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Letters to the Editor (Nov. 7, 2017)

Where are billions of coins Mint reports it produces?


Just read your article, “August Mint production down” in the Oct. issue. You state the average monthly U.S. Mint production still stands at over 1.2 billion coins. Where are all these coins? They certainly are not in circulation. I cannot believe that the Mint is producing billions of coins. Especially billions of cents.

Call me Doubting Dom, but something does not make sense. To begin with, not as many people use cash as people did years ago. And we know people are not collecting coins like people did years ago. There cannot be the need for coins as there was years ago. Can there be?

True, the modern coins rust and rot quickly, but we are still talking multi-billions of coins. I just don’t see that many coins being in circulation. When I do get change, it is generally not newer dates. I would like to know the thoughts of others on this subject.

Dom Cicio
Groveland, Fla.

Tough to keep silver Eagle coin offerings straight

Trying to keep all of the U.S. Mint’s offerings straight is getting more difficult. When I only had two granddaughters, I started sets of American silver Eagles for both of them. Now I’m getting confused on what I need to include to keep the sets complete. Are there two different proofs this year, ”S” and “W,” and how many different “unc’s” are there?

Doug Jennings
Address withheld

Editor’s note: You are correct about the “S” and “W” proofs this year. There is the standard “W” uncirculated Eagle sold directly by the Mint to coin collectors and the Eagle bullion coin without a mintmark that is also uncirculated, but sold only through the Authorized Purchaser network.

Mint should offer all coins to all customers

Have I missed this in an earlier issue of the Numismatic News? I hate to think of it that the Mint would make another coin, send it out to a select few distributors so they can add a big premium to the coin and sell it to the public. Not right, if they are going to make a coin it should be sold outright not set back for a very few to in a sense stick it to the little guy. I saw on TV tonight a shopping network sell these in MS-69 for $1,999.99 and bragging about how they have or had most of these coins. They have already sold out of the MS-70s. Just not right.

Name withheld

Time spent with Colin Bruce remembered

Sorry to hear about the passing of our dear friend, Colin Bruce. We were good friends back in the early days. He used to borrow my world crowns at the shows and photograph them for the Standard Catalog of World Coins, and later my Chinese notes for the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. We also spent some time tippling a few at the local watering holes ’til the wee hours. He will be missed by me as well as many others.

P.S. Nice article by Richard Lobel.

James Warmus
Palm City, Fla.

Should medal set concept be applied to silver Eagles?

I just saw the American Liberty 225th Anniversary Silver Four-Medal Set with four different mint marks: “P,” “D,” “S” and “W.” Love the concept. Do you think a similar idea could work with the silver bullion, offering four different eagle reverses – one for each mint?

If not, what do you think about different sizes for the silver? Half ounce, two ounce. Same Walking Liberty with different eagles?

Wayne Pearson
Union City, Ind.

Slow order arrival might be due to delivery service

I have read complaints about the Mint being slow to process orders; well, no complaints here.

I ordered the special limited edition silver proof set at 11:30 a.m. Central Time on the Oct. 5. I received it today, Oct. 11.

Perhaps the problem is the mail service in your area.

Richard Holton
Petal, Miss.

‘No S’ proof cent numbers don’t quite add up

I have been following Ken Potter’s series of articles on the 1990 “No S” proof penny (which appears in proof sets from that year) with a great deal of interest. His articles in Numismatic News seem to have lit a numismatic fire under the rear ends of collectors who should have discovered these error coins almost three decades ago.

No wonder he quotes Jaime Hernandez, PCGS price guide editor, Sept. 5. He states, “the estimate of less than 200 coins existing is due to the simple fact that these coins are seldom encountered. For years there have not been any reports of more 1990 ‘No S’ proof Lincoln cents being discovered.”

Then in the same article, Potter goes on to say that since he wrote his first article on these coins, a total of seven new finds have surfaced within less than six months of each other.

Wow! From nothing for approximately 20 years (Hernandez’s words) to seven new finds in less than six months? Maybe Hernandez should rethink his math on this one. If less than 200 coins exist due to the simple fact that these coins are seldom encountered, then either someone is guilty of wishful thinking or I’m a monkey’s uncle.

How many of these Lincoln cents will be coming out of the woodwork now thanks to Potter?

If I had to choose between the 1990 “No S” Lincoln or a 1971 “No S” Jefferson nickel in proof condition, I’d take the latter every time. What about you?

Richard Fickau
Mesa, Ariz.

Value in holding, showing old, worn coins

My congratulations to Ginger Rapsus for a fine article on worn coins in the July 4, 2017, edition. They are coins you can actually touch and feel. We should all carry one for show and tell. It is one way we can promote the hobby.

I once let a man hold an old large cent. He was awe-struck and commented that it probably bought a loaf of bread in its day. I agreed and said that it would buy five pounds of hamburger today.

Consider also the nickel beer. Some of the old nickels will still get you one.

Dan Bubalo
Brainerd, Minn.

Give coin design process more time for better results

Few people would argue with the notion that the United States coins from the early 20th century were the most beautiful.

Issues such as the Morgan dollar, Peace dollar, Walking Liberty half dollar, Indian Head cent or the Mercury dime are all truly works of art.


More time and effort was spent on new coin designs back then. Today everything is rushed with less time to complete. The result is somewhat inferior coin designs. Is this what we want?

What we need to do is spend more time and study on future designs, which will pay off remarkably in the end.

America is a great country. Let’s show it on our coinage.

Mark E. Switzer
Sea-Tac, Wash.

Why hasn’t 1913 Liberty Head been confiscated?

Your article on the 1913 Liberty Head nickel was fabulous. But what I would like to know is why the government hasn’t confiscated this as it has so eagerly done with the 1933 $20 gold piece. It seems totally unfair that they can leave one alone and confiscate the other.

Bob Olekson
Cleveland, Ohio

Agree with writer that bullion is better investment

I want to personally thank Jim Klein on his article, “Collector leaving hobby shares advice.” I am in total agreement with his article and he is spot on. One of the best and most informative articles ever written for Numismatic News.

I also agree that bullion is a much better investment than numismatic or rare coins. In reality, the rare coin business deals with a very limited group of persons compared to all other types of interests.

From my own personal experience, coin collecting is declining like stamps and baseball cards already have.

Let’s look at reality. You have a BU Shield nickel for sale. Try to sell it to the general public. Good luck.

However, if you have a one-ounce silver bar for sale at the current market price, it would be gone in a heartbeat. Everyone wants gold and silver and they are so much easier to purchase and liquidate. Also, with your local newspaper or laptop computer you can see how much your silver and gold bullion is worth on an hourly basis.

Thank you again, Jim Klein, on an excellent article.

Lin Beverly
Port Charlotte, Fla.

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

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