Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor (November 27, 2018)

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

Innovation dollars won’t be seen by average public

Here we go again! The Mint will produce coins that probably will not circulate while the paper dollar hangs around, the “American Innovation Dollar.” From “Susie B” to now, the U.S. “small dollar” coin has been a failure because the government refuses to drop/discontinue the paper dollar and waste taxpayers’ money.

Like the issues before this one, the coin will not see circulation, except in some small areas were they use dollar coins as fare tokens for metropolitan transit systems. The “regular” (non-collecting) public probably will not see these coins at all, except in pictures. This issue is only for collectors who want to spend top dollar for a coin worth less than what they will pay. Fourteen years of junk I’m not buying. If one does happen to cross my path, I’ll let it go by.

If the government ever discontinues the paper dollar, that will be another story. I leave with a note to all collectors out there. Collect what you want or like; that’s what this hobby is all about.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

100-point grading scale won’t solve any problems

Josh Cook’s letter “Adopt 100-point grading” in the October 29 issue of another periodical forcefully advocates for Ron Guth’s proposal to move to a 100-point grading scale, noting that this would provide greater clarity and consistency and eliminate the current complications of adding a “+” sign or a CAC sticker to identify a special coin.

This all arises in the context of the recent event where a coin sold for about $44,000 in April, when it was graded MS67 with a CAC sticker, and then sold for over $80,000 in September, after it was regraded MS67+, again with a CAC sticker. I fear that Josh’s confidence is misplaced.

Let’s consider that coin that nearly doubled its value in just five months simply because a “+” was added to its grade. Under the proposed 100-point scale, that coin would grade 95 (an “ordinary” MS67 would grade 94). After implementation of the 100-point scale, what is to prevent a grading service from regrading the (current) MS67+ coin from a grade of 95 to a grade of 95+, on the grounds that it is ever so slightly better than the usual coin that grades 95 but is just not quite up to the standard required for a 96? Similarly, CAC could quite reasonably determine that the coin is very strong for its grade of 95 and sticker it as such.

I suspect that no matter what grading scale is used, whether it is a 70-point scale, or a 100-point scale, or a 1,000-point scale, people will always be able to find minuscule differences between coins to justify adding in-between grades that do not fit within the scale.

The real way to deal with grade inflation and the nonsense of incremental regrading of coins is for the collector to buy the coin and not the slab – decide what YOU want in a coin, and buy a coin that fits YOUR criteria, the third-party grader’s opinion be darned.

Michael T. Shutterly
Glen Allen, Va.

Some might think 1948 cents are magnetic

I just read your “Best of Buzz” in the Oct. 30 Numismatic News and noticed in your editorial “Draw visitors to coins with magnet” some people may be confused into thinking that the 1948 Lincoln is not just altered but magnetic too! Just saying!

Is the hearing aid advertisement on Page 23 a sign of the aging collector base, or is Numismatic News so hard up for advertising that it is running ads on hearing aids? Just wondering.

R.W. Julian’s article on half cents hits that numismatic spot! Really enjoyed it!

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Bill Mills
Orlando, Fla.

Using 100-point grading will turn off beginners

The discussion over a 100-point grading scale is in my opinion is one of the most nonsensical discussions I have seen in quite some time.

There are so many reasons why this is a bad idea. Think how hard it is attracting a new, younger group of future numismatists into the hobby.

It takes a long time to become familiar with all the nuances in grading between a G, VG, Fine, VF, etc., to all the different Mint State grades where one point can sometimes be the difference between thousands of dollars, and now there is serious discussion to make the barriers to entry into the hobby that much harder.

Does anyone really think we don’t have enough different AU grades (50, 53. 55, 58) or VF grades (20, 25, 30, 35) so we need more?

Besides NGC, PCGS, and CAC, who benefits with a 100-point scale? No one, as far as I can see.

So think about all the slabs you now own. Will they become useless once we have gone to a 100-point scale?

And at the next coin show you attend, see how many collectors are there who are not already collecting Social Security.

We need to make all barriers to becoming a collector easier and not throw up more roadblocks.

I am sure common sense will hold and this nonsense will end.

Roy Herbst
Address withheld

Time to look at 2007 sets for error Jefferson dollar

I just received my Oct. 30, 2018, copy of the Numismatic News paper and enjoyed reading your article on the error coin in 2007 of the Thomas Jefferson Presidential dollar. Since you said the four specimens were only in the purchase of 200 2007 Presidential proof coin sets, would it be advisable to also check the clad and silver sets of 2007 also? They each included a set of the Presidential coins.

Just wondering because back then I used to buy five clad and two silver sets annually. I have not ever checked my sets for the error coin.

Thank you for the update. I do plan on looking at my sets just in case.

Ralph A. Fuller
Cleveland, Ohio

Editor’s note: It always pays to look. However, the odds of finding something are a bit more favorable looking at the four-coin Presidential proof sets.

Why would young people want to look at this?

I keep reading about the eventual demise of the coin collecting hobby, which is attributed to the statement that most coin collectors are gray-haired old men (like me) and that young people are not interested in coin collecting.

I wonder if this may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the last two issues of Numismatic News, I saw ads for an acid reflux pill with anti-aging properties, a hearing aid, and a walk-in bathtub, hardly items that would interest a younger person.

The pièce de résistance was an article about a coin club in Oregon that is trying to do what it can to attract young newcomers, and they were surprised that some attendees at their show had no idea that there even was a local coin club. I was getting into it until the last paragraph, where it mentioned that they hold their meetings at the local senior citizen center. Now there’s a place that a lot of young people flock to – not.

Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

Coin club celebrates 60th anniversary

The Tri County Coin Club of Chardon, Ohio, celebrated their 60th anniversary at their October meeting. The meeting included a display of club memorabilia and many collectibles from meetings past. Also available was a display of current and past members from many of the club’s past parties. The celebration was marked with a beautiful cake and ice cream provided by the club.

Tom Peckis
Information Officer

Half dollar encounter first one in several years

I just wanted to note that I received a couple of 2018-D Kennedy halves at a Las Vegas casino this month. I haven’t gotten a half dollar in my change for several years. I also don’t find many coins that I want to keep in my change in any casino, so this was a nice find for me.

Greg Uhland
North Olmstead, Ohio

Cumberland Island quarter shows up in till

Happy fall to you! The temperature around here finally changed this weekend, going from 90/75 to 75/55 in about a 36-hour period. Then today (Oct. 22), I found my first Cumberland Island quarter in the till at work. Happy fall to me!

Jay Woodin
Wiggins, Miss.

Address letters to Editor, Numismatic News, 5225 Joerns Drive, Suite 2, Stevens Point, WI 54481. All letters must be signed and include a return address. Numismatic News reserves the right to edit all letters. E-mail should be sent to Include your city and state in
your email.

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

If you like what you've read here, we invite you to visit our online bookstore to learn more about Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths About U.S. Coins.

Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths About U.S. Coins

Learn more >>>