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This week’s letters (06/05/12)

A collection of letters from readers of Numismatic News to editor, Dave Harper.
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eBay changes are finally a step in the right direction
Regarding the changes on eBay, I say it’s a breath of fresh air. The only people who will be complaining about this are the people who sell raw coins and the customers who like to bid on them.
It amazes me how many people will bid on a raw 1916-D dime when it is one of the most-altered coins around. And trying to self-grade a coin from a fuzzy picture is near impossible.
Before the Internet, no one in their right mind would buy a raw coin, sight unseen, from a total stranger based on the seller’s grading, but now so many people think it’s just fine. The only way to buy a coin online is to buy it certified, or buy a coin so inexpensive that you won’t lose too much.
Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

No more pennies means no more cost to make them
With regards to Mr. Ganz’s column on “Cents and Nickels” (5/15/12), how would the non-face value cost of $1.41 per cent be present if cents were no longer produced? How much cost per corn muffin would you expend if you no longer baked corn muffins?
Eliminating the production of 1-cent coins would eliminate any costs associated with making them.
Pardon me for saying so, but as the U.S.’s debt now equals our current GDP, “we” really don’t have any money to waste without a sufficient return on investment.
Rick Notkin
Canton, Mass.

Collector says ‘Amen’ to using Kamin’s Rule of 10
I take the Numismatic News with two friends, and I just got the April 10 issue. What an interesting editorial about your buying the sets (from the Mint). I am older than you, so I made the mistake longer. But I really could say “ditto.”
Keep up the good work and keep giving us the down-to-earth reporting. I will not be paying $200,000 on up for a coin.
Ray Kurtz
Address withheld

Speculators, not collectors, affect silver Eagle sales
If there will be less silver Eagle proofs sold this year compared to the past, I feel it will be due to fewer speculators rather than coin collectors. Keep in mind many collectors, including me, use the U.S. Mint subscription service, which accounts to the heavy start of all new issues. The speculators, in my opinion, do not feel the price of silver will rise to any great degree, thus lessening the profit potential. If silver starts to rise again and head into the $40s — watch the increase of proof Eagles return.
R. Marques
Hebron, Conn.

Reader bids farewell to collector Harold Koeffler
Well, just like that, after attending our Waukesha Club Coin Show on March 11, six weeks later Harold Koeffler is gone at age 100. We all knew him forever.
Tom Snyder
Waukesha, Wis.
Editor’s Note: Attached was an obituary indicating that Harold Koeffler had died April 25, 2012, and was well known as the owner of Koeffler Chevrolet from 1949-1986 in Mukwonago, Wis.
Send registered mail at your own risk, dealer warns
I recently sent four nondelivered registered mail parcels, which the U.S. Postal Service acknowledged were stolen.
These were orders sent to customers, who ordered from my dealer price list.
The Postal Service has refused to pay the insurance claims on these parcels, on the basis that the customers’ orders, my dealer invoices, and my price lists do not constitute adequate evidence of value.
Apparently, refusal to pay legitimate insurance claims on stolen parcels is the Postal Service’s latest plan for closing its budget deficit. Collectors and dealers sending coins by insured or registered mail should be duly warned.
Frank S. Robinson
Albany, N.Y.

Coin composition doesn’t matter to average person
You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if the general public doesn’t care what coins are made of as long as they have:
1. Resemblance of the original coin (size, shape);
2. Weight and feel also like the original;
3. A nice “sound” like the original (not tinny) when dropped;
4. And of course, usable for money!
You probably would get a different view from collectors, dealers and bankers, but I bet the mechanic, the waiter or waitress, farmer or day-to-day person (you know that Wal-Mart shopper) probably wouldn’t care.
John Davidson
Address withheld

