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Letters to the Editor: May 4, 2021

Apollo 11 Commemorative Deserving of COTY Honors

I’m thrilled to see the United States recognized with the Coin of the Year honors! The Apollo 11 commemorative coin program was one of the most popular, successful and beautiful series of coins issued by the Mint in a long time, and the half dollar is one of the few commemoratives that I have bought even though I’m not a collector of modern commemorative coins as a series.

Ryan Kordziel
Schenectady, N.Y.

Morelan as a Collector Great is Questionable

Your April 13 article about Bruce Morelan’s buying a 1913 Liberty nickel (after 1794 SP-66 and 1804 dollars) says it “further cements his place among the greatest collectors of all time.”

Buying three big-ticket glamor coins doesn’t make someone a great collector. A great spender, maybe.

A great collector is someone who devotes years to careful connoisseurship, studying coins and assembling a collection of historical or aesthetic or even technical significance. Not someone who buys a few prestige baubles for a lot of money. Maybe Mr. Morelan is in the former category after all. We don’t know.

I am not normally one of those dyspeptic social critics always banging on about how everything these days is about money. But your article sure invites that.

Frank S. Robinson
Albany, N.Y.

Television Coin Dealer Takes Advantage of Buyers

I’m 72 and have been a collector since I was 13. I watch this guy [...] on TV and I must say I believe he is taking advantage of a vulnerable market of naive collectors, which I would have to think includes the elderly and people who have nothing better to do than watch these kinds of shows and get suckered into spending their money. I bought several of his highly touted slabbed pieces over 15 years ago, and they still haven’t moved in value. He makes the viewer believe they are getting a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and every sale is exorbitantly priced way over Coin World Trends. Any buyer could find a reputable dealer and get the same coins for around half the price. I watched him try to sell a set of slabbed Franklin halves starting in the late 1950s and graded proof by NGC. They aren’t even FBL and he was asking the “bargain” price of $1,795 for the set. I checked Trends, Gray Sheet, etc., and realized anyone could buy the same full set for half the price or less. I’m sorry, but he is a sham. There’s much of this on these buyers networks, but a so-called reputable dealer and published author is nothing more than a shameless self-promoter! I don’t know who to report him to or how to expose him.

Marc Parrilli
Ghent, N.Y.