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Letters to the Editor: Nov. 8, 2022

New Orleans Mint Built on ‘Other’ Square

As a Louisianian and a former longtime resident of New Orleans, I quite enjoyed R.W. Julian’s article on the New Orleans Mint, particularly as it related to corrupt politics. What a surprise!

However, I need to point out that it was not built on the well-known Jackson Square as implied in the article. The mint was built facing Esplanade Avenue, about six blocks to the east, on a plot of ground that was originally a Spanish fort and was known as Jackson Square at the time of the mint’s construction. What is now Jackson Square, with the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and Presbytere buildings and the Pontalba apartments, was still called the Place d’Armes in the 1830s.

Joe Darby

Natchitoches, La.

Editor’s Note: Following is a response from R.W. Julian.

The information provided by Mr. Darby is interesting and a useful addition to the article. I appreciate him taking the time to write with this added material. I had used contemporary documentation and was unaware of the changes noted in his letter.

‘Item of the Week’ Installments Not Useful

As a longtime subscriber to Numismatic News, I am dismayed at the wasted space eaten up by the “Item of the Week” column. It is bad enough that entire pages are devoted to describe plebeian issues such as the 1943-P nickel and 1971-P half dollar. The most recent feature, highlighting the 1954-S Jefferson nickel, contains no useful information for the novice numismatist, the obvious audience for this tripe.

The unnamed writer missed the real story, namely the “S over D” mintmark variety that was discovered long after issuance. Eventually the 1954-S/D version made its way into the Red Book. I suspect quite a few examples await cherry-picking, both in circulated and BU condition. This is the type of information a newer collector might like to have. Don’t we owe it to them to make the hobby interesting and exciting?

Charles Sullivan

Gaithersburg, Md.

Color Background Made Text Unreadable

In the Oct. 11 issue of Numismatic News, I would have liked to read the item starting on page 52 discussing the numismatic legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The only problem? For many, black text on a dark purple and green background is unreadable.

I do understand that adding color can be great for many reasons. This should be done thoughtfully so the content is actually available to your readers!

Henry Mensch

Syracuse, N.Y.

Editor’s Note: We apologize for the inconvenience. Both articles on Queen Elizabeth II can be read online at