Collector frustrated by delivery’s missing coins
I received my order of two proof Silver Eagles, one set of P&D rolls of Chaco Canyon and the Chaco Canyon three- coin set. When I first got the box, it was very light. I figured PBGS was sending my order in multiple packages, as they wastefully do often. To my surprise, when I opened the package, there was an empty tray, and no two-roll set. I then opened one of the Silver Eagle boxes. To my surprise, there was no coin or capsule in the box. I opened the other Silver eagle box, and it also was missing the coin and capsule. The only product I received is the three-coin set. I called The Mint and was told I would be sent a form to fill out to get my paid for coins. This is the first time this has happened. However, I have had to return one of my Star Spangled Banner coins for replacement this year. PBGS has no quality control. The Mint needs to consider hiring a new distributor. The lowest bid is not always the right choice. Cheaper is not better! I try to save a few bucks by ordering during the pre-order period, but when I have to send back a spoiled coin, I end up paying too much. Their packaging is getting flimsier all the time. Privatization doesn’t always work better than government. I ordered 85 coins and received only three.
Donald Cantrell
Address withheld

Popularity aside, presidential dollars were a worthy idea
What makes me first wonder, second disappointed, is why all of a sudden are so many people buying the Presidential dollars, because Chester Arthur was not that popular a president. Is it because the Mint threatened to stop releasing them into circulation? Well, if you would have purchased them from the start of the series like this, there would be no problem. Even if I never got one back in change, I still thought they were a good idea.
Michael P. Schmeyer
Halsey Valley, N.Y.

Collector ponders whether coin rolls merit another try
Remember the good old days, when you went down to the bank and obtained new rolls of minted coins? Have you every thought what those rolls would be worth today, if you father or mother had done the same thing the year of his or her birth?
My dad recently celebrated his birthday, so I thought I would do some number crunching. If my dad had set a side one roll for cent to half dollar for each mint the year he was born, it would be worth $1.8 million today if the coins were in MS 65 condition. Hmmm!!! Maybe I will start to again collect rolls.
Gary Lewis
Cape Coral, Fla.

What’s the scoop on the Newcomb-5 A5 large cents?
Some of us collectors don’t know about Newcomb-5 A5 Large cents. Can you tell me what makes it special? Where do I get this catalogue?
Michael Thompson
Sutton, Neb.
Editor’s note: Howard R. Newcomb wrote “United States Copper Cents 1816-1857.” The many varieties struck in those years are cataloged by Newcomb numbers that he assigned. The 1825 has 11 different Newcomb numbers, and this particular coin is special, because he said he had never seen one but reported it from an earlier work by Andrews from 1883.
This is only the second one reported to exist, with the first one reported at the Florida United Numismatists convention in January. This is another example of the necessity of buying the guide books and the good things that can flow from making the purchase.

Quick check of coin return results in two silver dimes
A couple of years ago, I read an article in NN about the Coinstar machines in stores. I have since glanced at the coin return slot every time I pass a machine. In two years’ time, I have yet to have found even a paper clip, until yesterday.
It was around 8 in the morning, while exiting a Wal-Mart store, that I saw a Coinstar machine and went close to check the slot. Eureka. There sat two silver dimes: a 1964 Roosevelt dime and a 1960 Canadian dime.
What made my day was not only the unique find, but also the fact that the Coinstar people are at least apparently allowing you the opportunity to keep your silver by rejecting silver in the counting.
John Karpinski
Address withheld

Why no silver $1 commem for Denver’s birthday?
After reading the article by Debbie Bradley on the San Francisco mint celebrating its 75th birthday, I’ve been wondering why the Mint hasn’t come out with a silver dollar commemorative for the Denver mint. In 2006, the Mint did the San Francisco mint’s “Granite Lady.” That should have been Denver mint’s birthday of 100 years.
I read your magazine cover to cover, along with other coin-related magazines. I especially like to hear other collectors’ comments and what they have found in change and searching through bank rolls. I also love to read the professionals’ trips to coin shows, etc. The only thing that bothers me is what they had for lunch or dinner. I’m not interested in their food habits. I’d rather hear about a nice coin they bought or sold.
I have a pretty good-sized coin collection, but my main interest in the last 10 years is silver art bars. I have more than 3,100 1-ounce silver ingots. I have been an active member of IASAC for 10 years based in Seattle, Wash.
I enjoy reading your magazine very much. Keep up the good work.
Bill Haffner
Jonesburg, Mo.

