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Letters to the Editor (May 15, 2018)

Act now to create coin designs that win awards


What does it say when the U.S. Mint did not have one 2018 Coin Of The Year category winner? It is telling us that we no longer make any new artistic coins the world is enjoying.

It is not just us Americans buying less U.S. coins; every other country is not buying our coins, either. I do not know if you agree, but even our commemorative coins are not really interesting to us collectors and are not selling like the U.S. Mint hoped.

The U.S. Mint has to get creative and make some changes. A Lincoln cent obverse goes back to 1909, a Roosevelt dime obverse goes back to 1946, and a Washington quarter goes back to 1932. Come on; it is time for a change. President Teddy Roosevelt wanted to, and he changed our coins in the early 20th century. Someone has to take the initiative and change our modern-day coins.

Let the United States have some of the most beautiful coins minted, and maybe we may receive a couple of COTY Awards in the years to come.

Ralph A. Fuller
Strongsville, Ohio

Do advertisers really want my coin business?

I needed a few Peace dollars to complete a second set that I planned to give my one grandson for Christmas, so I sent the want list to a dealer who regularly advertises. No response. Last month, I saw an Indian Head penny I need to fill in a spot, so I emailed the dealer [who ran a two-page ad], and no response. Why bother to advertise? Obviously, I shall never bother either advertiser again.

James B. Whisker
Everett, Pa.

Coin counting machines yield interesting finds

My Numismatic News (March 2 edition) came today. As usual, I turn immediately to the “Letters” section. It’s probably one of the best sources to find out what’s happening in our little world of collecting.

One reader writes about his finds in the Coinstar machine. Yes, that’s a good place to find coins from around the world (at times). I’ve been visiting various “stars” (Coinstars) since about 2008.

I am on a fixed income and can’t always afford to visit coin dealers in the area. But I do go grocery shopping at the supermarkets around town.

Through the years, I’ve found some unique things, from a small pendant holding a picture of a young girl to jewelry box keys (I call them my “key coins”). I’ve reported some of my “better” finds in both Numismatic News and Coins Magazine. The majority has been U.S. coins, which I’ve returned to circulation if it’s not a “collectible” or does not fill in a hole in my Whitman folders. Being in Cleveland, I get a lot of Canadian coins from the “stars.” I once found a total of $28 in the Coinstar return chute – all Jamaican! Other countries and entities can be found there as well: Euros, British, old West German, and Israel to name a few.

Yes, the Coinstar is a good place to pick up coins at the best price. What you don’t want (or already have) you can return to circulation (U.S. only). The others can be put in a small plastic bag and taken to your local coin club and sold for a small price at the club auction.

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

Active numismatist passes in northern California

As it seems true lately, another telephone call reported that a well-known presence and coin hobby activist here in northern California had lost her yearlong battle with lung and heart problems.

Dr. Jon-Maria Marish, retired United States Air Force colonel, passed away on April 15.

Most readers may not have known or heard of Dr. Marish; however, until health ended her coin hobby activism, she was a sparkplug in and for the Fairfield, California, Coin Club, Solano Silver Round Club, and the Vallejo Numismatic Society, serving, along with other chores, as a president, secretary, show coordinator, and editor.

Dr. Marish was educated as a doctor, holding a Ph.D., and was a recognized authority in certain medical issues and drugs. She served both in Vietnam and later during the Gulf War, earning decorations. In addition, she spoke Apache, raised horses, and was a miniature artist.

Her passion in numismatics was silver rounds and Indians on coins, respecting Native American heritage.

When she was informed that her health decline was terminal, I visited and inquired what she would like as a legacy or remembrance. She replied forthrightly, “something for young hobbyists and something to enhance our hobby, assisting all coin collectors.”

This was a very big request, yet, thanks to the generosity of so many around northern California and even in Canada, her thought became the Jon-Maria Marish / O.L. Wallis Legacy Fund, adding the late honored Californian coin activist Othello Langworthy Wallis.

Within months, contributions were readily donated, and this fund now approaches $7,000.

Dr. Marish was, during her last year, most aware of this fund and its concrete efforts to assist young collectors and advance northern Californian numismatics.

Complimentary magnifiers, coin wallets, and a foreign coin Treasure Box for youth, plus PowerPoint projectors that can be borrowed and shared among organized numismatics, all are evidence of what the fund is achieving.

With her passing, the fund is now titled Memorial. Donations are still welcomed. Remittances may be mailed to P.O. Box 4104, Vallejo, CA 94590-0410, payable to the Northern California Numismatic Association or simply NCNA, which is a 501c3 non-profit.

Words are difficult at times as this. But life and our hobby endures The Jon-Maria Marish / O. L. Wallis Memorial Fund achieves hope. R.I.P., Dr. Marish.

Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.

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

More Collecting Resources

• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2019 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.