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Silver to Gold Ratio

Silver to Gold Ratio

Everyone must know we’re in tumultuous times with a looming election, COVID-19 uptick in infections, etc. Lots of people are inquiring about bullion. The 1-ounce gold eagle has a denomination of $50, the half-ounce of $25 and the 1/10-ounce of $5. So, why is the quarter-ounce at a denomination of $10? Shouldn’t it be $12.50 or 1/5-ounce instead? Does that make more sense?

The 1-ounce silver eagle has a $1 denomination. Does that imply a 50 to 1 ratio, silver to gold, if we go to a standard to back up paper currency or some type of redeemable certificate? Just wondering!

Horst Seeley
Manchester, N.H.

Valuable or a Fluke?

Going through my change from my daughter, I found a 2020 Virgin Islands quarter that had a “W” mintmark. Is this a new mintmark or a fluke? I’ve also had, for quite a while, a 1981 Lincoln cent. It has the rear building embedded across the date below. Are either of these rare and/or valuable or are they just coins?

Bill Zack
Erie, Pa.

Need More Diversity in Numismatics

I just finished reading an article about how we are trying to get young people involved in numismatics. Did you know that I could not find one article written by a woman including the “Letters to the Editor” section?

Perhaps we should try to get women involved in numismatics also.

Name withheld
Parkland, Fla.

Eisenhower Dollar Surprise

The other day I received clad Eisenhower dollars back in change. What a surprise! They were dated 1972-P; 1976 Bicentennial with the dual date 1776-1976 (The reverse depicts the Liberty Bell over the moon); and the last coin was the first year, 1978.

Yes, I did save the earliest coin (the 1972) as a souvenir. About 1980, I obtained some Eisenhower dollars while traveling through the state of Nevada. Silver dollars were widely used mainly in the western states and Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada.

Today it is quite unusual to encounter one in commerce, and most of them now reside in collections. The Susan B. Anthony dollar replaced the Eisenhower dollar in 1979, but that is another story!

Mark E. Switzer
Address withheld

Beware Buyers’ Premiums at International Auction Houses

With many of us staying home because of COVID-19, and no easy place to purchase coins, buying from overseas auctions therefore has its appeal. That being said, potential bidders should thoroughly read the respective companies’ terms of sale.

I recently purchased two coins in different auctions from The Netherlands. One charged me 25 euros (about 30 USD) for postage and a buyer’s premium of 23 percent (the majority of the world charges only 20 percent). The second charged me 45 euros (about 53.10 USD) for postage and 23 percent for the buyer’s premium, plus 2 euros for each lot. When I asked about this, I was told this is customary for auctions. That is strange as I have only run across it once previously, and was told that this is customary in stamp auctions.

Needless to say, this is the last time I will purchase coins from either of these two auction houses. Buyers should beware, as it would seem that every coin auctioneer in the world has different buyer’s charges.

Jeffrey S. Zarit
Address Withheld

Flying Eagle Cent First Numismatic Conquest

I greatly enjoyed the article by R.W. Julian in the Sept. 15 issue about the development and implementation of the Flying Eagle cent. That cent has always held a fascination with me. As a kid starting out in coin collecting, there were no coin dealers within 40 miles of my small hometown. How was a rural 12-year-old kid to find a Flying Eagle cent in 1962? I tried, they just weren’t around. An occasional Indian Head cent turned up but not a Flying Eagle. Additionally, I did not even know but one adult who collected coins (dimes only).

I recall gazing at the images of the Flying Eagle in the old “Red Book” of the day. There was just something intriguing about the simplicity of the coin that struck a chord with me. I finally found one elderly and retired mail carrier in town who had a small stockpile of odd coins he had accumulated while selling stamps out on his route. He had a Flying Eagle cent! It was in XF condition but miserably damaged. Someone had struck it with a hammer on one edge, completely disfiguring the coin. The owner would not sell it but I got to hold it and admire it in my hand.

Like many of us, I left coin collecting for three decades, only to come back into it as an adult. The first thing I had to have was a Flying Eagle cent. I had an insatiable appetite for the coin and commenced to own dozens of them in varying degrees of preservation. I think it is still my favorite coin though I no longer feel the urge to “corner the market” in them like I once did.

David Smith
Address Withheld

Coin Inquiry

I have an uncirculated 1943-D silver penny. I was just wondering if it had any value?

Name and address withheld