Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor: April 19, 2022

Three Grading Services, Three Different Outcomes for 1852 Half Cent

Reading Paul Malone’s Viewpoint in the Feb. 1 issue reminded me of an experience I had a few years ago in grading. I have been a collector for over 70 years and worked for a coin dealer friend as a teenager in his shop. I’m not an expert, but I do understand the basics.

In the mid-’90s, I bought an 1852 half cent from the classified section of one of the two great coin weeklies, I can’t remember which. When I received it, it was housed in an old ANA grading service flip and graded VF-XF. I was collecting the 1849-1857 half cents at the time, and this seemed like a fun addition. I think I paid $79 for it. I then kind of forgot about it.

I ran across it when going through some of my collection and decided to have it slabbed. I took it to my coin dealer friend in Xenia, Ohio, and asked him to submit it to one of the major grading services.

After some time it came back as an altered date. My dealer friend and I were both surprised, so he suggested we resubmit it to the other major grading service. This time it came back as counterfeit. Really? As I said, I’m not an expert, but I do know that a counterfeit coin and an altered date coin are two entirely different things, and both services couldn’t have been right. To this day, I have wondered which was wrong, and if maybe the old ANA graders were right.

John Blair
Dayton, Ohio

Morgan, Peace Dollars Should Be Halted in Favor of Annual Commems

The Mint’s recent announcement that they will not release 2022 Morgan and Peace dollars is good news for the hobby and should be a permanent end to the program.

The original intent of the program, to honor the centennial of the designs, was a worthy subject and a success by most standards, (despite the usual Mint ordering issues). The program does not need to be a continuous one; we already have several dollar coins being issued (Innovation, Sacagawea, American Eagles) and two legislatively mandated commemorate programs, which this year alone comprise 14 different coins in different finishes. The Morgan and Peace dollars should be disconnected permanently and give way to the annual commemoratives instead.

Ryan Kordziel
Schenectady, N.Y.