Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 18, 2022

Assembling a Gold $2.50 Set a Five-Year-Long Pursuit

It was with some interest reading the article on $2.50 Indian Head quarter eagles by Mark Benvenuto in the Dec. 14, 2021, issue of NN. I was successfully able to gather the set. It took me about 5-1/2 years to find all of them in an acceptable quality. This means, make the set look all of the same grade.

It all started because an elderly lady approached my wife and asked where to sell these four gold coins. I then looked at them, did some research and purchased them for the going rate of the Indian Heads at the time. Two were the same, but I did have three different years. That started my hunt. Then I received the nice display case available and that enhanced their look seeing them together, seven by this time.

After traveling from New York all the way down to Florida, and over to Alabama, over several trips I finally finished the set with a certified 1911-D in Laural, Md. It is a real challenge to find them, much less for a reasonable price. I walked away from some of the pieces because they had some copper specs very visible with assisted viewing and was concerned of the authenticity of them. I do think the strong “D” in the 1911-D is the better choice to get if reasonable.

The fact that AU-58 and MS-60 are close both in overall appearance and pricing, it is possible to make a set of them. It will take some serious hunting to make the set look uniform, however.

It was fun, I enjoyed the challenge of the hunt and now am working on something else, not too rare but not easy to find. I will let you know when I get there.

Dick Stone
Van Etten, N.Y.

Time to Move On from Morgan, Peace Dollars

The announcement last month [November 2021] that Morgan and Peace dollars would be offered again next year and may even be continued as an “annual product” harkens back to the “classic commemorative” era (1892-1954) and the many abuses that eventually forced the end of commemorate coinage in 1954 and a 28-year hiatus.

The entire purpose of the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the transition between coin designs, in the same way that the Arkansas Centennial half dollar was issued to commemorate the state’s 100th anniversary. But the Arkansas halves ended up being minted for five years at three mints for a total of 15 different coins for one single event. Same with the Daniel Boone coins issued in 1934 to honor his 200th birthday (issued 1934-1938), Texas Independence Centennial honoring the 1936 anniversary (issued 1934-1938) and, arguably the most egregious abuse of commemorate coin programs, the Oregon Trail Memorial halves, originally issued in 1936, which, when finally ended, totaled 14 different date/mintmark combinations!

Now we have the Mint intending to issue proof 2022 Morgan and Peace dollars. Who’s to say this won’t be followed by reverse proofs in 2023, then by West Point issues in 2024 and so on. The program was a great idea to mark the centennial, but now it’s time to move on in 2022 and beyond. The Mint already has two commemorate programs, four Innovation dollars, a Native American/Sacagawea dollar and the American Eagles in proof and bullion issues. The last thing we need is another ongoing dollar program. The Mint needs to be reminded of its past mistakes so as not to repeat them.

Ryan Kordziel
Address withheld