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This Week's Letters (10/28/09)

A selection of letters from readers of Numismatic News to Editor, Dave Harper.
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Vending machines great source of dollar coins


I am writing you for the first time because I read about all these collectors that can’t get the dollar coins from their banks. Well, I’ll tell you how I accidentally found out where anybody can get them for face value: in vending machines.
Find a machine that takes $1, $5 and also $10 bills, buy a soda or candy bar for $1 after you put in a $10 bill and you will get $9 change back in dollar Presidential coins. I have cleaned out some machines in my area.

David Lester
Oak Hill, W. Va.

Coins nearly flawless in purchase of new sets

Received my clad, silver and uncirculated sets two weeks after I ordered them online. Paid one charge of $4.95 for all of them. I was very impressed by the quality of the uncirculated sets. There was one noticable bag mark on the reverse of one of the dollar coins only, the rest of the remaining coins were flawless. Quite a turnaround from earlier dated sets.
It is nearly impossible to distinguish the difference between the silver and clad proofs of the same denomination coin once outside their holders unless you weigh them. I would like to see special dies made with a slightly higher relief and an incused date and/or mintmark to strike the silver version. That would stand out.

Horst Seeley
Scarborough, Maine

Bullion coins will keep coin collecting attractive

I agree with Mr. Day on his point of paper money collecting in the Sept. 22 edition of Viewpoint. It has a future, since the coming generations use electronic purchases for their items and disdain the use of coinage.
But, a point should be taken that coins with gold and silver content will still be in demand. This is what I view when I frequent the coin shops.
Why? Because the nation’s debt and the fear of inflation are the driving motives for purchase of coins with precious metal content. Silver (bullion) 1-ounce rounds move quickly and I purchase them with the knowledge that it is a hedge for the future against inflation and the debasement of the greenback.
Sure, the senior coin collectors will fade away just like the stamp collectors, but coin collecting still has its allure and, if you take in the aspect of supply and demand, it still has potential.

Robert Vysther
Miamisburg, Ohio

Paper money just stuff used to buy coins

To all the collectors who believe that paper money will become a more popular collectible than coins in the future, I would suggest they subscribe to Bank Note Reporter and leave the Viewpoint and letters sections of Numismatic News for coin-related stories.
To me paper money is that stuff I use to purchase coins at shows.
In the Sept. 22 issue, collector Tim Day makes a comparison to automobile collecting. It is hard for me to believe that 25 or 50 years in the future, people would be paying more attention to some four-cylinder Japanese sub-compact of the mid-1980s than to a ’68 Chevy Camero Super Sport or ’69 Dodge Charger-Daytona.
I believe there is more to this than simply what was more familiar to people in their childhood years.

Glenn Dagostino
Las Vegas, Nev

Collectors want silver, gold proof Eagles

What a great decision by some bonehead at the U.S. Mint. No silver or gold proof American Eagles after producing them for 23 years. They are just going to skip a year.
Good luck bringing anybody back to that issue. Collectors want every year, not this skip a year joke. The funny thing is why wouldn’t you want to make the profit it generates? That is clearly the stupidest decision of the year award.
I don’t want a 5-ounce silver copy of a quarter or a First Spouse gold coin. I want to continue my collection of silver and gold proof Eagles. Stop making all the crap you keep trying to shove down our throats and give us the proof bullion coins we have collected and that the law has authorized

R. Patterson
Lomita, Calif.

Write to politicians about Eagle coins

This is a letter I sent to the President, Vice President, my Senators and Congressman about this subject. It may be in the best interest of all of collectors to do the same to have this reversed.
Honorable Senator:
I am very angry about the U.S. Mint’s decision to suspend the proof American silver Eagle and the uncirculated version. I have been collecting coins and bullion from most of the world mints and never have I been blindsided by any of the world mints like I have by the U.S. Mint. As a collector, I will probably not buy from our mint in the future.
The U.S. Mint, in my opinion, does not care about their customers. Over the past two years, I, along with many of the longtime customers of this Mint, have had nothing but problems with shipping and the condition of the product itself. I know that the law requires them to fulfill the needs for the one ounce Eagle bullion coin, but why is the above not included in this law. The proof and uncirculated version are also bullion coins and should be included in the law.
I have never had problems buying from Australia, Canada, China and Mexico. Most of these Mints have a Web site to file complaints, unlike our Mint that the only way you can file a complaint is by letter or by phone and we never get a reasonable answer, other that we are sorry and we are trying our best or it’s the vendor’s fault.
In conclusion, it would be in the Mint’s best interest to keep customers by not breaking up our set of dated silver proof and uncirculated Eagles with the “W” mintmark. I hope you and the rest of our great government can do something to keep this program alive for this year and in the future.

Paul Zukowski
Baltimore, Md.

