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This Week's Letters (11/9/07)

A selection of letters from E- newsletter readers to Editor, Dave Harper.
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From the November 9th Numismatic E-Newsletter:

Q. The Mint has abandoned plans to make additional Sacagawea dollar coins for circulation in 2007, making only enough for collector offerings. Was that a good decision?

Yes, that is the wise thing to do. Better to concentrate on getting the Presidential dollars off to a good start and get those new Sac reversed designs queued up for 2009 and beyond. Incidentally, if the government is unwilling to pull the dollar bill, I would be fine with making all these dollars noncirculating legal tender type issues.

Malcolm Johnson
Vista, Calif.

Yes, it does not surprise me that the Mint has decided to release 2007 Sac dollars only to collectors (much like the Kennedy half-dollar some years back). Nobody is spending them so far as I can tell. Let?s encourage the Mint not to produce any more coins that will not be used. Thank you.

Charles K. Miller
Havertown, Pa.

I agree that the U.S. Mint should only make enough Sacagawea dollars for collectors. It seems that the trend is the same for presidential dollars as well. In my opinion, the only way to get dollar coins of any kind into circulation is to eliminate the paper dollar.

Robert H. Ball, Jr.
Detroit, Mich.

Yes, I do believe that making the Sacagawea Dollars solely for the collector is the way to go from here forward. Until the Federal Reserve and the Congress figure out that it is just not economical to continue printing one dollar bills, the dollar coinage minted each year will just continue to go into storage. I believe that I read that there were somewhere around 200 million 2000 and 2001 Sacagawea coins still in inventory.
A typical coin will survive approximately 50 years, while a paper dollar will need replacing after six months.
It would be nice to see someone in the Congress come along that has just a little common sense and figure out the cost savings. But this won?t happen any time soon.

Kurt J. Van Tassel
Pittsboro, N.C.

I believe that the U.S. Mint or Congress or whoever is making these decisions, all seem like they are being done on the fly. The first step is just to stop the Sac and the dollar bill if they are really serious about circulating any of the presidentials. Step two get the edge lettering off, only for the fact that this entire series will be plagued with errors if it does not stop the edge lettering. Step three, similar issue, do the same for the Kennedy half get it out there back in the peoples hands or stop the series, the U.S. Mint has turned it into a commemorative. We?ve already done Kennedy commems we don?t need the same one coming out every year.

Matt Zukowski
Philadelphia, Pa.

With four Presidential dollars to be issued in 2007, I thought it was ludicrous to mandate that one-third of all dollars struck this year be Sacagawea dollars. Reducing production of the unpopular coins is a very good decision.

John Post
Arlington, Texas

I thought the Congress mandated that the U.S. Mint had to make as many Sacs as Presidential dollars. I always buy two rolls when they come out and use them for small purchases and tips along with Kennedy halves. I have to explain at least twice a week that it is ?good? money.

Terry Hess
Nashville, Tenn.

A small segment of collectors are the only ones interested in the Sacagawea dollar. Confused as a quarter, the general public has shied away from using it. The disgruntled sigh of postal customers that get them in change from the self service machine remember the 75-cent loss on the dollar when accidently placing them in vending machines at work. I think the coin should have been discontinued all together, but making them available for collectors and not for general circulation is a step in the right direction.

Jay Russel
Tampa, Florida

I think that we are bursting at the seams in small dollar coins at the Federal Reserve and mint. Perhaps the loss of a few hundred million 2007 Sacagawea coins will not make a difference to the average American. For Native Americans, I think they might be a little disappointed, but would understand with the Presidential Dollar production running full speed ahead. The mint should have been able to forecast this problem at the beginning of the year, however. After all, they are the coin production experts in this country. Or at least I thought they were....
 I have a full set of Sacagawea Dollars and like them a lot as a relatively inexpensive coin to collect. I am also collecting the Presidential series. For myself, cutting Sacagawea production is just fine. My coins will be worth more in the future. I do hope they strike Sacagawea?s for the mint sets and proof sets in 2008. Otherwise, what will we all do with the 2008 holes in the Whitman Classic Albums and coin folders?

Larry A. Beers
Odessa, FL 33556

Yes it was a very good decision. And not only for collectors, but for the US
taxpayers as well. I believe that the mint realizes that President?s dollar
program is doomed to be yet another dismal failure like the Sacagawea
program and the SBA dollar program. After all, the mint still has over 100
million of the Sacagawea coins struck in 2000 & 2001 still left sitting that
nobody wants. Why mint hundreds of millions more to only join them in the
vaults. Of course they may need additional vaults anyway just to hold the
Presidential dollars that nobody wants.

Until Congress faces the harsh reality that dollar coins will not circulate
successfully in this country along with the $1 bill, and they remove the $1
bill from circulation and stop making them - $1 coins are doomed to sit in
the vaults.

