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This week’s letters (06/19/12)

On Sunday, May 6, 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.
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Gong, Ostromecki make Vallejo show a standout
On Sunday, May 6, 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 about minting processes and numismatic knowledge.
Walter, traveling from southern California, manned a “youth table” and facilitated a well-received and raved-about “Treasure Hunt.” 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.

Alice Paul doesn’t belong on dollar coin
The article on suffragist Alice Paul in the May 22 issue of Numismatic News is very informative, highlighting the little known accomplishments of a significant person in American history. The legislation placing her on the coin, however, overstates the case by attributing excessive prominence to Miss Paul. I agree with Mr. Graff in this regard, too, that her image should not have been placed in the coin.
In the United States, women gained the right to vote in 1869 (not 1920), in Wyoming. They voted in territorial elections (federally sanctioned). When Wyoming became a state in 1890, congress sanctioned this right as part of the statehood act. From 1869 on, women could hold elective office (one did as governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, later director of the U.S. Mint), serve on juries, act as judges, and own property in their own right.
What should have been depicted on the coin are the people of Wyoming (men and women), who brought this about.
John Kreis
Washington, D.C.

2012 coins showing up in California change
I live in Monterey Park, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles.
Until yesterday, May 16, I had not seen a single 2012 coin.
Then yesterday, in my change from a neighborhood coffee shop, I received two 2012-D El Yunque quarters. Today, in my change from a local “dollar store,” I received a 2012-D Lincoln cent. Maybe the 2012s have finally arrived to my corner of the world.
Loren D. Morrison
Monterey Park, Calif.

To eliminate cent would be to admit economic defeat
Today we have anything but monetary stability. But the U.S. government probably wants to keep the cent to maintain the illusion of monetary stability. Eliminating it is kind of an admission that we really screwed up, isn’t it?
Howard Schoen
Edison, N.J.

Club volunteers are unsung heroes of the hobby
I think that small coin clubs around this country owe a great debt to members of each club that go above and beyond the normal call of duty. It is not an easy job to volunteer to be an officer of a club year after year or put on shows every year. I think it is high time we recognize these individuals.
In our club (Black Hills Coin and Stamp Club) two members stand out. They are Gene Meyers and Joe Niderost. These two men have stepped up for our club year after year. Our club passed new bylaws with a code of ethics a few years ago that was not popular with a few members, but these two men stood their ground and did what was best for the future of our club and our hobby. Yes we did lose five members but within a year had 25 new members because of our bylaws.
Our club is stronger than ever and Gene and Joe have a lot to do with the club’s success. I would like to see other clubs around the country and your magazine recognize these unsung heros. Without these volunteers our hobby would suffer.
Jim Coulthard
Box Elder, S.D.

Keep running a wide range of letters to the editor
You know what’s wrong with the letters to the editor section of Numismatic News? Absolutely nothing. Without contributions of political, historical or whimsical subject matter, coins are no more than shiny costly hunks of metal and you’ve been doing this long enough to know what to print or not.
What I love about reading the letters is the wide range of topics. I want to know the other guy’s opinion of this or that. I want to know what’s going on inside his head.
Keep it up, Dave. You’re doing just fine.
Michael P. Schmeyer
Halsey Valley, N.Y.

Coin shows are all about business for dealers
Hello Sharon and Kevin Blocker. I still cannot figure out why people gripe and complain about dealers leaving coin shows early.
Why don’t you both go into the rare coin business for yourselves, invest $100,000 of your retirement money and start dealing? Find out what the real world of numismatics is all about.
As a dealer, when I invest $400 to $1,000 for a table at any given show, then invest $500 in airfare plus hotels, rental cars and food and security, I have the ability to leave after 30 minutes if I choose. Who are you to complain?
We are in business for ourselves and by ourselves. We do not answer to a boss or have a job like you. If you do not want to miss anyone at the shows come early. Take time off from your job and pay the early bird fee and attend on Thursday. Oh, sorry, maybe you cannot afford that. Shucks! Go into business for yourselves and find out what the real world is all about.
We do not work for you. We are there to serve you, though, if you choose to frequent our table.
Mark Thurber
Carrolton, Texas

