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Letters to the Editor (08/11/2015)

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No living person should be on American coinage

In one of the previous issues of Numismatic News, the question was raised about the Presidential dollar series continuing with still living Presidents of the United States. I say no. It has been an American tradition since the minting of the first coins produced by the U.S. Mint that no living person shall be on a circulating coin.

Even though there has been some incidents when a living person appeared on an issued coin, for the most part our tradition has remained intact since 1792.

Actually, the U.S. government should not create any more golden dollar series. They – the government – says it’s to stimulate the use of the small dollar coin. LOL! As long as there’s a foldable dollar, the dollar coin will not be in general circulation no matter how many series they try to put out.

The coin circulates well in Cleveland, Ohio, as long as you are using the city’s transit system. All buses and trains require exact change and at many of the rapid transit stations there are change machines that will give you quarters and dollar coins for your $5, $10 and/or $20 bills, so you will have exact change to purchase a $2.25 one- way transit ticket.
(The system does take dollar bills as much as the coins as well.)

No matter how many series the government comes up with to stimulate use of the dollar coin, it won’t circulate in the general population as long as the paper dollar is being produced. The only way to stimulate the use of the dollar coin is to stop printing paper dollars. The Crane Paper Company can still provide the paper for the $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills without losing any money.

Stop printing dollar bills and demonetize their value. There are billions of dollar coins in the vaults languishing around the nation. Let’s set them free to stimulate the economy.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

Experiences vary for those ordering the Truman Coin and Chronicles set.

Experiences vary for those ordering the Truman Coin and Chronicles set.

Truman set order went fast, reverse proof spectacular

I ordered about 12:01 p.m. June 30 without a problem and was done in one minute or so. Unbelievably, the sets (2) arrived today, July 7, at noon just eight days later. The reverse proof dollar is simply spectacular. The 1 oz Truman medal is also a nice item. The Mint sure had its head screwed on straight with this issue.

F.A. Liberatore
Address withheld

Truman order experience not a successful one

I read with disgust the viewpoint by William H. Brownstein, a California hobbyist, who also had a very bad experience recently with our United States Mint when he attempted to order a Truman Chronicle Set.

My story: I also placed the time and date on a calendar and was at the ready and began calling the Mint at exactly 11 a.m. Central Daylight Time on June 30.

By 11:01 he phone was answered by the Mint’s computer.

I got through at 11:07 a.m. to “Steve.”

Steve had to be either new or a temporary because I had to give him the number for the Chronicle set and the most recent roll of San Francisco quarters (big mistake) and had to prompt him throughout our telephone exchange.

By the time “Steve” took my VISA numbers (twice) and then began to process the order, I was then placed on hold, at 11:17 a.m. “Steve” came back on the line to tell me the Chronicle set was sold out and that I was not getting one.

Can you believe this story? I was actually waiting for my Order Confirmation number and “Steve” as slow as he was, couldn’t even process one order for our U.S. Mint for even one customer on the date and time they were made available to the public.

Immediately, I asked to speak to his supervisor. Someone with an additional first name attempted appeasement to no avail.

What poor customer service the United States Mint provides.

A great place of job security for poor performers is at the United States Mint. They really cannot or will not do anything for you; hiding behind first names only.

That is what a letter to a congressman or senator is for. Like Mr. Brownstein, I also think they should “reconsider who makes the decisions about their coinage and coin programs.”

This was a deal breaker for me. No more business for the United States Mint from me.

I will simply adjust my collecting to old coins exclusively from now on. No more of this modern junk that usually devalues after purchase from the United States Mint like all the other Presidential dollar coins in my collection, which now lack this key.

I’ve bought more from the Mint than I ever should have.

Thanks to the “assistance” of Steve from the United States Mint Ordering Processing Center for allowing me a new focus on my coin collecting.

Thanks, Steve.

Jim St. John
Address withheld

Is Truman brochure bullet point an error?

On page 15 of the Truman Coin & Chronicles set pamphlet there is a bullet point for “Circulating Coins first issued under President Truman – Roosevelt dime (1946), Jefferson nickel (1946), and Franklin half dollar (1948).”

Is this a mistake, or were the Jefferson nickels issued from 1938-1945 considered to be commemoratives and not circulating coins by the Mint?

Harry Harrison
Lewisburg, Pa.

Editor’s note: Looks like a mistake. The Jefferson nickel was a regular circulation strike starting its first year in 1938.

Entertainment, investment with silver rounds

Interesting phenomenon today, July 7: silver spot prices dipped below $15 an ounce. It is at prices not as low since February 2010. However, if you scouted the online market place, silver American Eagles were still being sold by the large dealers at over $4.50 in price premiums above spot, when previously the usual premium was about $2.50 to $3 above spot.

On the flipside, generic silver rounds were selling by the large dealers at as low as 69 cents above spot price. Of course, numismatic coins were largely unaffected.

This fact is really affecting where the average person is placing their funds. Of course any hobbyist or collector enjoys the history and collectibility of numismatics. Unfortunately, we still haven’t seen a price decline on average numismatics due to the precious metal market. I think that what we are seeing is large stock of numismatic coins sitting in dealer showcases while the public turns their attention to generic or semi-numismatic fare that is more closely tied to the lower precious metal market.

I think that eventually the numismatic market will adjust itself, but it really hasn’t happened over the last two years. I think that everyone is expecting that the precious metal market will make a comeback, and therefore the sellers will not have to take a hit on the sale of their numismatic fare.

However, surprisingly, the precious metal market seems to be in a further decline due to the strong dollar. It doesn’t seem that even the fall of the Greek financial system is a strong enough influence on the market here, or has the tidal wave just not reached us yet?

One company, Provident Metals, is preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse by having introduced about a year ago limited edition and limited minting of silver rounds dated 2017 and 2018 and beyond that are dubbed the “Currency of the Zombie Apocalypse.” These .999 fine one-ounce silver rounds include such designs spoofed off of the classical designs. They include the (Morgan) “Morgue Anne” silver round, the (Standing Liberty) “Starving Liberty” silver round, the (Seated Liberty) “Slayed Dollar” silver round, the (Mercury) Murk Diem and most recently released the (Flying Eagle) Dying Eagle silver round, as well as others.

Of course to some this may be a silly representation, but I think it exudes the mentality of some, particularly if we open our eyes and see the mountains of debt that our government has heaped on itself in the last eight years, the sluggish economy and the status of what is happening in other countries such as Greece.

For Greek citizens, they definitely see the apocalypse when their life savings are locked up in banks, and they can only withdraw $67 at a time. Something to think about.

Robert Matitia
Address Withheld

Half dollars stump clerk at coffee shop

After reading your article, it made me chuckle to think about a similar experience I had, but instead in the United States and on an Army Post.

I bought a cup of coffee at a Starbucks. My total was $3.25. I gave the cashier $3.50 in Kennedy half dollar coins.

The guy just looked at them then asked me what they were.

I explained they were U.S. half dollars and President Kennedy was on the obverse.

The guy still confused, stated he never had seen them before and counted them as quarters and asked for the rest of the balance.

I replied, stating that actually he owed me 25 cents. The cashier just shrugged his shoulders and returned my change.

A little history lesson for a cup of coffee, not a bad trade.

Name withheld
El Paso, Texas

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express.
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