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Letters to the Editor (December 4, 2018)

Coin slab photo says it all, don’t you think?


Wow, Dave, I was so excited with my new purchase that I had to send you a pic right away. It is graded MS97+*, but because it has all the major stickers on it also, it should be a higher grade. I bought it for $500, but I plan to crack it out, resubmit, and then resubmit to all the sticker companies again. So for about another $1,000, I honestly think that it could grade MS98. I mean, in theory, I can’t actually see the coin because of all the validation and agreement stickers. But I am guessing that it is a good looking coin; I mean, come on, why else would I have spent so much money on it?

Thankfully it’s not like the old days when we would buy the coin and not the holder. And now that we have a 100-point system, its even better because now the slabs are even more important.

I am glad that all you have to do now is buy a slab and get as many shapes of stickers as you can, and it increases auction results. Amazing.

OK, sorry. I was feeling sarcastic today. Honestly hoping that this is not the future of our hobby. It should always be about the coin, NEVER the stickers, slabs, and opinions of the second, third, fourth, seventh or 10th party grading companies. I just worry that too many people are chasing the wrong goal. That goal should be to acquire a coin and enjoy it as a piece of history, not to one-up everyone else with your grade and stickers.

P.S. I hope when I get it re-slabbed I will get the coveted pink circle sticker at the top of the slab again. Those are hard to get.

Sean K. Stanczyk
Address withheld

One-stop shopping for coin purchases a great idea

Recently I have been looking for a particular coin, and I exhausted all five local dealers and a few that I knew had their inventory listed on their website, plus I went through the another firm’s dealer directory dealer by dealer with very little to show for it.

Would it not be wonderful to have a source for dealers that have their inventory made available to collectors on the Internet? Just so you know, Northeast Numismatics, Inc., website would be a great model.

If someone had all that information, I do not know how to disseminate it to the masses. A book would be too slow and have to be updated at least annually. I guess Numismatic News, and let the collectors circulate it?

On a different subject, the Iowa Numismatic Association had a two-day show here last weekend, and I had the pleasure of meeting Cliff Mishler. What a great ambassador for our hobby.

Terry Freed
Des Moines, Iowa

Flying Eagle cent find doesn’t happen every day

Not on the sidewalk, but found in change.

While restocking the company’s newspaper boxes a couple years ago, a customer approached and said she did not have proper change. She offered pennies, dimes, and nickels.

I first noticed the reverse of a cent I thought was an Indian. Imagine my surprse when turning it over and seeing an 1857 Flying Eagle.

Not in good shape but readable. The first I’ve ever owned, and I’ve collected since the early 1960s.

Steven B. Gray
Sylva, N.C.

Son born at same hour as World War I armistice

As I read the first sentence of your blog today, “On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 100 years ago on Sunday, the guns of World War I fell silent.” I realized an amazing coincidence.

My son, Samuel, was born at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1993.

I’m going to have to share with him your blog. He always knew he was born on Veterans Day because he never got mail on his birthday. Ha! But now that he is older and a lover of history, I think the coincidence may just mean more to him.

Mitch Ernst
Omaha, Neb.

Call coins that aren’t used something else

I was going through several older issues of my numismatic publications and had a thought go through my mind. (I know the old joke: Somebody is going to smell wood burning!)

Seriously, the thought went through as to why do they (numismatists) group all the metal products as “coins,” when some items are square, rectangular, or other odd-shaped noncirculating legal-tender (NCLT) bullion pieces? Certainly some NCLTs are round and have a stated value, like government issues, but aren’t issued for circulation (hence, the term “noncirculating”). Those round NCLTs should be called “rounds,” because that’s what they are.

Now the coins of odd shapes issued by the various governments that have a stated value are genuine coins. However, NCLTs in various odd shapes should be called bullion even if they have a stated value but are not meant for circulation (NCLT).

Perhaps the American Numismatic Association should consider calling the NCLT pieces “Cinderellas,” like the philatelists call labels that look like postage stamps, but aren’t real stamps – they just “pretend” to be stamps. The NCLTs of various shapes “pretend” to be circulating coins, but are not, like Cinderella pretended to be a princess.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

Steel color on 1984 cent reminder of 1943 cent

I found a “real rarity”! Or did I? I very surprisingly received in my change a 1984 steel cent! Must be worth millions, no? Uh, probably not. It looks like an after-market zinc-coated cent. But I will let you check it out in the included pic. Certainly a cool find. I had thought for a second there though that it was a 1943 steel cent.

Robert Matitia
Address withheld

Editor’s note: The photo does not have a steel or zinc color to it, or copper for that matter. We will blame the lighting.

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