Protecting Your Privacy
It happens more often than you would like. You just sit down to dinner, and the phone rings. Surely it must be an emergency, because no thinking friend would call at such an inopportune time. So you rush to the phone, only to find it is nothing more than a solicitation to buy or try something you really do not want. Is there no escaping wily telemarketers?
My usual response is, "Thanks for calling, but I'm not interested." With that you must hang up immediately (or they will go right on talking). Once in a while, I bait them a little to see if they are pushing some kind of investment. It can be fun when you get one trying to sell rare coins. None of them are ANA members and do not even know what that means. None of them know anything about coins, but they assure me that their boss is an expert.
Lately many of the calls I have been getting have been for a telephone enhancement that will save me lots of time and money. One caller even asked if I had telephone service! I don't know if she thought I was talking to her via a tin can and string, but she really asked the question. In quizzing her, I learned that one of the services would help me screen calls to avoid telemarketers.
Unwanted sales pitches come not only by phone, but also by fax, E-mail and postal service. They clutter up our lives and take time to sort and dump. When that near-brilliant telephone solicitor offered me some relief, I almost took her up on it. Then I remembered that there are ways to stop the flood of unwanted solicitations. It takes some effort on your part to turn them off.
One method is to write to the Direct Marketing Association at one of the following addresses and request that your name not be used for marketing solicitations. This will not completely shield you from the pests, but it will help. You must, of course, provide your name, address and telephone number. Address your request to:
Mail Preference Service
c/o Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008 Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
Telephone Preference Service
c/o Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014
E-Mail Preference Service www.emps.org
When I first read this ad for a 2001 Silver Eagle dollar priced at $7.50, I thought it was pretty straightforward. That is what these coins are selling for, and there is no reason to doubt that they are genuine and uncirculated. Then I took a closer look at the price and saw that nearby there was something printed in four-point type. I almost needed a magnifying glass to see "four payments each only," or, in other words, a total of $30 per coin. In another place they call it $29.99; I guess that is either a special discount or faulty math on their part. You also have to pay an additional handling charge, processing fee and shipping.
If you buy one of these "Limited Edition" coins, you will "Become a Charter Owner of this Historic Collectible" and be able to point out its features to your friends. You can show them the legendary Walking Liberty design, a full ounce of silver, and one of the most beautiful coins of all time.
Many of the clippings I received last month were from a national newspaper ad campaign inviting the public to get FREE U.S. COINS. Limited to one per household, the coins offered are 50 State quarters. You can get yours by ordering a complete set of five 2001 quarters for $17 plus $2.95 shipping. If you order the set, the advertiser will include one extra quarter free of charge.
For those of you who think this price is exorbitant and only want the free coin, you can request that by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope with only $1.85 for handling. They request that no dealers take advantage of this free offer.
I came across an interesting offer while scanning the eBay™ web site. Not having an opportunity to examine the coin, I can only guess what it really is, but there is no question in my mind that it is not an "1889 matte proof morgan silver dollar." Here is how the seller described it:
"This coin for bid is a very unique coin . . . the second of a pair of such coins . . . this morgan [sic] has a 'matte proof' finish . . . matte proofs have a granular (sandblast finish) instead of a mirror finish . . . matte proof cents, nickels and gold coins were pressed from 1908-1916 . . . howeve [sic] . . . most silver dollars retained the mirror press . . . this is a unique quality in a morgan [sic] . . . this coins [sic] has only 3 light bag marks on it after closely inspecting it with a close glass. Full brest [sic] feathers and complete detail on reverse including complete hairline . . . coin would grade PL MS 65-66 from guidelines in Whitman Coins and Coin Universe . . . a special coin fer [sic] sure . . . shipping $4.00."
The opening bid was $24.99. After 10 bids, it closed - and I suppose was sold - at $102.50. Not a very high price for a coin described as "very unique" with only two known!
Czar Nicholas II ruled the vast Russian Empire for a short time before being ousted by Vladimir Lenin in 1917 when he and his entire family faced execution. Now some of his gold coins have been found and are being offered for sale in an ad appearing in newspapers around the country. The coins, made by the last Russian czar, are 5-rouble pieces about the size of a United States gold quarter eagle ($2.50) and contain .1244 ounces of pure gold.
The promotional information in this ad claims that Lenin tried to erase all memory of the czar by destroying each and every coin with his portrait, but a few of the precious gold coins were hoarded away and have now come to light for the first time in almost a century. Only a fraction of these coins were saved from wholesale melting, and only a few remain in About Uncirculated quality like these being offered for sale. Russian citizens, the ad continues, were forbidden from owning these coins and risked imprisonment, or worse, by hoarding them. It is said to be a miracle that even a single coin has survived.
Having claimed all that, this benevolent advertiser is willing to sell you one of these coins, not for the usual price of $149.95, but for only $99.95 - about double what a numismatic dealer would charge. But only, of course, for as long as supplies last.