Great Photos, Mediocre Coins, and Adventures in Numismatic Publishing

In February 2017, Dennis Tucker put out a call for “problem coins” to illustrate some of the educational warnings author Kenneth Bressett gives in his new Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting. He asked hobbyists for high-resolution photographs of PVC damage, bag marks, scratches, edge bumps, nicks, dents, and other problems caused by poor handling or storage.

The call for cull coins quickly spread throughout the hobby community. Publications like Coin WorldNumismatic NewsThe NumismatistE-SylumCoin UpdateMint News Blog, Scott Barman’s Coin Collectors Blog, and Coins Weeklyhelped get the word out.

When Numismatic News editor Dave Harper saw our request for damaged coins, he remembered a painfully educational experience. “There are many problem coins out there,” he noted in his column. “Collectors cannot be collectors for long without encountering them.” He recalled a 1940-D Washington quarter he bought when he was a child. After he got the coin in the mail he took it out of its stapled 2×2 holder—and that’s when he saw the deep gouge in its rim. The seller had a “no returns” policy for coins removed from their holders, so Harper was stuck with the damaged quarter. “Problem coins are educational,” he wrote in his column. “I was educated by one. I expect other collectors have been, too.”

Read more at Coin Update News.

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