Dealers won’t give fair price for UHR coin

Dealers wonder why they are getting bad raps all the time. Here is one more reason.
I own a UHR, and for reasons not necessary to explain, I now want to sell it. I called two dealers today to see if they were buying. One is a Life member of ANA, CSNS and ILNA and a member of INA and NOW. Gold was at $1,048 and the Mint raised its price to $1,389 back when it closed in on $1,000.
One dealer didn’t really want to buy, but offered $1,250 (wanting the box and book, even). Not much of an offer, is it, considering I read ads in your paper a month ago of two dealers selling UHRs for $1,550 and $1,750, long before the “K” barrier. By the way, the other dealer said, “I’m not buying.” I have spent over $1,500 in one day alone with one of these dealers,and have bought from both several times, although not frequently, as it is over an hour drive away.
Now I know part of the problem is the Mint, changing their policies again after customers buy from them, and the seven days has expired, and with the dealers going crazy, buying up to the limit. Now the dealers are sitting on them. One even said, “nobody is buying”. Not what all the reports in your paper claim. Not what the sales figures from the mint, according to your paper, are claiming.
The biggest problem though is the dealers, only wanting to sell to the customer, and not buying at a reasonable rate. Why would customers go back if they don’t ever get any satisfaction. I would have sold my MS-69 or 70, the maticulas box, and unopened book, for less than what, the mint sells, the package for. 90% of the forcasters say gold is going higher, it is not much of a gamble for the dealer, but all those organizations, don’t mean squat to a person being treated like dirt from the dealer. By the way, I do not charge S&H, and deliver in person, so as the product can be inspected, prior to buying. I’m not buying from them anymore,

George Walter
Galesburg, Ill.

On Thursday, October 15th, 2009, at noon, the U.S. mint made the special Lincoln set available to the public. Since I am retired, I attempted to get on the Web Site at about 11:30 AM. After 4 attempts, approximately 5 minutes, I was able to get on the home page of the U.S. Mint.The 1st 4 attempts gave me an ‘error’ message. e.g. try again later. After finally getting on the site, I took my time and ordered 4 different annual sets and placed them in my ‘shopping cart.” I was able to move around anywhere on the site at that time with no problems. With 10 minutes still left before noon, I manuevered as closely as possible to the window for ordering the Lincoln set, and waited unil I was certain it just past noon. This is where my problems began. When I hit the’enter’ button, I got the typical “waiting for.....etc” and just “sat” there with that message, waiting to go to the site. An I waited, and waited, for exactly 3 hours. For, at 3
P.M.exactly , 3 hours after attempting to enter the site, I was successful and able to order the limit of one set, place it in ny “shopping cart” and completed my transaction. In all fairness to the Mint, they did not disconnect me after 1 hour; also the next day they placed a special overwrite on their homepage to apologize for the inconvenience of their servers “locking up.” One would expect that the Mint, from previous experience, would have set up extra servers to handle the extected heavy load. Until that Lincoln Mint set is in my hands, I will not claim success.

Ed Russell
Hanover, Pa.

I have received six new pennies in change so far. The last two I discovered while on vacation on the Outer Banks at Okracoke, NC. We were in a souvenir shop. While at the counter, I saw some shiny pennies in the extra penny tray. When I turned them over, I saw that one was the latest professional penny. I asked the young man at the counter if he had seen the new pennies. He said no. I explained that it had been 100 years since the Lincoln penny was made and 200 years since Abraham Lincoln’s birth. I showed him what I found in the penny tray. He checked the cash register and found another one. He gave me both of them. By the way, my wife did make a purchase – sun visor hat from Okracoke – got to keep the economy going.
On a trip to the bank the week before our vacation, I purchased $3.00 in pennies. I gave the teller a five and expected to get two ones back. She knew I collected coins and asked if I would like a roll of nickels instead. When I got home, I checked the roll and found a silver nickel. I also found a silver quarter the other week in a roll of quarters.

Gary Diehl
Address withheld

I am writing this in response to Bruce Walker’s Viewpoint article in the 10/20 issue of NN. I agree with Mr. Walker that it would be fantastic to see two new towers built on the same sight as the former World Trade Centers, only higher so as to add the names of the victims who lost their lives on that terrible day. However, I must strongly disagree that we should just “get over it”. As a country, I think that we have certainly recovered from this awful deed, but we should never forget what a group of unethical radicals did to us as an American people, and to those who lost their lives that day in the towers, the Pentagon and the planes.
Is there anyone who is reading this who does not recall exactly where he/she was at when they heard the news? I liken this to the day JFK was killed. Most folks still remember what they were doing and where they were at when the news broke of his assassination.
Yes, we should have a commemorative of this event. Maybe one that focuses on the victims & our loss as a country, but also on how we came together immediately afterwards in unity throughout this great land. Lets not forget the many volunteers who came to NY to help out; who donated time, money and goods to help others, who gave much of themselves to quickly begin the healing.

Brent Zimmerman
Cloquet, Minn.