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Letters to the Editor (Sept. 22, 2015)

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Volunteers make ANA show a success

The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money 124th Convention was held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Rosemont, Ill., Aug. 11-15.

Congratulations to the Chicago Coin Club for hosting their 16th ANA Coin Convention along with Host Chair Jeffrey Rosinia, Honorary Host Chair Harlan Berk and the CCC committee for doing outstanding and dedicated work for this important WFOM. Thanks also to the ANA National Volunteers for their continual assistance at all the ANA conventions. Convention Director Rhonda Scurek and her team worked hard and kept this large show running smoothly. ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick also is to be commended for all the great work done by the ANA Staff. President Walter Ostromecki and the Board also contributed to the success of this convention. A big thanks to all the dealers for taking tables, the early birds for purchasing badges, along with the show sponsors and patrons for their generous donations in support of the convention.

This was the largest bourse the ANA has ever had at any convention. The show was so large that the ANA placed the exhibits into another separate hall.You know a convention is large when the “Show Guide” is 120 pages long.

Nine Government agencies, including the U. S. Department of the Treasury and their “Million Dollar exhibit,” were also there. Dozens of coin clubs and societies also participated with tables and educational meetings. The convention had two successful auctions by Stacks-Bowers and Heritage. A sincere thanks and gratitude to all numismatists and institutions who shared their knowledge and/or collections in the ANA Museum Showcase (we especially liked the “Coins of the Bible” display), Collector Exhibits, the exhibit judges, Money Talks, Coin Television, Sundman Lecture Series, Numismatic Theater presenters, F+W Media, Inc. (Numismatic News and Bank Note Reporter), along with other publications and media.

Thanks to Jamie Franki who designed the official convention medal. The Scouts had an excellent clinic and many of them came to the bourse, along with other YNs and enjoyed the Kids Zone and treasure hunt. PPI once again kept the show very safe, and we didn’t hear of any problems.

Two major auction companies held separate sales during the convention, Heritage Auction Company and Stacks-Bowers. Both sales did very well and if you need the prices realized go to the above sites.

ANA members were allowed early entry on the second day of the show. It would be nice if they let the lifetime members in even earlier. The extra half hour is a great perk for being a member of the ANA. Attendance appeared to be pretty steady from the opening day to close. The Friday ANA banquet had Joe Boling as MC, and he kept it going nicely. The dinner was superb and the silent auction at the banquet was partially successful. The Bob Lecce Advanced Scholarship fund benefits from this auction.

We want to congratulate Donn Pearlman on receiving the ANA Farran Zerbe Memorial Award, and David E. Schenkman, along with James E. Charlton for being inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame. Congratulations to all the other award recipients including, Larry Sekulich for winning the Steven J. D’Ippolito Best of Show Award. Several other special dinners, receptions or events were held at the convention including the PNG banquet, the NLG Bash and others.

Thanks again to everyone for their work, donations, effort and contributions to help make this an outstanding convention.

The ANA will return to Chicago in 2019. This city is one is one of our favorite coin show sites with its free airport shuttle along with many nearby hotels. We hope to see you at the next two ANA Conventions which will be held in Dallas on March 3-5, 2016, at the Dallas Convention Center and in Anaheim, Calif., on Aug. 9-13, 2016, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

John and Nancy Wilson
ANA National Volunteers

Price of silver affects collector’s purchases

In the e-letters section of the Sept. 1 edition of Numismatic News (page 66), the question was asked, “Are too many collector decisions now influenced by economic headlines?” I would like to put my copper washed 2 cents worth answer.

I am a collector now on a fixed income and can no longer spend money the way I used to in my younger days. So I would say in my position, yes. One reader replied that collectors don’t care about the ups and downs of the noble metals’ values. I disagree with our fellow reader.

Since my limited income, I can afford only to venture in coins of silver. The price of silver is important to me. Even though I don’t regularly buy silver coins, I watch the market for when the silver prices go down. Then I will buy something I would like to fill some “holes” in my collection. As the value goes back up, I know I made a good deal as I look at the coin I purchased at a low price.

