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This week’s letters (04/24/12)

I just finished reading “Not Everyone Can Have A Rarity” in the March 27th issue of Numismatic News in the “Viewpoint” section authored by Michael Shutty Jr. Shutty says it all so poignantly and eloquently that I feel the issue with the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set is now done!
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Shutty said it best: Life is not fair
I just finished reading “Not Everyone Can Have A Rarity” in the March 27th issue of Numismatic News in the “Viewpoint” section authored by Michael Shutty Jr.
Shutty says it all so poignantly and eloquently that I feel the issue with the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set is now done! I have been wanting to write a letter to the editor for months now with a response to everyone’s complaints about the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set, but could never find the words. Now I can just point to Shutty’s “Viewpoint” and say, ditto!
If you are one of those folks who feel jaded or cheated after not receiving a set, please track down his article and read it. If after that time you still feel angry then repeat after me, “Life is not fair!”
Mr. Shutty, your article is now pasted on my wall in front of me so I can re-read your delightful comments every day! Thank you.
Joe Ceravone
Address withheld

2012 cent found in Maryland
Wow! I received my first 2012 coin in change. It was a one cent found on March 20 in a take-one, give-one coin holder at a convenience store in Hagerstown, Md. I asked the cashier and she had no other “new” pennies in her register. It was at least AU, no scratches or wear easily seen. It’s a start!
Tom Mooningham
Maugansville, Md.

Offer more hobby education on CDs
I would hope that Krause Publications, the ANA, FUN and other high profile companies would do live video conferences as well as publish more quality CDs.
To me, our hobby is supposed to be sharing our love and knowledge of coins. This technology is the perfect way to reach the most people. I would love to see the vision of foreign mints, such as is advertised in your email, but attending would be very cost prohibitive. I would love to follow some of the ANA summer seminar events. What an honor and pleasure to be able to participate, even if it is limited.
I would also like to see video/book training programs such as the one that the ANA does on coin grading. Every coin club member should have access to this at a more reasonable price. I would also like to see more CDs aimed at Young Numismatists, for they are the future of our hobby.
I would also like to see a detailed step- by step CD as to how a coin club can help the Boy Scouts get their merit badge. I hear one might be available in September but I don’t know if will clarify this confusing process. It should contain contact names, ideas, handouts, and PowerPoints to help make coin collecting interesting for children.
Some of this technology has been around for a while but no one has taken full advantage of it. Although Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are nice, there is so much more.
I like the state coin program as combined with iPad. I am hoping that it will be adapted to PC and Mac. Then I can actually use it to teach others.
I am just passing my thoughts onto you since you and the others mentioned above have the power and influence to affect the future of the coin collecting hobby. I hope to see more things accessible to the regular coin collector and clubs and not just high profile companies and profiting dealers.
Bonnie Rague, President
South Brevard Coin Club
Melbourne, Fla.

Maryland collector spends ATB “P” coins in Vegas
I just got back from my spring trip to Las Vegas, Nev. I did my part this year to spread America the Beautiful quarters around. I took $30 of the “P” mintmark quarters with me and spent them at local businesses.
So all ATB collectors out in the Vegas area be on the lookout for the “P” mint mark quarters I spent. All the “D” mintmark coins I brought back were spent here, so I feel I did my part to spread the mintmarks.
Name withheld
Jackson, Mich.

Some coins more valuable than gold to a collector
In 2006 the proof gold Buffalo was about $800 from the U.S. Mint and today the U.S. Mint will sell a 2012 proof for $1,960.
In Jan. 2006 gold was $518 an ounce and March 23 it closed at $1,663. If you can afford to buy it; no it is not too expensive.
In the 1950s I could not afford to collect quarters so I collected pennies. And I was so poor, I only collected pennies I received in change. I never thought of buying money for more than it was worth.
Actually, I still have my first penny which just so happened to be a 1909 VDB. I also have my first 2006 gold Buffalo. Obviously I would sell my Buffalo before my 1909 VDB. Why? Because as much as I like to collect gold, because of its value, it is more of an investment than a collection.
If I should win the Mega Lottery and have $100 million to play with I will collect gold coins and hang them on my wall for all to enjoy.
But something tells me that my 1909 VDB that I received in change as a kid will always be worth more to me.
Dominic Cicio
Old Bridge, N.J.

