Skip to main content

This Week's Letters (10/7/09)

A selection of letter from readers of Numismatic News to Editor, Dave Harper.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Delivery of 2009 Lincoln cent sets swift


On Aug. 13 I ordered four sets of the 2009 Lincoln Professional cent. Today I went to the post office, and there they were. It took 15 days. Not bad, huh?

Joseph J. Martin
Ronkonkoma, N.Y

Holiday catalog leaves much to be desired

Every year my excitement is more than containable when the U.S. Mint sends its Christmas coin catalog in September. I do all my ordering then as it is cheaper and more convenient this way.
I always order a regular proof set, a silver proof set, a mint set and a proof silver Eagle. Much to my surprise and shock, this year the Mint has dropped all production of the bullion coin in silver, gold and platinum. No Eagles or Buffaloes.
Perhaps they can no longer get the planchets and perhaps the metal prices have prevented them from issuing the proof version of all the bullion coins. Platinum never was popular anyway and gold was getting too pricey. But I don’t see the reason for eliminating the silver Eagle proof.
I do like the idea of issuing pattern coins. The Mint is making an updated version of Judd number 1779. Perhaps next year they might do a current model of the unique Judd 1776, the Indian Head Saint-Gaudens $20.
Perhaps other years they could revise other patterns, some in silver like the famous Longacre Seated Indian on Globe design from 1870 to 1871, the Amazonian design of 1872, the Wash Lady and School Girl designs of 1879 and the Shield Earring design of 1882. Also, a Barber silver dollar of the half dollar design of 1892.
The Mint offers a Beginner Basic kit with coins that show how they are made. I bought something as such a few years ago, and it is wonderful. My idea is, rather than using coins in the set, make the Martha Washington pattern coin the Mint uses for experimentation. These were first issued for clad tests and trials back in 1965 but were whimsically dated 1759 and feature Martha Washington on the front and Mount Vernon on the back. I always wanted these tokens but can never find them. Some were even made in columbium for a test metal.
It’s pitiful too that the Mint doesn’t even sell mint sets. I would buy one every year. The Legacy Proof Sets have been discontinued. The coin rolls and bags should sell for face value. And they should list all denominations for sale.
I am very displeased with their lack of offerings this year concerning the silver Eagles and the mint sets, which I have always bought. They aren’t even offering the Spouse medals along with the dollar coins of the wife’s presidential husband like they did in years past. They have two coins of Tyler with his wife, but where are the rest? I always bought them.

Bob Olekson
Parma, Ohio

Collecting continues despite prior set sales

What an enlightening letter from Mr. Cucchi from Massachusetts in “Viewpoint” in the Sept. 1 issue.
Being a numismatist for well over 50 years, I can appreciate his enthusiasm in collecting coins: “Seek, and ye shall find.”
Over the years I had complete sets of Lincolns, Jeffersons, Washingtons and Barber halves, but they’re all gone now due to personal reasons. They were sold many years ago, far from today’s value. However, not all is lost. In the last several years I’ve managed to put together a complete set of Indians, minus 1856, all in VG to AU, and a complete set of 2-cent pieces in VF to XF, minus 1873 proof.
I realize Mr. Cucchi has a limited amount of finances in his young life, but if he’d like a few pointers I’ll be happy to advise him in the best way I can, if he so desires.

Bill Kaila
Oakdale, N.Y.

‘Viewpoint’ story puts hobby in perspective

I really enjoyed the “Viewpoint” section of the Sept. 1 issue of NN.
I’m glad that young people are interested in roll searching circulation coins. It does bring back memories of days gone by. Please print more stories about circulation finds and coin collecting for the common man. The new coins are great, but there is too much attention paid to all the slab coins and the MS-70 coins and all the to do about the hoopla of the grading services.
Sometimes we as coin collectors lose track of what it is all about. Feel the history and not the glamour of coin collecting.