That said, I will from time to time will find silver coins in circulation. Those that fit an empty “hole” will go into my collection. If not, the coin or coins will go into my “silver box” until the value of silver rises to peak or near peak levels. It is a little like investing since I received the silver coin in change (at face value), then sold it for “melt” (whatever a coin dealer is willing to pay) later. But, I am a collector first and investor second when it’s needed.

That’s the fun of collecting; there are no “rules” as to how to collect, just to have fun collecting.

Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio

The Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set went on sale Aug. 11 and sold out in 15 minutes.

Collectors on the United States Mint website are encountering slowdowns and other glitches when ordering in-demand coins.

Ordering problems with Mint no surprise

I am stunned that readers are surprised by the Mint’s Ike sets ordering snafu. What stuns me even more is that anyone still orders from those scam artists.

The Mint is part of the federal government, which has become more corrupt than ever under the current administration. Shell games are second nature to the Washington bureaucracy. The old “want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?” racket has been re-born.

A sucker is born every minute? How about every second?

Peter Keefe
Ashburn, Va.

Collector buys prized quarter at ANA show

The recent ANA was very special for me in that I was able to procure a piece of American numismatic proprietory excellence.

I had never owned a 1796 quarter in my holdings of past years. It is a monumental coin in that not only is it the first U.S. quarter with such a low mintage of 6146 pieces, but it is the only U.S. quarter minted in the 18th century and for only one year as a type coin. No other U.S. coin can boast that soliloquy.

Two months prior to the ANA show, I had been watching such a piece to see if it got sold (which it did not) on a well-known Eastern U.S. dealer’s website. The coin shown in their listings had a curious set of diebreaks known as a terminal state of the dies. Per Walter Breen’s anthology on U.S. coins, this particular die break is only known on about four to five coins of this rare 1796 quarter’s already purportedly low mintage.

I was able to procure such a piece in a PCGS holder graded Good-4 Secure which I will in the near future re-submit as I believe this coin is more of a Good-6, plus it has the terminal state die nuance, which is what I am looking at now as I write this. Not bad to cherry-pick a minimal $20,000 coin off a dealer’s table, heh? Cherry picks can still be had if you do your homework.

Ron Feuer
Charlotte, N.C.

Humorous word play reflects current market

A little chuckle for the day: it appears that the similarity between the words commodity and commode is not just conincidence. The prices of the “precious” metals and other commodities lately have been going right down the toilet.

Rodney Veskrna
Alberty City, Iowa

Is government hoarding quarters, $1 coins?

I always enjoyed getting the new Mint sets, but prices for everything are outrageous. They add multiple quarters or dollars and who collects them?

I wish the Federal Reserve banks would inventory all of their quarter and dollar coins and slow or cease the call for more to be minted every year. I never see a dollar coin in change nor do I see a need for many different designs to be made in one year.

Is Congress trying to get a huge stockpile of dollar coins just to further their call to do away with the dollar bill? Ask the retailers if they would like to do away with the dollar bill and add another change drawer to their cash register.

Charles Scott Perry
Ada, Okla.

Experience of no good to a closed mind

In going through some back issues of Numismatic News, I came across the column by F. Michael Fazzari entitled “Always something new to learn.”

Although I always read Fazzari’s column, I found this one particularly entertaining and important, as he takes the time to describe a couple of dealers who believe they know it all because of their lengthy experience. The bottom line is that experience has no effect on a closed mind.

Keep up the good work, Michael.

Mike Thorne, Ph.D.

Consider Jimmy Carter for spot on bank note

No one has mentioned President Jimmy Carter. As you know he is very sick. His presidency was not the best. My personal opinion is he spent too much time trying to gain peace in the Middle East and solve the world’s problems, thus neglecting his duties in the USA. Thus no re-election.

But what he and his wife did after his retirement from politics is too vast to mention. He probably is the world’s premier humanitarian. He tried to make the world a better place. He made his own plans for his library No one else cared too.

