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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 2, January 8, 2006, Article 19

DON'T MESS WITH NUMISMATISTS

On Sunday, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an
editorial correcting some numismatic errors in an earlier
story.  Regret the Error, a web site devoted to "corrections,
retractions, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy
and honesty in the media" wrote:

"We already mentioned that the press needs to come correct
when it writes about Star Wars, comics, and other elements
of geek-culture. Add coin collecting to the list. The
editorial page editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
got slapped down, numismatics style, for a column about
coins.

I'd like to start the New Year by correcting a mistake.
Actually two mistakes. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a
column and suggested we get rid of paper dollars and
instead use coins."

The following excerpts are from the Post-Intelligencer:
"I read your editorial and found it interesting," wrote
a reader. "I find any story about numismatics interesting,
primarily because the information contained within is
rarely correct. It seems that whenever the price of gold
or silver makes any kind of significant move, or a new
coin design is forthcoming, the newspapers throw together
a story or editorial riddled with inaccuracies. While your
editorial was rather tame in that respect, errors were made."

The first error was a dumb one: Nearly a billion Susan B.
Anthony coins were produced -- not the million I said. I
just looked at the number wrong.

The other error sits on my desk, too. I compared the Susan
B. Anthony coin to the Sacagawea -- and said they were
different sizes. That's not true. They are the same size
(and weight, for that matter) but the gold-toned Sacagawea
has a smoother edge with a wide rim. It just looks different.

The column was posted online and immediately I heard from
folks who picked up on the misstatements... And that's
what's best about the Internet -- there's a large body of
knowledge out there, representing people who care deeply
about an infinite range of topics."

To read the full article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

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