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This Week's Letters (5/4/11)

A selection of letters from readers of Numismatic News to editor, Dave Harper, on 5/4/11.
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This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Thanks for input on buy/sell incident

First, thanks to all of you who took the time to read and reply to my situation at a swap meet. I didn’t expect to see it in print and that anyone would care. It was interesting to read the replies from readers of the Numismatic News and get their reactions. Now for the rest of the story and how I thought it should be handled.
I wrote a letter to the individual that I had the transaction with over the medal set. I offered three possible solutions. The first was that he return the set and I would reimburse him for it and the postage. The second was that he keep the set and send the additional $30 that I felt I was still owed. I enclosed a SASE for his convenience. The third was that I would approach the board and officers of our organization and ask for their input to a possible solution.
With silver breaking the $40 barrier, I figured he would keep the set and use my SASE to return a check, or tell me to buzz off and that I was out of luck. I would have thought keeping the set and sending me the $30 would be his choice. He would have been ahead with that scenario. Instead, he returned the set and SASE with a letter that didn’t like my tone, accusations, threats, memories of what really happened, etc. I had tried to be as professional and polite in my request as possible. I didn’t want to tick him off, but also I felt the letter was needed so that this same incident didn’t occur in the future and it would give me some closure. The thing is if he had bought it the first time he visited my table, I wouldn’t have realized just how much silver and money were involved, and none of this would have happened. I really did try.
In closing, again “Thank you” to all of you. Your comments really did help me to see both sides and someday I’ll step into the realm of dealing my material again. As for now, I’m still a bit shell-shocked as to the outcome of this experience.
Name withheld

2011 U.S. Coin Digest: Bullion Coinage
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Experience with Mint has been nothing but good

Have just finished reading Bill Davenport’s “What’s ailing the U.S. Mint?” from the April 12 issue.
I must admit that it is a very well-written article, but I would like to add my personal experiences about the Mint.
I have always had excellent service from the Mint. The product is top notch, the service is fast (seven to 10 days) and the people are very professional, even personable sometimes.
I will admit that the prices have gone up recently, but I believe that if you want quality you must pay for it.
I don’t know what the other mints from other countries do, but our Mint treats me right.
Dave Burdis
Charleroi, Pa.

Mint could consolidate coin shipments

Yesterday I recieved my silver Medal of Honor coins. Today I recieved my gold coins. They were packaged one to a box. No wonder the U.S. Mint has troubles. Why not one shipment instead of four?
The coins are beautiful, especially the gold proof.
Robert H. Smith
Oceanside, Calif.

Thanks for free download for E-newsletter readers

I just want to say “thank you” for the nifty free download for your E-Newsletter subscribers, the “2011 Coin Digest - Cents.”
What a nice surprise. The PDF is so clear that even at high magnification the detail is very sharp. It’s definitely going into my electronic reference library.
Sara Hartman
Austin, Texas

Editor’s note: To sign up for the free E-Newsletter and receive the free download “2011 Coin Digest - Cents” register at

Nice 1991-S proof cent found while roll searching

I cherry-pick a lot of cent rolls. It’s cheap and I enjoy it.
Last week I found a 1991-S proof in perfect condition. Amazing! In addition, I found it has a little premium compared to the other recent proofs.
It’s wild what can still be found in circulation.
David Smith
Somerville, Tenn.

Titanium on its way to becoming precious metal

Titanium. I heard this metal is being used in many things: airplanes, ships, knees, hips, etc. It’s light and strong and every day a new use is found. Now we know the worth of gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Even copper is approximately $4.50 per pound. My guess is that titanium should be $5 to $8 per ounce. I am betting it will soon go up high, listed as a precious metal. What’s your guess?
Wayne Walther
North Baldwin, N.Y.

There is still a time and place for cash today

I enjoyed your article in the April 12 issue of NN on the role of cash. I have had the same experience more than once. Green is still good. Hope to see you and Cliff in Green Bay on May 15.
Leo Schmidt
Address withheld

Mint not tuned in to collector, public needs

As a longtime collector of 55 years and my father before me, let me blow off some critical steam. I do not buy from the United States Mint anymore as I think they are sticking it to us. Look at their ridiculous prices.
They do not listen to us, the collectors. We don’t want a dollar coin. It wore holes in my father’s pants pockets and it was a pain to carry that extra weight around. If silver is so limited, why are they minting those huge 5-ounce coins? I can hardly afford a silver proof set any more.
The one dollar coins that are out there are not what the public wants. As for Canada, just look at their one dollar paper that was replaced by a one dollar coin. Need I say more?
Also, have the star notes been discontinued or is out paper money better than it used to be? I don’t see many stars anymore.
We the public like the convenience of our paper money. I could go on and on, but I am not the only one dissatisfied with the Mint and its prices.
I know that it is not the United States Mint mandate on new products, but it is the U.S. Congress that dictates what and how many new products plus the President’s signature, that allows this amount or type of coins and currency to circulate every year.
Thank you for hearing me out. You are to be congratulated for putting out the most welcoming and timely information on our gr
eat hobby.
D. Martinez
Address withheld

Wide AM Lincoln cents turn up in roll search

In the last two years of roll searching, I have found a few Wide AM Lincoln cents, Average Good to Very Good. They are:
Seven 1998 Wide AM
10 2000 Wide AM
Two 1999 Wide AM
I don’t think they are hard to find.
Joe Martin
Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

Dealers’ offers for uncertified coins too low

I am a collector, not a dealer. I collect raw coins. I do not want to pay the higher prices that certified coins demand. Sometimes I want to sell my coins to upgrade or purchase higher-end coins.
I conservatively grade my coins as per Making the Grade and other grading books. Dealers who I try to sell to always down-grade my coins. (May I add, upgrade their raw coins!)
Why print coin values in your publication when you can never get those prices unless you are a dealer selling?
Curt Rossow
Willow River, Minn.

Search of $10,000 in JFK halves proved fruitful

I went to the local bank in town and ordered 20 boxes ($10,000) worth of JFK half dollars.
Of a total of 20,000 JFK halves, I found the following coins:
One 1976-S clad proof, one 1981-S clad proof, one 1987-S clad proof, one 1992-S clad proof, one 1996-S clad proof and one 2000-S clad proof.
One 1907-D G+ Barber half dollar and two 1963 Ben Franklin halves.
JFK halves, all uncirculated: 17 1964, eight 1965, eight 1966, 25 1967, 24 1968 and six 1969.
I enjoyed going through those boxes and probably will do that again soon.
Mike Leetch
Moses Lake, Wash.