More coins and sets will strain collector wallets
Today is May 21st, and I received my first three National Infantry special sets, two more to go. It is a beautiful set. I am very pleased with it. I also went to the Mint site and they have May 29th as the release date for, the next 5 oz. America the Beautiful, El Yunque National Forest.
This is a perfect example of what was in my first letter, 05/29 – 5 oz. ATB; 06/04 – 2012 United States Mint Silver Proof Set; 06/07 – 2012 American Eagle San Francisco two-coin Silver Proof Set, and 06/11 – 2012 Acadia National Park quarter 100-coin bag, Philadelphia and Denver. I get two bags of the “P” and one bag of the “D.”
As you see, this could run into quite a bit of change, and as the price of silver goes down, the prices have not declined, but two weeks go by with silver going up and the Mint raises their prices.
Also, just to let the public know, there are treasures to be found. Once in a while I purchase a box or two of pennies from my local bank to search through. I found a 1896 cent, G-4. I was amazed. It is only worth about $3, but I just wonder whose hands this coin may have passed through?
Daniel Kuziela
Chicago, Ill.

Mintage extremes leave no one happy
Your question about whether the Mint learned a lesson by deciding to “mint to demand” the 75th Anniversary San Francisco two-coin set really poses some interesting thought.
On one hand collectors will be able to acquire that specific “type” for their silver Eagle collections without any problems with ordering what they want. But on the other hand, what you really have are high-end sets in fancy boxes just flooding the market.
And at what cost will they charge for these sets? You know that it’s going to be more than what people are paying for the bullion or the proof Eagles. And once the numbers are finally done, I don’t see these coins ever rising in value.
So to answer your question, “No,” would be my response. You can’t jump from one end of the spectrum by issuing a limited edition set like the 25th anniversary five-coin set to the other end of the spectrum by minting an issue like this by having the presses running non-stop 24/7 until everyone is happy. Because in the end, no one will be happy.
Mike Buchala
Hillsborough, N.J.

How would federal budget cuts affect Mint?
What would be the effect of a mandatory budget cut at the end of this year at the Mint? Across the board budget cuts are in Congress’ hands. No new progress by them.
Donald Cantrell
Address withheld

Editor’s note: There is no easy answer to your question. The last time we had the across the board cuts the mint set was abolished for two years in 1982 and 1983. The Mint now is self-funding, so it is possible it would be exempted from such cuts this time around.

Mint overdoes it with so many mintmark issues
I just had to email you to say that your article entitled “Is Mint Playing the Nostalgia Card” expresses my sentiment exactly.
I feel that the U.S. Mint’s “call to arms” in the production of various types of new mintmark issues is not a sincere one. I kind of compare it to the proliferation of homes during the sub-prime housing market. The idea then was to make as much money as you can, by any means possible, before the bubble burst.
It seems to me that this is the posture we as coin collector are witnessing. I feel that the U.S. Mint proliferation of these new mintmark coins is being done solely for selfish reason, just because the Mint has someone who will buy them, and not because the coins will be of any long lasting value to the coin collectors.
We have become the easy target and the Mint is now the predator. The major concern I have in the U.S. Mint’s new evolution in coin minting is that 10 years from now we’ll be left holding the bag much like their approved purchasers are doing now.
Mercury R. Williams
Seattle, Wash.

2012 dime, cent turn up in eastern Missouri
Today I received in change a 2012-D dime from the post office here in Jonesburg, Mo. Last week I got back two 2012 cents at a local convenience store. Those are the only 2012 coins I’ve found this year.
Bill Haffner
Jonesburg, Mo.

