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Letters to the Editor (July 10, 2018)

Veteran reports disappointing experience with U.S. Mint


I was not surprised to read in the June 12, 2018, copy of NN that the number of military medals decreased. I was surprised that the number was so high. Here is what happened to me.

I received my commemorative dollar and medal set, but I was unhappy that the collar had a fingerprint on the reverse of the coin. (It seems to me that all of the publicity pictures of mint procedures show the people working with proofs to be wearing gloves. How could a fingerprint get on a coin?)

I called the Customer Service at the Mint and was promised that if I returned the set to the Mint that it would not cancel my order but replace the faulty dollar. I packaged the set, checked off the box that I wanted a replacement, took the package to the UPS store with the having-been-provided pre-paid form, and had it sent.

A few days later, I received an email from the Mint that it had received my package and that it was crediting my credit card for the original cost! This was not what I wanted at all. I was lied to by the Customer Service representative.

I tried to reply to that email, but the Mint refused to allow such correspondence. Therefore, I printed the refused email that had my desire to have a replacement rather than a refund, found the mailing address of the Mint in Washington, D.C., and sent the email to the director of the Mint. I have not yet heard from him. I enclosed a note saying what had happened and that I hoped that he would replace the set that I had bought.

I complained that this is a horrible way to treat veterans: produce something that we would want, and then give us shoddy products and service. Is this what the Mint thinks about us veterans? President Trump has made helping the veterans one of the priorities of his administration, but it appears that the swamp does not care about what he wants.

You might ask your readers if others have had similar circumstances as the main reason why the number of medals has decreased so much. I cannot believe that across the board so many sets have been returned for some other reasons.

I would appreciate your not using my name or address if you choose to delve into this. It is horrible.

Name withheld

Collector enjoys NCV tokens

As everyone who has read Numismatic News, I make my finds from the Coinstar coin counting machines.

Not only do I find coins – both collectable and spendable – but I also find modern-day tokens in and on the Coinstars.

Many are “No Cash Value” (NCV) brass game tokens that have a heraldic American Eagle on the obverse.

But there are other tokens bearing the names of businesses that make gaming tokens for video or pin ball gaming machines as well as “juke boxes.” Two local (northeast Ohio) firms are Automatic Music and Cleveland Coin Machine Exchange (CCME).

These tokens are not dated, so the year is not important, and one of each is sufficient for a collection.

A different story is the Chuck E Cheese token. The Chuck E Cheese tokens are dated, and Chuck has morphed from a rat-like image to that of a mouse with a guitar. Early tokens state the location of the pizza place, also known as “Pizza time theatre.” Some of the early Chuck E Cheese tokens do state a “25 c[ent] Play Value.”

There are several amusement parks that have issued NCV tokens. I had fun Googling them to find out their location. One, issuing tokens in a “white metal,” is from Macedonia ... Ohio, that is. One of my favorites is “Billy Bob’s Wonderland” located in Barboursville, WV.

Going “down East?” Visit Blackbeard’s Amusement Park in Bangor, Maine. (This is the farthest NCV token I’ve found to date.) Other tokens I’ve found are various self-serve car wash and vacuum tokens, baseball batting cage tokens, laser tag NCV tokens, and even promotion tokens.

There are numerous tokens out there to collect; I’ve only ventured on the “tip of the iceberg.” Tired of collecting coins? Take a “break” and collect NCV tokens to start an adventurous endeavor.

I am a collector of both currencies as well as stamps. Most of the coins are base metal, sprinkled with silver. The bank notes are circulated (G-VF) and uncirculated. My stamps are used and off paper. My entire collections are worldwide issues.

Yes, you can collect both coins and currencies (bank notes) if you wish. That’s the fun in collecting; no rules, except to enjoy your collection.

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

Reader searches for older wheat cent dates

I have searched through probably 50,000 wheat cents, looking for dates. I generally find over 10 percent of older dates, S mints, near UNC condition. Found a 1909-S but no initials, though. There are a couple of dealers in the News that advertise unsearched wheat cents that are actually searched. In those, I could not find anything older than 1940, no-S cents and 1943, or UNC cents.

Paul Prechel
Coolidge, Ariz.

Strange finds recovered from carwash vacuum bags

I used to buy wheat penny bags, 500-1,000-count bags, to find mint error pennies. I’ve found 50-60 errors so far.

I read one of your articles on how we can get kids to start collecting coins. So I started making bags with complete 1941-1958 cents, but the #2 book goes to 1974. I was going to buy Memorial pennies to fill the book when my younger brother solved my problem.

He was vacuuming his car at the car wash and accidentally sucked up his girlfriend’s earrings. Luckily, the owner was there, and my brother knew him. He started collecting the bags for the owner, saving the owner a lot of time (the owner has four carwashes).

He brought all the change that gets sucked up to me to go through: pennies, dimes, nickels. I have found Memorials 1959-1974 to fill 18 books, Jefferson nickels to fill one #2 book, 1962-1995, in Fine to XF condition, as well as two #2 Roosevelt books, one with dimes VG+ to Fine+ and the other from VF-XF-AU.

I have given my friends’ kids 10 years old and older (18) books or bags so that they can put them in by themselves. I gave them one wheat penny book #2, one Roosevelt book #2, and one Jefferson book #2 along with a Numismatic News subscription card. I tell them they can find the nickels and dimes in mom, dad, grandpa, or grandma’s change jars.

My brother says he’s pulling 80-100 dollars a week out of the vacuum bags, not counting gold and silver chains, rings, and earrings. I get the pleasure of going through all the change.

John R. Covington
Elmendorf, Texas

‘D’ quarter unusual as first 2018 coin on East Coast

I found my first 2018 coin in change on March 21. It’s surprising because it’s a “D” minted quarter of the Pictured Rocks variety. I don’t see many “D” minted coins as a first of the year here in New Jersey.

It was April 24 when I got my first one-cent coin from the Philadelphia Mint in change. There was no mintmark.

Richard Dahms
Somerset, N.J.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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