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This Week's Letters (11/25/08)

A selection of letters from readers of Numismatic News to editor Dave Harper.
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It’s not really a sale if nothing’s on sale
I just read that the U.S. Mint is having a clearence sale. I thought to myself, great, maybe I could pickup some deals from the deals.
I called the Mint to ask if any of the prices would be reduced beginning Nov. 15 at 12:01 a.m. The rep told me no. My statement to her was then it really isn’t a sale, is it?


Bill Korpecki
St. Louis, Mo.

Gold coins keep their value, just do the math
Dave, liked your viewpoint that gold is at the center of coin collecting hobby. However, I do believe that your U.S. paper dollar devaluation calculation against gold from a price of $20.67 per ounce to $35 per ounce in 1934 is not 59 percent but rather 40.94 percent . Here is that math that I use: ($20.67/$35) -1 x100 = -40.94 percent. Let’s say that our govt. increased the price of gold from $20.67 to $41.34 per ounce in 1934. In other words, made gold twice as valuable in paper dollar units. This would make the paper dollar worth half as much against gold. Here is the math: ($20.67/$41.34) -1 X100 = - 50 percent.
Additionally, gold per our constitution is still lawful money today. Bills of credit, another name for paper money, is not lawful money as stated in our constitution. There have been no amendments to our constitution that states that gold and silver are no longer constitutional money.
Our founding fathers wanted us to use gold and silver as money because they knew it was honest money that tends to keep its value. Were they right? Well in 1913 when the Federal Reserve Bank was established by congress, gold sold for $20.67 per ounce. Today it sells for around $740 per ounce. Let’s calculate the percent loss in value of our paper fiat money when compared against constitutional gold money. ($20.67/$740) -1 x 100 = - 97.21 percent . Ouch! And ouch again! Our paper money has lost 97 percent of its value in the last 95 years.
Thomas Jefferson did not trust banks that make paper money. He is on record stating that banks are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Also Danial Webster had no use for paper money. He made this statement: Of all the contrivances devised for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes him with paper money.
Dave, no wonder collectors like U.S. gold coins. They are beautiful, they tend to keep their purchasing power, they cannot be made out of thin air as paper money is and they are respected worldwide. Some thoughts on this end.

Weimar White
Canandaigua, N.Y.

Two honored for dedication to the hobby

Two dedicated workers for the hobby were very well rewarded with an ANA Presidential Certificate of Appreciation at the recent Pacific Northwest Numismatic Associations quarterly board meeting and dinner.
Congrats to Lisa Loos, president of PNNA and Women in Numismatics vice president, and to Eric Holcomb, editor, Webmaster and chief exhibit judge for PNNA as well as the editor of the Mint-Mark, ANA’s representative program newsletter. I’ve known them for the past five years and they have always shown a strong enthusiasm for numismatics.
Nice going, Lisa and Eric.

Jim Majoros
Asstant ANA National Coordinator for District Reps
Toms River, N.J.

Looks like (nyuk, nyuk) Larry on Pres coin
The following is in response to your 11/18/08 Class of ‘63 editorial: “Latest Presidential portrait works for me.”
I, too, am surprised by my reaction to the Van Buren design, probably because I believe I may have found the latest Presidential “error” coin.
All I see on the obverse of my coin is a perfect rendering of Larry Fine, late of the Three Stooges, being portrayed as the eighth President. I mean, c’mon, just look at the hair, the roundness of the head, the facial features, and the bowtie just waiting for Moe Howard to pull on. Sure is a dead ringer, no?
I guess I’m left wondering just what this “error” coin is worth ... maybe three “nyuk, nyuk, nyuks?”

Thomas P. Van Zeyl
Third Lake, Ill.

Debit, credit cards used more than coins, currency
I am rather angered at the people who are complaining about use of coins and paper money and vice versa. If your correspondents have not noticed now a day’s most transactions are being paid for with credit or debit cards.
Here’s a hint; there is no need for money paper or coin.

Martin Schoppmeyer
Fayetteville, Ariz.

Adna Wilde was devoted to serving ANA

Nov. 17 the ANA and the collecting fraternity lost a great man and a gentleman. I received a call from ANA Headquarters from Jay Beeton informing me of the passing of Adna G. Wilde.
Adna represented that best of the best when it came to the ANA. He loved his organization and served in many capacities through the years ending several weeks ago as the long-standing treasurer and parliamentarian when he knew he couldn’t give it is all. If he couldn’t do something at 100 percent then it wasn’t good enough; a sign of a great man right to the end.
As a governor and president of the ANA, when ever I had a question about an issue or a procedure I would go to him for advice. I also said, “Adna if I am not sure I’ll be asking,” and he always said with a smile, “I know and how can I help?”
I will miss his experience and history when it comes to the ANA but above all I will miss his smile when you would stop and say hello!
He is now at peace and looking down on his beloved ANA and his wife Joan.
Adna, rest in peace.

William H. Horton Jr.
54th ANA President
Keyport, N.J.