San Francisco proof set proves a disappointment
I don’t think much about the new two-coin American Eagle San Francisco proof set. This issue is not at all different from the 25th anniversary set coins, just a different box. I feel that this is another way to fatten the pockets of the U.S. Mint. If this was to be a special issue, they should have incorporated the dates that the San Francisco Mint was minting coins, not just the 2012 S mint mark. How many times will this Mint move the hidden ball around under the cups to trick us in order to dig deeper into collectors’ pockets to make money? There should have been a limit set on these coins, as well as any other special sets. Any of us collectors will continue to buy more of these coins if the Mint would clean out their ears and pay attention to what we want and need. The survey they sent out to subscribers to the Mint site did not give us an area where we could let them know how we feel about the Mint as a whole and what we felt they need to do to listen to what the collector wants. Most were yes and no questions, as I remember. I can’t wait until 2103, when the general coins come out, to see how many variations then can shuffle around to make money. Thanks for the great articles.
Paul Zukowski
Baltimore, Md.

2012 pennies, dimes finally turn up in spare change
If you’re still keeping track, I was at Wal-Mart in Appleton on Saturday, May 12, and received two 2012 pennies and two 2012 dimes in my change. That’s the first time I’ve received 2012s in this area.
Robbie Cain
Iola, Wis.

Change from coffee yields interesting circulation find
I have found only one 2012 dated coin in circulation so far this year, that being an example of the Puerto Rico quarter of the America the Beautiful series. However, when receiving change for my coffee this morning at the drive-up window of a local McDonald’s, I received a Gem BU example of 1965 nickel! This piece is literally as good as the day it left the mint with full luster, absolutely no wear, and no scratches or nicks of any type. Imagine ... this piece was minted 47 years ago and has obviously sat somewhere unnoticed until very recently, probably just a matter of days before coming into my possession. A highly valuable numismatic rarity? Not at all. A genuine interesting circulation find that gets your attention and makes you wonder exactly what story this piece might tell us? Definitely.
James Evans
Leominster, Mass.

New order requirements for UPS, Mint make no sense
I ordered the new Silver $1 and Gold $5 Proof Eagles, and UPS left a notice on my door.
I called to have them “Hold for Pickup” (as I always do; I’m never home during the day) and was told by UPS that the shipper did not leave instructions to be held for pickup. UPS said I would have to call the Mint to change delivery options.
I call the Mint, and they tell me that is the new order requirements, but that after three attempts I can tell them to “Hold for Pickup.
Since when can you NOT tell UPS to hold for pickup the next day, but that you can pick up after they try three attempts??
Has anyone else experienced this??
Is this BIZZARO World??
Bobby Bange
St. Simons Island, Ga.

Agree to disagree, but please do so respectfully
I could not believe my eyes when I read Kenneth Pineschi’s response (Let editors decide which letters to run in NN) to Mr. Meyers’ opinions as to guidelines for the editor’s choice of the content of letters published in Numismatic News.
First, I guess Mr. Meyers is unqualified to express an opinion on editorial policy because not only is he ignorant of Voltaire, Adam Smith, and Frederic Bastiat (whoever he was); but he had the nerve to misquote the great French philosopher. What does that have to do with anything?
Second, I don’t think that Mr. Meyers or anyone else needs a lecture on economics in order to express his views as to letters published in NN.
Third, since when does one have to be “schooled in the art of journalism” in order to make informed decisions as to which letters should be included in NN? Don’t readers’ opinions count for anything? I, for one, applaud Mr. Meyers’ heartfelt comments, and I thank him. It’s too bad that he had to be subjected to such an irrelevant, condescending and pedantic critique.
Mike Sage
Ellicott City, Md.

Gong, Ostromecki make Vallejo show a standout
On Sunday, May 6, 2012, the Vallejo (California) Numismatic Society held its 40th Annual Vallejo Coin Show.
Our 2012 show was a success, and on behalf of our president, Harry W. Davis, our society thanks for their time and effort Lee H. Gong, of Santa Rosa, Calif., a nationally known error coin specialist, and Dr. Walter A. Ostromecki Jr., current American Numismatic Association (ANA) vice president, both of whom contributed to our one-day show.
Lee, taking time from his business, staffed an “error coin table” and provided coin identification and information not just about errors but minting processes and numismatic knowledge. Walter, traveling from southern California, manned a “youth table” and facilitated a well-received and raved-about “Treasure Hunt.” Again, both added to the show’s activities and to the enjoyment and education for those attending.
Remember: Have fun with your hobby. Always serve others. Enjoy your collecting. And, create hope and do good!
Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.