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Letter from Dan Brown concerning Denver Mint sales of 1964-D Peace Dollars

CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
See below.

A few weeks prior to the date on this letter, a Denver Mint employee named Lantz published a story in Coin World claiming that the recall of 1964-D coins that certain people seemed to remember was of the accidental early release of 1964-D Kennedy halves, not 1964-D Peace Dollars.

I replied with a guest commentary strongly questioning the accuracy of that statement, and relating the story that a retired Denver Mint employee had told me about how the Mint had sold coins to employees on one day and frantically recalled them the next. The former employee told me that a friend of his had purchased two of the coins, and when asked for them back had told his superiors that he had spent them in a bar the night before. That is the bar reference in the letter.

Dan Brown saw my commentary in Coin World and then wrote me this letter.

TD
Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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Comments

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    BAJJERFANBAJJERFAN Posts: 30,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Your still giving too much info.
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    blu62vetteblu62vette Posts: 11,901 ✭✭✭✭✭
    .
    http://www.bluccphotos.com" target="new">BluCC Photos Shows for onsite imaging: Nov Baltimore, FUN, Long Beach http://www.facebook.com/bluccphotos" target="new">BluCC on Facebook
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    BAJJERFANBAJJERFAN Posts: 30,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now it's better.
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    19Lyds19Lyds Posts: 26,475 ✭✭✭✭
    What the hell is going on?? image
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.



    The name is LEE!
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    stealerstealer Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭
    I would suggest blotting out your own name/address as well as the personal information Mr. Brown provided to you at the end of the second page.
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    CalebCaleb Posts: 739
    Great read. Thanks for sharing. image
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    MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 32,219 ✭✭✭✭✭
    glad it wasn't deleted


    some forum software let's you do more than this forum's software. this includes making images links and resizing images
    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
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    lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I think I figured out what Photobucket is trying to do... make the pictures clickable, so when you click it, it takes you direct to photobucket. Due to the coding structure used on most forums, you cannot have an image within a URL tag, so they need to reverse that (URL link within IMG tags) and they should be alright. >>


    I believe you are correct about what photobucket is trying to do.

    Looks like a new "feature". There's a way around it, thankfully...
    Lance.
    (edited to delete info no longer relevant; posted to another thread)
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks, Ikeigwin!

    Did that and now let me try a test link.

    Page One linky
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Does that link back to anything?
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Great! Now I can change the title thread.

    Thanks for all the help, everyone! I know coins, not computers!

    TD
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    GritsManGritsMan Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭
    Terrific information. Thanks for sharing!
    Winner of the Coveted Devil Award June 8th, 2010
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    SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,731 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I remember buying coins at Dan Brown's coin shop in downtown Denver when I was a YN in the mid 1960's. My parents bought me an UNC 1950D nickel for my Whtiman Jefferson Nickel 1938-1961 album. Always enjoyed stopping by the shop.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I remember buying coins at Dan Brown's coin shop in downtown Denver when I was a YN in the mid 1960's. My parents bought me an UNC 1950D nickel for my Whtiman Jefferson Nickel 1938-1961 album. Always enjoyed stopping by the shop. >>



    He was the top dealer in Denver for a long, long time. He knew everybody.
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    stealerstealer Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭
    The letter is super cool.

    Another tip for Photobucket privacy is to set all your albums to private so at the very least others can't go from your links to see the rest of your images.
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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very cool. Now would you just show us a photo of the coin?

    Pretty please????

    image
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    MarkMark Posts: 3,522 ✭✭✭✭✭
    CaptHenway:

    That letter is absolutely fascinating! (Too bad there is nothing similar to it for the 1933 double eagles...image )While the letter is fascinating, how much credence do you put in it? That is, are you, say, 100% certain the letter accurately describes what happened? Or are you 50% certain? Or 33%? Or?

    Mark


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    CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,615 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's an important document but needs to weighed with other documents.

    RWB sez: "Superintendant Miller and other senior staff signed sworn affidavits that no coins were released in any manner."

    and

    "Records indicate that all planchets coined into silver dollars were melted at the Denver Mint."

