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Letters to the Editor (November 13, 2018)

Check where famous Americans are from

In response to a letter written by Ari Kaufman in the Oct. 2, 2018, issue, great ideas on changes of designs for coins, but his geography is off. The Wright Bros. are from Ohio and Martin Luther King Jr. is from Georgia.

Jim Southard Jr.
Lawrenceville, Ga.


Reverse proof could bring thousands to numismatics

I may be proven wrong in the long term, but I really believe that the U.S. Mint has hit a home run for coin collectors. The reverse proof sets may create an interest in coin collecting that supersedes even the state quarters program. Anyone who collects Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels, Rosy dimes, Kennedy halves, and Sac dollars will need these coins to complete their sets. It may prove to be a Great Hook that brings in more collectors to a great hobby. Time will tell.

Johnny I. Green
Address withheld

Who wants to wait to strike a special coin at the Mint?

I just read your column on the common folk striking their own coin. It’s kind of a cool concept, and while the average folks might appreciate the opportunity, I’m sure the facility would find it to be a bit of a nuisance. As such, I don’t think it will materialize. With that said, I don’t even think they have to take it as far as you opted for. I wouldn’t even mind being allowed in the facility to watch the production staff hit the button for the 2,000 coins. I would watch the entire production and buy my coin once the initial production was completed.

In this way, perhaps the event would go quicker, and the last person online wouldn’t wait 13 hours (or whatever) to “hit the button.” Also, the quicker it could go, the more likely the Mint would be to “allowing it to happen.” Finally, I would doubt the average line would get to 2,000 people unless the chosen coin was really hot. Perhaps something like a Boy Scout coin would get a lot of Boy Scout troops who would want to participate, but something like a Zachary Taylor commemorative might only generate interest from a few hundred people or so (I’m not sure how popular old Zachary is these days).

Ken Parsons
Address withheld

100-point grading scale only a grading service could love

Changing numismatic grading to a 100-point scale is a scheme that could have only been dreamed up in the corporate boardroom of Collectors Universe or NGC. Between them, these two operations have graded and encapsulated 73 million coins. I would venture to guess that of the coins where it would be worth it to have them graded and encapsulated, the majority of them have already been done, many more than once.

PCGS and NGC need a scheme to keep the top and bottom lines growing. What better way than to obsolete all existing slabs by adopting a “new” 100-point grading scale. Additionally, in such a scheme, how many Mint State grades would there be? 15? 20? 30? We’re starting to get into the “arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” territory. The only way I could ever support this change would be if Mint State grades were limited to 90-100 on the 100-point scale. Expanding the lower grades from 5-10 points between grades to 10-15 or even 20 points between grades might make sense, as an F coin doesn’t go to a VG coin with just one more rub. I think there can be many more degrees of separation between circulated coins exhibiting wear than there are with Mint State coins. Unfortunately, I believe the impetus to expand to a 100-point system is to add more Mint State grades for the “experts” at the grading services to play us with, and if that’s the case, then I am emphatically against it.

Peter Meditz
Address withheld

Expand the 20th century type set to reflect changes

I have a folder from Whitman, 20th Century Type Set, which we all know covers the cents (Indian, Lincoln and Memorial), nickels (Liberty Head, Buffalo and Jefferson), dimes (Barber, Mercury Head and Roosevelt), quarters (Barber, Standing Liberty and Washington), half dollars (Barber, Walking Liberty and Franklin), and dollars (Morgan and Peace). Then a Birth Year set (cent through half dollar).

Why didn’t Whitman create a second folder for Coins of the 20th Century 2.0? This would feature the two cents (bronze Lincoln and copper washed zinc Lincoln, or as I like to call it, “Zincoln” cent). Of course there would be only one Jefferson nickel, but the dimes could include a silver (1964) and clad Roosevelt.

There would be four Washington quarters (silver (1964), clad, (post 1964), Bicentennial and a 1999 state quarter). The JFK half dollar would be the 90 percent silver, 40 percent silver clad, Bicentennial, and the clad coins from 1971 on. Dollars would be represented by Eisenhower (regular issue and Bicentennial) and Susan B. Anthony. And, of course, your birth year set for those born after 1964. Ikes and SBAs would be optional for those born between 1971 to 1981.

The first type set suits me, as I was born in 1945, but my daughter was born in 1976.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

Apollo 11 offer needs to be fair for all collectors

Is there any group you could put me in touch with to campaign for the little collector to get a fair shot at the moon coins? I have been socking away $10 a month since it was first reported. Who could I contact to put forth the idea of open ordering the first 72 hours, one to a customer unlimited coins during that time frame? I seem to remember other coins were sold that way.

I am retired on Social Security but really would love to buy a set at Mint issue prices.

John B. Benson
Prescott Valley, Ariz.

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