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Letters to the Editor (May 29, 2018)

Local banks don’t offer America the Beautiful coins


I think the U.S. Mint has failed miserably advertising the America the Beautiful program. With the exception of going online and visiting and looking up the various quarter launches, the U.S. Mint has not done any radio, television, or any other form of advertising that I know of. Unlike the 50 states quarters program, none of the banks in my local area can order rolls of the new quarters. It is very difficult to stay interested in a program when the quarters are unavailable.

The national parks quarter program has just released its 42nd quarter. I have not been able to buy one roll of any of the quarters at face value from any of the banks in my local area. The U.S. Mint will probably release over 2 billion quarters this year. Where are they? I have visited with family and friends three of the quarter launches to this day. I was able to give complete sets of the 50 states quarters, both Philadelphia and Denver mints, to all of my kids, nephews and nieces. Once the Territorial quarters came out, I was done. The banks in my local area could not order the new quarters anymore. As I said earlier, the same goes for the national park quarters. I refuse to buy them for $18.50 per roll.

It has been very frustrating trying to collect the series. I even buy sealed boxes of quarters from my local banks in hopes to find a single coin here and there. I am a collector and have been collecting coins since I was 11 years old. I am now a senior citizen and still collect today. In order to get current in the national quarter program back in 2015, I was able to buy sets from a very well known coin company in New Hampshire at not much over face value. It was cheating, but that got me current then. It is May 2018, and I am still trying to find the Denver mints of the New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin quarters. It has been a struggle, but I enjoy the challenge, no thanks to the U.S. Mint.

Ralph A. Fuller
Cleveland, Ohio

First quarter of the year shows Pictured Rocks

Just got my first 2018 quarter, a 2018- P Pictured Rocks. I got it at Snow Canyon State Park in St. George, Utah. Strange to get a “P” coin from so far away this early in the year.

Name withheld

New Denver Mint quarter surprises reader

Just a quick line to update you all (ya’ll) on my local circulation finds! I received my first Apostle Islands quarter in change yesterday, May 2. It coming from the Denver Mint surprised me; being east of the Mississippi River, it seems I usually see Philadelphia coins first, but I’ve lately also been receiving more 2018-D cents than 2018-P cents. Many of the “D” pennies are in rough shape, though, so I release them back into circulation. No nickels or dimes yet.

I hope that all of your recent transitions of location, etc., have gone smoothly and that life is returning to “normal!” Thanks for your time.

Jay Woodin
Address withheld

Conservation methods need more detailed explanation

The “Making the Grade” column by Michael Fazzari recently discussed the grading of improperly cleaned coins. Perhaps Mr. Fazzari could be prevailed upon to write another column (or columns) regarding proper conservation techniques for coins with various kinds of problems. During my years in the hobby, I’ve seen coins in all kinds of conditions – from slightly dirty to heavily corroded. Each of these surely require different conservation methods. Mr. Fazzari’s expert opinion on which methods work best would likely be of value to many hobbyists.

Greg Kipp
Santa Rosa, Calif.

Some new kind of nickel in a recent advertisement?

I noticed an ad in the May 1 Numismatic News by a dealer saying, “Specializing in Buffalo Head Nickels.” I know there are Indian Head nickels, also called Buffalo nickels, but I didn’t think there are “Buffalo head” nickels. But what do I know? I don’t specialize in them.

Frank S. Robinson
Albany, N.Y.

One dealer makes show a worthwhile experience

Driving 90 miles from Modesto, Calif., to attend the April 2018 coin show at the Santa Clara Convention Center, I was both satisfied and disappointed with the experience.

I went to the show to sell surplus Indian Head and Lincoln cents. My first stop was at the table of Bill Wolverton from Pahrump, Nev. He is my idea of the perfect coin dealer to do business with.

Mr. Wolverton treated me with dignity and respect in a cordial businesslike manner. He took the time to look at all the coins offered, decided which coins he wanted for inventory, and made a reasonable offer on each coin. Doing business was easy and straightforward.

Each customer who visited Mr. Wolverton’s table was treated well, regardless of the size of the transaction. He answered all questions patiently. When he could not fulfill a customer’s want list, he referred the inquirer to other dealers who might be able to help.

Mr. Wolverton is a dealer who I would seek out at future coin shows because he is an absolute pleasure to do business with.

After I left the Pahrump dealer’s table, I visited two other dealers to sell my remaining coins.

I asked the second dealer of the day if he buys Indians and Lincolns. With a frown, he replied that he does. He brusquely opened my binder of coins and within 10 seconds told me that my coins looked cleaned. I calmly replied that none of my coins had been cleaned and immediately decided that if I had anything he wanted, I would sell nothing.

I did not leave the table because I was curious as to whether he would make a low-ball offer. My experience with dealers has been that those who are rude also are not fair.

After about three minutes, the dealer told me that he did not want any of my coins. His decision was not disappointing. At future coin shows, I intend to bypass the dealer.

I selected the third dealer of the day based on the fact that he had few slabbed coins, and my coins were all raw. When I asked the dealer if he buys Indians and Lincolns, he immediately said that he had no money! Then he said that he should never pass up the opportunity to look at coins offered for sale.

The third dealer took about two minutes to examine the offering and then stated that he would buy none. This dealer’s behavior was unprofessional, but at least he was not insulting.

When people ask why the coin collecting hobby is in decline, I point to the second and third dealers of the day. They are representatives of the hobby who provide collectors with unpleasant experiences.

Why would anyone drive 180 miles round trip to be insulted at a coin show?

Had Mr. Wolverton not been present, the coin show would have been a disappointment.

Bruce R. Frohman
Modesto, Calif.

Perhaps bank tellers won’t be around in 10 years either

Was amused by the question on Numismaster as to whether coins will be gone 10 years from now. The 100 percent “No” was what made me chuckle. It was, after all, a survey taken by coin collectors!

I’m beginning to wonder if bank tellers and/or cashiers are going to be around in 10 years.

In my never-ending quest for new quarters, just today at two local banks I overheard customers asking for one or two rolls of quarters. What they do with them, I don’t know. This area is so high tech the parking meters take phone payments and the Mass Pike only allows transponders. The libraries don’t allow coins for the copier machine. Anything to eliminate a job for an American.

Name withheld

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

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