    At best we can say the historical record is conflicting. How can Miller say she was sure not all had been returned, unless she had documents to that effect, or firsthand knowledge that somebody kept one? In which case the sworn affidavit conflicts with what she told Brown - and now we have an inconsistent witness to the fact.

    Could it be she signed the affidavit because her job depended on it? That's a reasonable conjecture, but remains speculation.



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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>It's an important document but needs to weighed with other documents.

    RWB sez: "Superintendant Miller and other senior staff signed sworn affidavits that no coins were released in any manner."

    and

    "Records indicate that all planchets coined into silver dollars were melted at the Denver Mint."

    At best we can say the historical record is conflicting. How can Miller say she was sure not all had been returned, unless she had documents to that effect, or firsthand knowledge that somebody kept one? In which case the sworn affidavit conflicts with what she told Brown - and now we have an inconsistent witness to the fact.

    Could it be she signed the affidavit because her job depended on it? That's a reasonable conjecture, but remains speculation. >>



    Mrs. Miller had a good reason to sign that affidavit.

    Mr. Brown had no reason to lie about what he heard from Mrs. Miller.

    Decide for yourself what you want to believe.
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    nagsnags Posts: 794 ✭✭✭✭
    If the only possible purchasers of the two coin limit were mint employees I can't imagine it would have been too difficult to figure out how many were sold and to whom in that very short window of time.
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    WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,038 ✭✭✭✭✭
    These things are like alien spaceships.

    Many people say they've seen them.

    But no one can produce one.

    image
    https://www.brianrxm.com
    The Mysterious Egyptian Magic Coin
    Coins in Movies
    Coins on Television

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    NumisOxideNumisOxide Posts: 10,989 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cool letter. Thanks for posting it.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Here is my take. Just ask Bill Clinton about the truthfulness on his sworn affidavits. I look at it as in this case a sworn affidavit is a signing under duress, she was not free, her job depended on it and she had to sign it at the moment it occurred and by not signing it was basically admitting a law was broken, she had no choice. >>



    I agree her job was probably on the line when she signed the affidavit.



    << <i>The subject letter was not done under duress, it was done at a later time, when there was no pressure by her gov't, she had a choice. What was her motivation in this letter other than telling what happened for posterity after the fact, she was no longer in that capacity, she was free. >>



    She didn't have anything directly to do with the letter. The letter was written without her knowledge and consent because she had already passed away when it was written.

    Was this letter ever released when Dan Brown was still alive? Not saying this is the case, but it would be curious if the letter was only released after he had passed away as well.

    In any event, it's a very cool piece of history now image
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>

    << <i>It's an important document but needs to weighed with other documents.

    RWB sez: "Superintendant Miller and other senior staff signed sworn affidavits that no coins were released in any manner."

    and

    "Records indicate that all planchets coined into silver dollars were melted at the Denver Mint."

    At best we can say the historical record is conflicting. How can Miller say she was sure not all had been returned, unless she had documents to that effect, or firsthand knowledge that somebody kept one? In which case the sworn affidavit conflicts with what she told Brown - and now we have an inconsistent witness to the fact.

    Could it be she signed the affidavit because her job depended on it? That's a reasonable conjecture, but remains speculation. >>



    Mrs. Miller had a good reason to sign that affidavit.

    Mr. Brown had no reason to lie about what he heard from Mrs. Miller.

    Decide for yourself what you want to believe. >>



    Here is my take. Just ask Bill Clinton about the truthfulness on his sworn affidavits. I look at it as in this case a sworn affidavit is a signing under duress, she was not free, her job depended on it and she had to sign it at the moment it occurred and by not signing it was basically admitting a law was broken, she had no choice. The subject letter was not done under duress, it was done at a later time, when there was no pressure by her gov't, she had a choice. What was her motivation in this letter other than telling what happened for posterity after the fact, she was no longer in that capacity, she was free. >>



    Mrs. Miller did not write this letter. Dan Brown wrote this letter.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Mrs. Miller did not write this letter. Dan Brown wrote this letter. >>



    Additionally, Dan Brown wrote the letter after Mrs. Miller had passed away so she could not confirm or refute the letter's validity. This may have been done to protect her from being put in a compromising position or to protect the story from being refuted.
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    CalebCaleb Posts: 739


    << <i>

    << <i>

    << <i>It's an important document but needs to weighed with other documents.

