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Letters to the Editor: Jan. 19, 2021

Coinstar Machine Paid Out in More Ways than One

Returning home after a three-day road trip, my wife and I stopped at our local Walmart in the evening to pick up a few essentials. The forecast was for a huge snowstorm starting in the morning. The store was packed. As we were winding our way up to one of the checkouts, I noticed two young men standing in front of the green Coinstar machine. They appeared to be happy with the result printed on their receipt. With tempered anticipation, I patiently waited as two shoppers, each with a full cart of merchandise, paid for their items. When at the front of the line, I scurried over to the Coinstar machine. Checking the coin return box, I was pleasantly surprised to see coins. Here is what I found: one BU 1964 silver quarter, one BU 1952 silver dime, three clad dimes, one Mexican coin about the size of a dime and five very corroded, almost unrecognizable Memorial cents. Putting the coins in my pocket, I turned to see my wife paying for the groceries. So this particular trip to Walmart was a win-win for me.

Jim Tigner

Address withheld

Fulwider was Proud S-Mint Worker and Marine

Edgar D. Fulwider, who passed away on Dec. 12, 2020, liked to remind everyone that he was at Iwo Jima, not on it, serving as a 17-year-old engine room fireman/water tender on a T2 tanker. This service allowed him to be included with the famous Marines who fought on that speck in the Pacific, during the terrible ending months of the Second World War.

Ed had two grand passions. First, joining the United States Marines and remembering being true to its “Semper Fidelis,” and second, his career at the San Francisco Mint, where he rose to be the S-Mint’s senior die setter.

Ed never forgot his Marines. He also said that he was a “China Marine,” one of the last to be assigned to mainland China before the Communist 1949 takeover. In over four decades, [there wasn’t] a Marine event in the greater San Francisco, Calif., Bay Area that he did not attend, including saluting his fellow Marines as they answered their final orders.

Ed, after owning an independent business, learned that the San Francisco Mint was reopening. He applied, and with his mechanical skills, rose to senior die setter. One day, reporting on the day shift, he noticed the infamous missing mintmark on proof coins struck by the previous shift. His diligence earned him a cash bonus from the Mint.

His high points at the S-Mint, which he loved dearly, was being asked, as the only dedicated coin hobbyist on the staff, to strike the first proof “Ike” S-dollar in 1971. And, later, in the 1980s, he was instrumental with open houses and first strike ceremonies, even to the point of creating and having invitations mailed to fictitious coin clubs, such as the USS Enterprise Coin Club!

Ed’s sincere passion was readily displayed on his license plate: “S-MINT.”

Some time ago, Ed passed to this eulogist his slides of the Mint’s operations, one of the few known times that photography was allowed within the Mint, and that included the subterranean vaults.

Ed was active, and served as an officer with the California State Numismatic Association (CSNA), Pacific Coast Numismatic Society, Liberty Numismatic Society and the now-gone San Francisco Coin Club, to name a few. He held membership in most all local Bay Area local clubs. He chaired a few CSNA Conventions held in San Francisco. Over the years, he gave talks and always enjoyed sharing “the world of money” hobby with his numismatic sojourners. With his wife, Lorelie, they were regulars at various numismatic dinners and banquets.

Ed was part of the soon-gone Greatest Generation. He rose to the challenge of the Second World War, raised a family, built a career and served and promoted our hobby, plus his beloved Marines.

To this eulogist, Ed was always kind, with a warm smile, and encouraging. He never found faults; rather, he sought to entice others, with whatever they had or collected, to thrive with our hobby.

Having written several eulogies during this “annus horribilus,” it is difficult to close and to offer some lesson. So, from the ancient Roman Seneca, “Not How Long, But How Well You Have Lived Is The Main Thing.” Ed achieved that. Semper Fi’.

Michael S. Turrini

Vallejo, Calif.

Surprising that, as of Dec., 2020 Sets are Still Available

Looking at the U.S. Mint website and the totals for the 2020 sets, you would think that the entire amount would have been sold-out. But as of Dec. 6, only 191,000-some have been ordered. With only 213,000 total sets to be made, I would have thought this was to be an automatic sell-out. I put away a couple. I am curious how the prices will be down the road.

Ed Flugel

Address withheld

Clashing Found on 2009-S Proof Set Jefferson Nickel

Hello, I have been trying to find out if anyone else has found a 2009-S proof Jefferson nickel with this clashed die: It is strongly clashed on the obverse and reverse with the most probinate clash showing both of Jefferson’s eyes visible in the word “Monticello” on the reverse. There are many more besides that. I would advise everyone who has a 2009 proof set to check the nickel for this clashing. I had mine certified by ANACS. Please let me know if you find one. I can’t seem to get any information on it, which may show how rare it is. Thank you for your help.

John Dunkle

Address withheld