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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 7, February 17, 2008, Article 17

MORE ON 60 MINUTES AND THE FRANKLIN MINT

In response to the submission on last Sunday's 60 Minutes
episode, Fred Reed writes: "Morley Safer used to have fangs,
not just false teeth.  Dick Johnson referred to the slam he
took against the Franklin Mint in "1983."  For my friend,
Dick, and others who may be too young to remember, the 60
Minutes episode actually aired in 1978 and it savaged FM,
and collectibles in general, but the hobby survived.  They
filmed at the Houston American Numismatic Association show
that summer, and managed to miss the real story at the show.

"The night of the Numismatic Literary Guild bash, we revelers
came out of Grover Criswell's hotel suite pretty happy only
to find police all over the place.  Real thugs had stolen an
unspecified amount in rare coins from one of the attendees
during the evening's festivities.

"For a brief resume of the 60 Minutes piece on FM:  "The
Franklin Mint was the subject of a controversial segment
on the CBS News television program 60 Minutes that first
aired  Nov. 12, 1978. The segment, which examined coin
collecting in general, private mint issues specifically
and the issues of the  Franklin Mint in detail, featured
interviews with collectors of Franklin Mint issues who,
upon trying to sell their collections,  reportedly were
offered only a fraction of what they paid for them. Franklin
Mint officials, in turn, accused CBS News of bias and noted
that Columbia House, a CBS company, sold similar products."
This comes from the Coin World archives quoted from a Jan.
4, 2002 posting on the end of FM minting activities."

Tom DeLorey also noted the correct air date of 1978. He
adds: "On the subject of 'rounding,' it was implied that
the shelf price of every item currently priced in a number
ending in 9 would automatically be rounded up to a number
ending in zero. However, if pricing remains the same and
you simply add up the prices on 20 or 30 items in your
shopping cart and then figure the sales tax, only the final
number need be rounded up or down, not every individual
item. With the average trip to the supermarket possibly
costing more than $50, the rounding of the final number by
two cents either way is insignificant."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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