Do away with half dollar, dollar coins, not cent
I read a lot in your newspaper about abolishing the lowly cent. I, for one, like the cent. It enables me to buy a $100 bill every three to four months. So they work very well for me. Heavy, yes, but well worth while.
Want to abolish something? Try the half dollar and dollar coins. They have no purpose anymore but to make the Mint money.
Dennis Williams
Anchorage, Alaska

Nona Moore a blessing in California club’s early days
I was saddened to read in NN of Mrs. Nona Moore’s demise.
As member #36, 1959, our fledgling club, the Fontana, Calif., United Numismatists, was truly blessed to have her in our corner, along with all the other find people involved.
I still have my badge that Nona designed.
Raymond Parker
Address withheld

Dr. Coffee edited token publication for 62 years
On May 8, 2012, Dr. John M. Coffee, Jr., retired university professor and well-known vecturist and exonumist with tokens, passed away at age 83.
Dr. Coffee, while a Numismatic Ambassador, Class of 1997, may have not been well-known to general coin hobbyists since his specialty was transportation tokens. However, his passing deserves note because of a singular record, possibly unique and certainly one not to be readily exceeded.
Beginning as a 20-year-old Yale student in January 1949, he edited the American Vecturist Association monthly Fare Box consistently without interruption, until health took its toll, for a total of 62 years and five months.
The February 2012 Fare Box was Dr. Coffee’s final issue, his 749th issue, and before some might scoff, his monthly Fare Boxes were always multi-page issues, often 20 or more!
Equally, he never forgot at the opening to mention the passing of prominent and not so prominent vecturists, sharing some personal remembrance and extending condolences.
His service longevity is a record, and his service to his specialty was exemplary, setting standards that shall endure for decades.
The revered Mahatma Gandhi once remarked, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Dr. Coffee is evidence of this.
His legacy is not just longevity; it is a standard of service, placing one’s self secondary to his or her avocation. Over six decades, Dr. Coffee’s service left exonumia and transportation tokens enriched, enlightened, and enthralled.
Thank you, Dr. Coffee. RIP.
Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.

Cent roll search made for ‘thrilling’ wheatie finds
I have found 322 wheat cents on two consecutive days, and I have found a lot of early date mintmarks.
Day No. 1: Three 1918, two 1919, one 1919-S, five 1920, one 1923, one 1924, one 1925, one 1925-S, four 1926, one 1926-D, five 1927, one 1927-D, two 1928, one 1928-D, one 1929, one 1929-D, one 1929-S, one 1930-S, three 1934, four 1935-D, two 1935-S, two 1936-D, one 1937-D, three 1937-S and a lot more ’40s and ’50s “S” mintmarks.
Day No. 2: One 1914, one 1916, one 1918, two 1919, one 1925-D, three 1926-D, two 1929-D, one 1935-D, two 1935-S, four 1936-D, one 1936-S, three 1937-D, one 1939-D and one 1939-S.
I also found a lot of ’20s and ’30s dates. Most were in VG to XF.
It had to be one of the most thrilling finds since I began roll searching in 2008. Maybe I’ll find another box from the same bank and see what happens.
Keep on searching.
Bob Atwater
Conway, S.C.

Variety of 2012 coins in convenience store change
I am a longtime subscriber to Numismatic News and enjoy reading your letters column.
Today on May 15th, I found a coin searcher’s bonanza. I received in change from a 7-Eleven store one 2012 quarter, one 2012 dime, one 2012 nickel and four 2012 cents. I plan on taking these coins and showing off to dealers and collectors at our local coin show.
Thank you for a wonderful paper.
Paul Hauser
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Local stores prove to be good sources of 2012 cents
I got two 2012-D cents in change at the CircleK store in town. I asked if they had any more, and I got two rolls.
I got two 2012-D cents in change at a WinCo Foods store. I asked if they had more, and I got two rolls. Lucky me.
Don Jones
Sun City, Calif.

First El Yunque quarter spotted at farmers’ market
I’ve been a subscriber for a couple of years now and love your magazine. It’s my first time writing you.
My wife and I shop at a local farmers’ market. The other day, after arriving we were entering into the first building and I spotted a shiny quarter on the pavement in front of the door. I shouted to my wife, “It’s mine, I saw it first.” It’s a little contest we have when we go out, to see who can find the most money. I quickly noticed it was an El Yunque national parks quarter, my first one. It got even better: it had a “D” mintmark.
P.S. I won that day: 26 cents to 0 cents.
Tim Ocker
Manheim, Pa.