Carter was the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner, but sadly few noticed. He worked with Habitat for Humanity and developed programs to improve lives around the world. He developed programs for poor nations for agriculture and health improvements, programs that cured diseases in over 65 countries. Few realized it.

He had a general desire to do good and accomplished more than any other ex-president in history. The facts are he truly was a great man and should be recognized.

I vote for him to be on our $10 or $20 bill. Sadly, he probably won’t because most people will not know the true facts of all.... he and Roselyn did. I am saddened upon writing, for the world is about to lose a wonderful person. Start a campaign to honor him on a bill. Or maybe both of them on a bill, which would be a tribute and a unique piece of currency.

Steven R. Angle
Glendale, Ariz.

Kids should consider collecting medals

For the amount of 2009 Lincoln cents minted, you’d think there would be plenty out there, but it is the opposite. When I roll search, I set aside copper up to 1982 and 2009 Lincoln cents and, of course, wheat cents.

Within the last year, I sent in a letter on the 2009 Lincolns that were disappearing from circulation, “Where have all the Lincolns gone?”

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Catch up on the latest U.S. coins prices with the 2016 U.S. Coin Digest!

Of course, people are hoarding them, just as they are discovering Indian cents, Wheat cents and then copper cents from 1959 to 1982 for their metal value.

The 2009s were four different reverses. All other 2009 circulation coins are hard to find in circulation due to very low mintages. All 2009 dated coins are being hoarded, simple as that. All of us hoarders are aware of this scenario.

Now, on to other matters. Lately, I’ve been hearing of interest in the brass U.S. Mint medals. First, are there any books on their mintages and values?

Also, the medals are an area where prices are cheaper than other minted items. It is a good program for kids to get into because of costs. They are eye appealing with nicely done artwork. I, a number of years ago, began purchasing them.

If you know of any books on the history of the U.S. Mint medal production, I would like to know more about them. They are historically interesting for us and our kids.

Lynn Roberts
Mountain View, Ark.

Puzzled by grades given to five submitted coins

After reading the Aug. 4 edition of Numismatic News, under letters topic, coins grade differently, I had to speak up. I recently sent five coins to one of the three major grading companies for conservation and grading services. I collect circulated coins with history behind them. The coins I selected were some of the best out of my collection. I choose them after I pre-graded them using Coin World, Numismatic News and Grading Coins by Photographs by Q. David Bowers.

I selected to go the extra expense and have all five coins conserved before being graded and encapsulated. By adding this service, the grade would be able to give the coins the very best he could see. I knew in the grading spectrum where the coins should fall and was counting on a number between AU-50 and -58. Boy, was I surprised at their findings.
My 1803 cent came back as Large Date, Small Fraction 1C S-264 G Detail Corrosion. This statement was expected since it was found in dirt and was over 212 years old.

My 1858 Flying Eagle cent came back AU Details Whizzed. Unbeknown to me, it is a circulated coin and if the whizzing did not distract from their AU finding, a number grade should have been given.

The 1865 2 cent came back AU Details Improper Cleaning. I asked myself why did I go through the expense of conservation services when it comes back as improper cleaning and no AU grade number.

My 1891-CC Morgan dollar came back AU Details Improper Cleaning. This coin also had conservation services done before it was graded and still no AU grade number.

The 1882 gold $3 coin came back as not genuine, a nice way of saying it was counterfeit. No explanation on how they determined it was counterfeit. Even a phone call to customer service resulted in hearing, “for security reasons, we can’t tell you.” I’m a coin collector, not a counterfeiter.

Counting the prices paid for these individual coins plus insurance, shipping and the additional cost of conservation and grading service with explanations unacceptable behooves me to wonder why I even bother with a third party grading service. I knew from the magazines and the book that the coins would be at least AU or better. All I wanted was a confirmed AU grading number.

Sincerely disappointed in that grading service.

Richard Stevenson
Reagan, Tenn.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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