$4 not representative of Reagan’s presidency
After reading the David Ganz article in the March 27 issue of NN, “Honor Reagan with $4 gold piece,” it strikes me as way too modest. Why not a trillion dollar gold piece with a minus sign?
After all, his administration took us from a $700 billion debt at the start to well over a trillion by the end of his administration.
L. Schmidt
Ashland County, Wis.

Wisconsin quarter variety turns up at laundromat
I’ve always enjoyed reading NN columns on coin finds. I guess I’ve been searching through change, rolls and boxes of coins for 45 years. That is since I was 9 years old. My grandfather first got me interested when I was that age. Seeing his three Flying Eagle cents, several silver and nickel 3-cent pieces and old Morgans immediately addicted me to the hobby.
Anyway, I broke my personal record for rarity found in circulation on March 5. I was at the neighborhood laundromat and found myself one quarter short for my last load of laundry. I’m not exaggerating. I was one quarter short.
I pulled out a fairly nice $1 bill and slid it into the bill changer. I heard the familiar “blam, blam, blam, blam” as the quarters hit the receiver tray. I grabbed them and, as a reflex, looked at the quarters.
Two of them had that mottled rainbow-type tone you see on the state quarters. An MS-64 look. I immediately turned them over to check out the states involved. One was South Carolina and the other a 2004-D Wisconsin. Unbelievably, the Wisconsin quarter was an example of the “lower leaf” variety. I laughed for the rest of the afternoon.
I’ve been checking the Wisconsins in change for years looking for one of those. I never seriously thought I would find one, but I did. It lists at around $275 in MS-65. I don’t sell my coin finds, though. With my addiction comes an inability to let them go. Ya’ll know what I mean.
Steve Conner
Austin, Texas

Mint created arbitrary rarity by limiting mintage
This letter is in response to the viewpoint letter by Michael S. Shutty Jr. Collectors have not forgotten what rarity is all about. The Mint has. The true rarities coveted by most collectors were not created for collectors to profit from, they were created by the circumstances of the time.
The 1909-S VDB was not an artificial rarity arbitrarily created by the Mint. The Eagle Anniversary set is. Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges.
The Mint should mint coins based on demand. Circulating coins, commemoratives, sets, should all be minted to demand. There should be ordering deadlines instead of predetermined mintages. This will eliminate all the problems associated with ordering popular Mint items. Let the mintages be the natural result of popularity and demand.
Robert Haynes
Address withheld

Fed is keeping new coins out of circulation
I’m not so sure that hoards are keeping the new coins out of circulation. I am pretty sure that the majority of the fault is with the Fed.
A friend just vacationed in St. Croix and brought back a roll of 2012 cents. He picked them up at the gift shop in the hotel where he stayed.
The Fed is probably releasing them out of the country.
Morgan Spilsbury
Bolton, Mass.

Cuts in gold mine production impacts prices
In your March 13 issue, Julian Reitzel asked the question if gold is such a good investment, why are gold mining stocks dropping? Simple answer. The mines are played out. This reduces new inventory and therefore lowers mine profits. It also increases gold prices as there is less new gold introduced to the market. This helps drive the price of gold up. Mine stock down, gold up. Simple supply and demand
Rita Cherner
Tempe, Ariz.