    RWB sez: "Superintendant Miller and other senior staff signed sworn affidavits that no coins were released in any manner."

    and

    "Records indicate that all planchets coined into silver dollars were melted at the Denver Mint."

    At best we can say the historical record is conflicting. How can Miller say she was sure not all had been returned, unless she had documents to that effect, or firsthand knowledge that somebody kept one? In which case the sworn affidavit conflicts with what she told Brown - and now we have an inconsistent witness to the fact.

    Could it be she signed the affidavit because her job depended on it? That's a reasonable conjecture, but remains speculation. >>



    Mrs. Miller had a good reason to sign that affidavit.

    Mr. Brown had no reason to lie about what he heard from Mrs. Miller.

    Decide for yourself what you want to believe. >>



    Here is my take. Just ask Bill Clinton about the truthfulness on his sworn affidavits. I look at it as in this case a sworn affidavit is a signing under duress, she was not free, her job depended on it and she had to sign it at the moment it occurred and by not signing it was basically admitting a law was broken, she had no choice. The subject letter was not done under duress, it was done at a later time, when there was no pressure by her gov't, she had a choice. What was her motivation in this letter other than telling what happened for posterity after the fact, she was no longer in that capacity, she was free. >>



    Maybe I'm missing the point. Was the affidavit and the letter that Capt Henway recieved by the same person? I thouight it was two different people.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Maybe I'm missing the point. Was the affidavit and the letter that Capt Henway recieved by the same person? I thouight it was two different people. >>



    Yes, it was two different documents from two different people.
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    RichieURichRichieURich Posts: 8,372 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>This new letter made public is probably more fascinating and interesting than any letter that I can think of written by any famous numismatist thus far in my 7 years of collecting. I have often wondered about what is truth and what is myth, it appears there is one more urban legend that has finally bit the dust............ >>



    What Realone said, except change the number of years.

    Glad Capt Henway found the letter. Definitely a valuable piece of history.

    When the government's paranoia surrounding the 1964-D Peace dollars approaches their view on the 1933 double eagles, they will probably want to confiscate the letter!

    An authorized PCGS dealer, and a contributor to the Red Book.

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    CalebCaleb Posts: 739


    << <i>These things are like alien spaceships.

    Many people say they've seen them.

    But no one can produce one.

    image >>




    Maybe it is just that nobody wants to produce one image
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    RichieURichRichieURich Posts: 8,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just to add, the contention that employees were confused between the Kennedy halves and the Peace dollars is ridiculous. Having worked for a consumer goods company who often introduced new products, normally everyone in the company was waiting to see just what they were, and wanted to check them out as soon as they were made available to employees. No Peace dollars had been minted since 1935. To think that employees would be confused about a new issuance of such a coin just defies logic.

    An authorized PCGS dealer, and a contributor to the Red Book.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Just to add, the contention that employees were confused between the Kennedy halves and the Peace dollars is ridiculous. Having worked for a consumer goods company who often introduced new products, normally everyone in the company was waiting to see just what they were, and wanted to check them out as soon as they were made available to employees. No Peace dollars had been minted since 1935. To think that employees would be confused about a new issuance of such a coin just defies logic. >>



    I'd agree with this... but then again I've seen some people interviewed on daytime TV shows image

    To me, the bigger issue here is that not a single person has signed their name to the story. There may have been good reasons for this, but it is what it is. Of course, this was before the time of whistle-blower laws and those still don't really protect people from revealing state secrets.
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    19Lyds19Lyds Posts: 26,475 ✭✭✭✭
    OK. Before this gets out of hand, from what I understand, coins that are minted MUST be counted AND accounted for before they ever get to the cashiers office for release.