Bob Atwater
Conway, S.C

Fresh, affordable coins needed in hobby

In response to the “Viewpoint” article dated Sept. 8 by Gary Huskey, I totally agree with him. My son and other families with children who like to collect coins just cannot afford the high prices the Mint charges for their so-called Mint products. Who made them a business for profit company anyway? I hope they are paying taxes on the money they make off of the public. Lowering the prices will get more of our young involved in the hobby besides playing video games and hanging around the streets getting in trouble.
Are there any representatives out there who are willing to put up a stink about what the Mint charges for coins to be sold to the public, when they should cut back production if they have too many coins that they don’t know what to do with, but to sell to the naive?
The 50-cent piece is not being used as they are too big. The dollar coin is not being used also, as we still have the dollar bill to use, which should have been eliminated years ago. It is time for a complete overhaul of our coinage. One-hundred year-old-cent (what?), 71-year-old nickel, 63-year-old dime and 77-year-old quarter. Where has all our class and dignity gone, for us to use such ancient coinage?
Yes folks, it’s time for a change (pun intended). Obama, are you reading this? You said it is time for a change. Most consumers pay with debit or credit cards and checks anyway. What is wrong with a few $1 coins in your jeans or purse? They don’t weigh much more than a quarter. Yes, they are close to the size of a quarter, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make a dollar coin with one hole in the middle of it to distinguish it from a quarter and also help the blind know what it is. One hole for the dollar, two holes for a $2 coin and stop production of another non-circulating entity in commerce.
I have been an avid collector since I was 10 years old. I bought Mint products till the year 2000. When I got products from the Mint that looked like tokens from a slot machine, that was it for me. I finally learned my lesson. I have since sold all my mint and proof sets and used the proceeds to collect a more interesting series of Barber half dollars and Bust quarters. I have lost interest in our same ol’, same ol’ coins we use now. They get boring each year.
Yes, it’s time for a change. Write your congressmen and women today and demand a change in our coinage for the sake of future collectors and the ones who have left the hobby or the ones who are thinking of leaving it.

Paul Guzewicz
Southwick, Mass.

Change brings three different new cents

This is the news from Austin, Texas, regar
ding the new pennies. I was given the newly released pennies in change on Sunday from a Borders in Austin. I asked for more, as he had just broken open a new roll. Also, the other two Lincolns are in decent supply here, as I get individual pennies in change of both on a regular basis. I’ve also received new 2008 Lincolns in change fairly regularly, which may explain why the new 2009 varieties have been in such short supply until recently.
Further, today at lunch at a cafeteria, in the 54 cents change I received was one of each – rail splitter, log cabin, and lawyer. How often would something like this happen?

Dan Sowards
Austin, Texas

Steel cents are still found in circulation

I was at my local gas station getting a tank of gas for my car. When I went inside to pay for my purchase, I was given some change and the clerk gave me two cents – a 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Birthplace cent and a 1943-D Wheatie thinking it was 11 cents – and a couple dollars.
When I pointed out she had given me the wrong change, the clerk thought I was fooling her. I showed her the back of the ‘43 coin and she declared, “Huh! Someone gave me a counterfeit!” and called her manager over. The manager was not too much older than the clerk and declared, “ I didn’t know there were silver pennies out.”
I had a blast explaining to those “youngsters” (They were in their 20s; I’m 64 years young.) that I used to get those zinc-coated steel cents “most of the time” when I was a young boy and even into the 1960s. After that, it seemed the steel cents disappeared, but now I know they still exist in circulation.

 Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

Rare modern gold coins will hold value over time

I really like your analysis on modern MS-70 coins. One other factor that has been part of my mantra for years is: the rarity factor of numismatic gold – particularly coins that are 75 years or older – will over time eliminate the problem of who is going to buy it from you, should you elect to sell. I can visualize a slow constant removal of these coins from the marketplace over the next five years.
I watch the prices in the auctions where this type of merchandise shows up. It seems each time one of these coins does turn over at these auctions it is at a substantially higher price regardless of the current price of gold. I also think it is a wonderful way to pass along your hard earned dollars to your children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.

Ludy E. Langer
Sacramento, Calif.

Still great coins to be found in circulation

Just a note to say what a great job you are doing.
I was reading letters in the Sept. 15 issue, about three “rail splitters” found in change. It was not 30 minutes when my wife came home from work to show me what she had found; new pennies – a proof 1968-S, 1983-S, 1998-S, 2005-S, also five Mint State 1984-P, two 1998-D, 2002-P, 2005-P coins.
There are still great finds out there. Happy hunting.

Dennid Dyal
Atwood, Tenn.

Received cent rolls, excited for next issue

Just a note to let you know I ordered two rolls of Lincoln cent “Professional Life” cents on Aug. 14. I received them on Aug. 29. I like them and can’t hardly wait until the final one comes out for the year.

Virgil Griffith Jr.
Camden, N.C.