Doug Prather
Salt Lake City, Utah

Absolutely. Unfortunately, everyone else, including
NN knew that the mandatory minting of Sacs was crazy
before the bill was introduced!
This bill was probalbly drawn up by the same old
kronies that made the SBA look like a quarter.

Todd Hurst

It is a good idea to mint enough for the collector but not the public as a whole, to circulate!... It does not remain in circulation and the coins that do are eventually turned to an ugly black from the handling.. It is a much more attractive coin in its mint state..
This late news was a surprise since an article had recently appeared, telling of the approaching year with the Sacagawea Dollar bearing images of prominent and various Indian tribes and famous
Indian personages of past historical events on the reverse... I was looking forward to welcoming those.. Hopefully this will still be planned for 2008, or the future, only on a collector base..? If so , It?s my opinion this will create a great deal of excitement in the collector community, and possibly the general public to save a few..too?
 With the creation of the Presidential series and their spouses..much attention has been diverted from Sacagawea. Also, attention to our Nation?s Protectorates has noticeably been sidelined or canceled for prominent inclusion into our coinage system... and because of unfortunate times, our Museums have taken a back seat, but we?ll look forward to their researgence in the future.
Hopefully,,, the year 2009 will register a resounding celebration for ?Honest Abe? and the anniversary of his 200th Birthday. This should without hesitation, raise the National Spirit and Pride in our Country once again... But those cents will undoubtedly not stay in circulation but will be hoarded.
Thanks for the opinion poll. It?s a welcome and exciting addition to your great paper ; plus it keeps us on our toes and gives us another numismatic feature to look forward to.

Kenyon Miers,
Esperance, NY

With three, plus one coming, in the presidential series, I can?t see producing more dollars for circulation in 2007.I have yet t o see anything but a 2000 Sacagewea since 2000, so its pretty obvious the subsequent dates---2001 through 2006 are not in any great demand outside of the collectors and hobbyists

Ludy E. Langer

Hello David, I have been a collector since the 1980?s. I think the Mint should make the Sacagawea dollar in the same composition as the Susan B. for circulation and see how it do. At the same time I think keeping the Sacagawea dollar in the gold color for only collectors in the P-D & S Proof. But I also think the Sac. should be in either 40% or even 20% silver for collectors. Maybe if the gold ones was only for collectors, the color would not fade away or get that ugly color to them when handled too much by unprotected hands. But to be completely honest with you. I think we need a whole new different type of a dollar coin with a all new design both obverse & reverse. I kind of think the way most collectors think. We should get back to basic when it comes to coins. The American Eagle is our symbol and I think it should be on all coins both collectors and circulating. After all circulating coins started this hobby way back almost a hundred years ago. It use to be a lot of fun looking through all the different types of circulating coins for the special ones. Now days we have the US Mint to give us coins that are specially made for collectors only. That seems to take all the fun out of collecting. The other side is that we have to use the services of a coin dealer to help find all those special coins as well. Everything these days are just too commercial and too costly. Thanks Dav for letting me speak out.

Berry Rosebrough
Torrance, CA.

The Sacagawea Dollar coins being made for collectors only is not a good decision. But then again the whole dollar coin program is a big joke. As it stands now the whole program is pretty much for collectors. The coins are nice looking coins, but they do not circulate as their intention was in the first place. I have yet to receive one of the new Presidential Dollar coins in change. They are not circulating. If you want them you have to ask for them at a bank. If people don?t go to the bank and get them you have to pay an inflated price from the mint to get the same coin you can get from the bank at face value. What is going to happen when the banks get a stock pile of these dollar coins and they quit ordering the new ones as they come out? Then you will be forced to buy them from the mint at inflated prices if you want to collect them. The mint?s prices are getting way to high the way it is. When are they going to realize that the only way dollar coins are going to work is to get rid of the paper dollar bill, otherwise they should just forget the whole dollar coin program altogether.

Randy Showman
Fremont, NE

I think most advanced collectors realized right off that making one Sac for every three Presidential dollars was going to provide us about 400 million of the things for 2007 - a scary number (using the Mint?s proposed 300 million mintage of each presidential design)! Most believe that the continued Sac production, though unnecessary, was included in the legislation to assure no opposition from the female side of the isle, by continuing the tradition of a woman on the dollar coin. All this being said, I was looking forward to circulating 2007 Sac coins, just not hundreds of millions of them. The US Mint has become the worlds largest coin dealer. It?s a shame that they don?t have the knowledge or expertise to go along with the title!

Chip Cutcliff
Powder Springs, GA

The U.S. Mint made a sound decision not to strike Sacagawea dollars for
circulation this year. I am a bit disappointed from a consumer standpoint,
but I can wait another year or two for its return.
On a related subject, it?s too bad Thomas Rogers? reverse is going away in
2009. I find it one of the most appealing of any currently circulating U.S.
Just my 2-cents...

Len Bailey
Littleton, N.H.