    As such, regardless of what Dan was told or believe's, there is just no way that the coins could have been counted, which the US Mint says never happened, and then have them released to the Cashier's Cage in a 5 hour time span. Or even an 8 hour time span. I'm just not buying what the printing of this letter is implying.

    I also find it difficult to believe that Coin Dealers were granted access to the US Mint Superintendent's Office. Wouldn't that be an area thats restricted to the public? Even back then? I mean, "sitting in her office one day", sounds fairly casual and I'm sure that security at the US Mint wouldn't allow such a thing.

    Tom, have you ever been in the superintendent's office?
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.



    The name is LEE!
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    JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 22,847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Über interesting and quite a piece................MJ
    Walker Proof Digital Album
    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
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    CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,615 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>No Peace dollars had been minted since 1935. To think that employees would be confused about a new issuance of such a coin just defies logic. >>



    No doubt. Also remember that coin collecting mania was at its peak in the mid-60s.

    I'm still perplexed that Brown did not land *the* question - exactly HOW did Miller know that some coins weren't returned. Maybe Brown did ask and decided not to save the answer for posterity (perhaps Miller would have had to implicate someone to answer the question). But, it's an obvious question screaming to be asked, and its absence in the Brown letter is puzzling.

    Very cool letter in any case - thx for posting.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>OK. Before this gets out of hand, from what I understand, coins that are minted MUST be counted AND accounted for before they ever get to the cashiers office for release.

    As such, regardless of what Dan was told or believe's, there is just no way that the coins could have been counted, which the US Mint says never happened, and then have them released to the Cashier's Cage in a 5 hour time span. Or even an 8 hour time span. I'm just not buying what the printing of this letter is implying.

    I also find it difficult to believe that Coin Dealers were granted access to the US Mint Superintendent's Office. Wouldn't that be an area thats restricted to the public? Even back then? I mean, "sitting in her office one day", sounds fairly casual and I'm sure that security at the US Mint wouldn't allow such a thing.

    Tom, have you ever been in the superintendent's office? >>



    Several times, at Denver.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    mrpotatoheaddmrpotatoheadd Posts: 7,576 ✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>Tom, have you ever been in the superintendent's office? >>



    Several times, at Denver. >>

    That's all well and good, but let's get right down to it-

    Do you like movies about gladiators? You ever seen a grown man naked? image
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    19Lyds19Lyds Posts: 26,475 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>OK. Before this gets out of hand, from what I understand, coins that are minted MUST be counted AND accounted for before they ever get to the cashiers office for release.

    As such, regardless of what Dan was told or believe's, there is just no way that the coins could have been counted, which the US Mint says never happened, and then have them released to the Cashier's Cage in a 5 hour time span. Or even an 8 hour time span. I'm just not buying what the printing of this letter is implying.

    I also find it difficult to believe that Coin Dealers were granted access to the US Mint Superintendent's Office. Wouldn't that be an area thats restricted to the public? Even back then? I mean, "sitting in her office one day", sounds fairly casual and I'm sure that security at the US Mint wouldn't allow such a thing.

    Tom, have you ever been in the superintendent's office? >>



    Several times, at Denver. >>

    Fair enough. Did you walk right in or have to go through some type of clearance process?
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.



    The name is LEE!
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,008 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>OK. Before this gets out of hand, from what I understand, coins that are minted MUST be counted AND accounted for before they ever get to the cashiers office for release.

    As such, regardless of what Dan was told or believe's, there is just no way that the coins could have been counted, which the US Mint says never happened, and then have them released to the Cashier's Cage in a 5 hour time span. Or even an 8 hour time span. I'm just not buying what the printing of this letter is implying.

    I also find it difficult to believe that Coin Dealers were granted access to the US Mint Superintendent's Office. Wouldn't that be an area thats restricted to the public? Even back then? I mean, "sitting in her office one day", sounds fairly casual and I'm sure that security at the US Mint wouldn't allow such a thing.

