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Letters to the Editor (January 1, 2019)

The wait for listing in guide slows down authentication

I have some 2015-P Homestead doubled-die reverse quarters. What I do not understand is that PCGS does not recognize this variety until it is in the Cherrypickers’ Guide. I would like to be first to have them graded by PCGS. I sent them to PCGS but they came back as regular quarters, not doubled dies. I wish I would have known that before they were sent in. I sent 10 to ANACS. They show a shipping date of 11/26/2018, but I would rather have them graded by PCGS. I sent one to Ken Potter when first discovered so he could photograph it, and he returned it to me, but I have no idea when it hits Cherrypickers’ Guide. I have nothing against PCGS, the guide, or authors of the book, but does PCGS have to wait until someone else authorizes it? Are they not the top grading authorities?

I always enjoy Numismatic News and articles sent in. I am always looking forward to the next issue. It is the best informational paper around!

Daniel Kuziela

Were silver war nickels melted by the government?

Did the U.S. Mint ever try to pull out of circulation the almost 870 million silver war nickels after World War II? I know they were only 35 percent silver plus all dimes, quarters, and half dollars that were 90 percent silver at the time.

Do they keep any type of record how much silver could be still in circulation ? I know collecting nickels, I find one or two every time I buy a box or two of nickels. The bank wrapped rolls are from banking institutions that do not need them for commerce and coin sorting machines like Coinstar. I say that percentage of finds of those versus just getting hand-wrapped rolls are just about equal.

The percentage of 90 percent silver finds from dimes, quarters, and half dollars are less for me. I know I read about some people who hit the jackpot once in a while going through wrapped coins. But I would say that is still pretty rare.

What percentage of silver coins do you feel are still in circulation? I do know not many people know there were ever silver nickels in circulation, though.

Ralph A. Fuller
Cleveland, Ohio

Might not be gold, but paper money worthwhile

A few years ago, my father passed on at 93-1/2 years young. He was a collector mainly of stamps but had a few numismatic paper items as well. The items were a nearly whole Confederate States of America bond sheet and several CSA notes, which my dad probably inherited from his Uncle Will, who was colonel in the Texas Rangers around the turn of the 20th century. The notes and bonds were verified authentic by a fellow collector, knowledgeable in CSA currency, in my coin club. It really isn’t worth “gold” numismatically, but I will still treat it as if it was.

As for the rest of my paper (a little polymer thrown in, too), it’s basically worth what I paid for it. The blue and red seal USA notes I have are probably a little more than “face,” but aren’t treated like gold. Except for the misprints, miscuts, and/or other conditions making a paper/polymer note rare and high priced, paper should not be treated like gold.

However, paper is interesting, and like coins, should be handled with care. Collect what you like and enjoy it during this holiday season.

On another topic, the U.S. coins have been featuring an allegory of Liberty pretty much throughout the history of its minting. How about another allegorical figure on the coins in the future? I’m thinking something like featuring the statue that sits atop the Capitol building. Most people (I’m one of them) don’t even know what her name is.

Or even put the allegory of “Justice” on a coin of the future. I think that would be better than having all the dead Presidents, who have been gracing our coins and paper since the 20th century.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

Problems from 1986 still haunt market today

I enjoyed reading in a recent Coin Market where you stated, “The market is like the old gray mare; she ain’t what she used to be many long years ago.”

I recently came across an issue of Numismatic News from August of 1986, which was the beginning of the ascent of rare coin valuations, which lasted until about 1990. The descent of the active number of coin collectors over the years is difficult to determine. I guess one can look at ANA memberships and subscribers of coin publications.

In 1986, common date PCGS MS65 Morgan dollars were selling for $600 despite the fact that these dollars were said to be selling poorly at the ANA show that summer. What would these coins be graded today, might they be graded higher?

Common date uncirculated Saint- Gaudens $20 gold pieces were selling at similar prices as today, but the price of gold was $362 an ounce.

Early proof sets in 1986 were selling for very similar prices to what they are selling for today.

One letter stated that used cars might be a better investment than coins, since he purchased an MS65 coin only to be told it was MS62 when trying to sell it.

In another coin publication, just this week, a reader wrote “I’ve bought coins from dealers as MS63 or MS65 that come back slabbed with a MS61 or MS62 grade.”

Issues in the coin market still exist today that existed in 1986.

Lastly, there was a full-page advertisement for an EF 1804 dollar for $240,000; doing the math and holding this coin for 32 years, I don’t think this would have been a wise investment at the time.

In summary, with some exceptions, I don’t feel coins should be purchased as a long-term investment. It is not an investors market but a collectors market. Collecting coins should be done purely for the enjoyment of the hobby. The editor of this 1986 edition of Numismatic News happened to be David C. Harper.

Ronald Rescigno
Address withheld

Will George H.W. Bush be honored on a dollar coin?

According to Rich Giedroyc, a deceased U.S. President must wait at least two full years before being honored on a coin. Now that George H.W. Bush joined the afterlife near the end of 2018, we will have to see if – no earlier than 2021 – the U.S. Mint asks the Treasury – and eventually the Congress – to briefly continue (by an Act of Congress) the Presidential dollar program that ended in 2016 with the Reagan dollar, along with the First Ladies gold program (since Barbara already passed away earlier this year). She could have her own $10 gold coin at the same time as GHWB’s $1.

Leroy Vargas
Address withheld

American Innovators coin not very innovative

Will all of the innovation dollars carry a similar reverse with the gears-like the Washington signature version? The obverse looks naked with so much empty space and the absence of the word “Liberty.” I don’t care if it is on the edge. These coins are too small, in my opinion, to have edge lettering. The Bicentennial coins carried all of the inscriptions and mottoes in addition to nice new designs.

Wayne Pearson
Union City, Ind.

Editor’s note: The first design kicks off the series. There will be 56 designs from each state and territory issued at a rate of four per year, 2019-2032.

Mint survey seemed like annual doctor checkup

I read Glen McClary’s comments in the Viewpoint section of the Nov. 27th issue, and I also received an invitation to participate in what sounds like the same U.S. Mint survey. With the recent political elections, I was tired of phone calls, surveys, and questionnaires, but this was something I decided I was not going to hang up on.

Overall, I was disappointed with the questions asked. In addition to what Mr. McClary mentioned, there were a lot of questions to do with the method and quality of product packaging and product shipping, and then of course the token demographic questions and what you typically purchase from them.

Basically I felt like I was updating my information at my yearly doctor’s visit, just in case something changed. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Nate Valukas
Knoxville, Tenn.

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