2011 coin finally shows up at Texas store
I was in Walmart yesterday and I got a double whammy. To my shock I got my first 2011 coin in change. It is a nickel from the “D” mint, just out of the roll. I’m impressed. It is proof-like and I counted six steps, including the bottom or platform step. It has several nicks on the obverse, but it is a very good looking coin. Wonder why it took so long to find one?
To my further surprise, I also received my first 2012 Lincoln. It also is a “D” mint and a very nice looking coin.
Still looking for other 2012 coins, and, if by some further dumb luck, another 2011.
Buck Major
Belton, Texas

2012 dimes circulate in Ft. Lauderdale
Two 2012 “P” dimes were received in change in Ft. Lauderdale March 30. Looks like the 2012 coins are circulating!
Bill Mills
Address withheld

NN has great information, fast delivery
I wanted to write to say that I enjoy the articles in Numismatic News. They are well-written and informative.
After reading the April 3 edition, I know now to focus my attention on the older coinage because for the most part modern coins (with the exception of certain coins or sets) are basically a losing proposition.
Keep up the great information and fast delivery.
Name withheld
Trenton, Mo.

Paper dollars easier to use than coins
A key issue in the dollar coin versus dollar bills debate is the 1.4 billion dollar coins held in storage.
But if the dollar bill were eliminated and those coins were issued that would give each person in the United States just four dollar coins to do business with. Imagine trying to keep the economy going with that?
The Mint could hardly produce enough dollar coins to keep up with the dollar bills worn out and withdrawn, even if people would use the dollar coins.
I find dollar bills much lighter in the pocket and easier to use, see and count than coins would be. I have for years used Canadian loons, British pound and euro coins frequently in those places. Paper for small values is better.
R. W. Barker
Midland, Mich.

2012 quarter shows up in Illinois
I received a 2012 El Yunque Puerto Rico quarter in change at a restaurant.
The 2012s are out there, and I am looking.
Tim Coltrin
Glendale Heights, Ill.

When will new hundred bill be available?
I would like to know when the new $100 bill is coming out.
Paul Stangelo
Orrville, Ohio

1882 Indian Head cent in roll an impressive find
I was roll searching on March 2 and I had a terrific find.
It was an 1882 Indian Head cent in VF-XF.
Boy, I only had one of these but this one was in better condition than the other.
Bob Atwater
Conway, S.C.

Where are the 2012 Mint proof sets?
Can anyone tell me what is the U.S. Mint doing now? Where are the 2012 proof sets? Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the proof sets still haven’t been issued?
I was just thinking about this about a week ago and then March 13 the Mint releases this new “birth set” and it has all the new 2012 proof coins in it. Yes, it’s a nice set and a good concept but the collectors are waiting for their proof sets.
What are they doing over their in San Francisco? After all, isn’t that their main concern – making the proof coins? Or perhaps they’re too busy making silver Eagle bullion coins.
Now I’m sure they can’t afford not to have enough bullion coins for the big T.V. dealers. The Mint has release dates for items going into May on their website and to-be-determined items listed, but nothing about proof or uncirculated sets.
I thought this year was supposed to be different and the Mint was supposed to start catering to the collector again. Of course there’s a release date for proof silver Eagles already, and all these individual proof coin sets have been issued. Why hold out on issuing the regular yearly sets we are all waiting on?
Collectors want their coins; you sure can’t find them in circulation. As a collector I try to support the Mint as much as my budget will let me, and I try to refrain from bad mouthing the Mint, but some of their decisions and actions lately make me wonder if they really care about the collector or the regular joe customers at all anymore.
As far as this hokey “birth set,” that’s real nice and all but let’s get the coin sets out that the collectors are waiting for already.
David Tortorice
Buffalo, N.Y.

ATB quarters, Shield cents show up in change
On St. Patrick’s Day I received my very first America the Beautiful quarter (Gettysburg) at the bank where I do business.
On 21 March, while at a grocery store, I got another ATB quarter (Olympic 2011-P) in change along with three 2012 Shield cents. The cents are the first 2012 coins I’ve seen and received in circulation. The ATB quarters, even though they’re 2011 issues, are the first two of that set that I’ve gotten out of circulation.
Bill Tuttle,
Cleveland, Ohio