    Tom, have you ever been in the superintendent's office? >>



    This is my thinking as well.

    "False Memory Syndrome" is fairly common. A year or more after the fact, somebody hearing talk about "1964" coins that were never released, remembers being able to buy two of the new (Kennedy) coins from the cashier. They put one and two together and relay a story about 1964 dollars being purchased. But it wasn't so.

    And this letter was written MANY years after the fact.
    What is the earliest WRITTEN account of the story regarding Mint employees' opportunity to purchase 1964 dollars ?

    PS:
    I too, as a young coin collector, visited Dan Brown's coin ship in downtown Denver in the early 1970s.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As part of the ANA Summer Seminar, first as a student and later as an instructor.

    The Mint has not always had an antagonistic attitude towards outsiders in general and collectors in particular. Some Mint Directors and Superintendents have been more sociable than others; when the Coin World Editor's daughter got married in Sidney, O, there were two Mint Directors in attendence. I was one of the staff members unofficially assigned to see to their needs at the reception.

    Mr. Brown was a well-known figure in Denver numismatics. There is no reason to doubt that they could have known each other socially and/or professionally.
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>OK. Before this gets out of hand, from what I understand, coins that are minted MUST be counted AND accounted for before they ever get to the cashiers office for release.

    As such, regardless of what Dan was told or believe's, there is just no way that the coins could have been counted, which the US Mint says never happened, and then have them released to the Cashier's Cage in a 5 hour time span. Or even an 8 hour time span. I'm just not buying what the printing of this letter is implying.

    I also find it difficult to believe that Coin Dealers were granted access to the US Mint Superintendent's Office. Wouldn't that be an area thats restricted to the public? Even back then? I mean, "sitting in her office one day", sounds fairly casual and I'm sure that security at the US Mint wouldn't allow such a thing.

    Tom, have you ever been in the superintendent's office? >>



    This is my thinking as well.

    "False Memory Syndrome" is fairly common. A year or more after the fact, somebody hearing talk about "1964" coins that were never released, remembers being able to buy two of the new (Kennedy) coins from the cashier. They put one and two together and relay a story about 1964 dollars being purchased. But it wasn't so. >>



    You don't know that. That is merely your Opinion. And you have an agenda to uphold when it comes to the possible existence of Genuine 1964-D Peace dollars.
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,008 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>You don't know that. That is merely your Opinion. And you have an agenda to uphold when it comes to the possible existence of Genuine 1964-D Peace dollars. >>



    I'm curious, what "agenda" would that be ? image

    I'd like to see an orginal 1964 dollar come to light as much as any person. But I don't believe any survived. A belief is not the same thing as an agenda. Your "agenda" comment here implies an active effort to suppress the existence of original 1964 dollars. That claim is entirely unfounded and unwarranted ! If I had an original 1964 dollar, I would send to to PCGS so that everyone would know about it and examine it. That nobody has done this is a significant indication against the survival of any original 1964 dollars.

    If anybody out there has an original 1964 dollar, send it to PCGS and prove me wrong.
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    morgansforevermorgansforever Posts: 8,428 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If the letter is genuine and the dollars were available for purchase from 9am-2pm, meaning they were released, why would they be confiscated? Anyone know for sure if they'll be confiscated if brought out of hiding? What is the Mint's definition of released? Released means for circulation? Interesting letter CaptHenway, thanks for sharing it with us.


    EDIT: One has to assume some escaped the Mint, especially after the recall was made. I certainly would have purchased the limit of two for sure. If the 64D Peace bucks are ever deemed legal to own, what will happen to the fantasy pieces many of us own? It's possible none have surfaced because of the consequences. The 10k reward isn't enough to shake em loose.
    World coins FSHO Hundreds of successful BST transactions U.S. coins FSHO
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    shorecollshorecoll Posts: 5,445 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The fantasies won't cause a problem for the TPG's, the die characteristics of the DCarr ones are public info. Might be a problem with some top quality fakes.
    ANA-LM, NBS, EAC
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    I'll be darned.
    Let's try not to get upset.

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