lukes, in replying to me, spends many words chiding me for wrongly calling it a “Mercury” dime rather than winged liberty head. But he fails to quote me properly. My letter referenced my history “as an old Mercury dime aficionado,” and noted that, “we called them ‘Mercs’ in those benighted times.”

By the way, my article on the history of the design, as well as other aspects of the series, was published in the Numismatic Scrapbook in 1970.

Frank S. Robinson
Albany, N.Y.

Post Office would raise prices if cent was gone

In the June 6 issue, a man from Illinois states that he is scared that people are not as smart as his 10-year-old neighbor. He doesn’t have any idea how government works. If the Mint can get people to pay $1,550 for $1,250 worth of gold, I see no reason that the Post Office would not use the lack of a penny to raise the price of a stamp to 60 cents.

David Kinney
Shenandoah, Iowa

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

More Collecting Resources

• The 1800s were a time of change for many, including in coin production. See how coin designs grew during the time period in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900 .

• With nearly 24,000 listings and over 14,000 illustrations, the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues is your go-to guide for modern bank notes.