Unboxing the first of the 2017 American Liberty silver medals

 
The 2017 Proof American Liberty silver medal, minted in Philadelphia and issued June 14, is the first of five medals of this design. The others, issued in a set, will be Reverse Proof (P), Proof (S), Uncirculated (D), and Enhanced Uncirculated (W).
The 2017 Proof American Liberty silver medal, minted in Philadelphia and issued June 14, is the first of five medals of this design. The others, issued in a set, will be Reverse Proof (P), Proof (S), Uncirculated (D), and Enhanced Uncirculated (W).

The shipper seemed to be in good order, although the tape was buckled on one end‚an opportunity for something to snag the tape and yank it off. But the flap was tightly glued down (I had to put the camera down and use both hands to get it open), so no points lost for outer packaging.

The shipper seemed to be in good order, although the tape was buckled on one end—an opportunity for something to snag the tape and yank it off. Fortunately, the flap was tightly glued down. (I had to put the camera down and use both hands to get it open.) No points lost for outer packaging.

Inside the shipper, the case is padded on one side with a strip of Styrofoam. It's not padded on the end, though, so the main case can slide left and right within the sleeve. With rough handling or a long time in transit, I imagine the case would show signs of wear along the edges.

Inside the shipper, the case is padded on one side with a strip of Styrofoam. It's not padded on the end, though, so the main case can slide left and right within the sleeve. With rough handling or a long time in transit, I imagine the case would show signs of wear along the edges.

No scuffing on the case, but it was placed upside-down in the sleeve (top photo). Obviously not a big deal, but it's a small presentation detail that someone wasn't paying attention to. The case is a heavy cardstock wrapped in matte black paper. Opening the lid...

No scuffing on the case, but it was placed upside-down in the sleeve (top photo). Obviously not a big deal, but it's a small presentation detail that someone wasn't paying attention to. The case is a heavy cardstock wrapped in matte black paper. Opening the lid...

...revealed the inner presentation box, topped with a protective spongy layer. The front side of the case flips down so the box can be easily removed.

...revealed the inner presentation box, topped with a protective spongy layer. The front side of the case flips down so the box can be easily removed.

As mentioned, the presentation box slides forward easily from the case once the lid is removed. It feels like it might be pressboard, with a laminated black surface.

As mentioned, the presentation box slides forward easily from the case once the lid is removed. It feels like it might be pressboard, with a laminated black surface.

Stepping back, we have the shipping box, the sleeve, the case, and the presentation box...

Stepping back, we have the shipping box, the sleeve, the case, and the presentation box...

...which has a surprisingly strong hinge. I had to put the camera down and use both hands to open it. On top is the booklet. The foil image of the medal looks odd until you hold it at a certain angle—an angle that's nearly impossible to photograph.

...which has a surprisingly strong hinge. I had to put the camera down and use both hands to open it. On top is the booklet. The foil image of the medal looks odd until you hold it at a certain angle—an angle that's nearly impossible to photograph.

Tricky foil stamp notwithstanding, it's a nice booklet, rich color printing on heavy, coated paper. (Tip: To get it back inside the box, insert it into the lid before closing it. Just setting the booklet inside and closing the lid over it pinches the edges.)

Tricky foil stamp notwithstanding, it's a nice booklet, with rich color printing on heavy, coated paper. (Tip: To get it back inside the box, insert it into the lid before closing it. Just setting the booklet on top and closing the lid over it pinches the edges.)

Under the booklet is a velveteen pad with pinked edges. It's actually a deep black, not the faded color you see here (the lighting makes it look like it's been through the wash).

Under the booklet is a velveteen pad with pinked edges. It's actually a deep black, not the faded color you see here (the lighting makes it look like it's been through the wash).

And there she is! After all the care with the materials and the nested boxes, it's a shame the medal wasn't placed straight in the hole. (Maybe it drifted during shipping?) The base in which it's set is a black-finished wood that's heavier and smoother than the box itself. (The lid isn't crooked; it's just the angle of the photo.)

And there she is! After all the care with the materials and the nested boxes, it's a shame the medal wasn't placed straight in the hole. (Maybe it drifted during shipping?) The base in which it's set is a black-finished wood that's heavier and smoother than the box itself. (The lid isn't crooked; it's just the angle of the photo.)

The wood base is beveled on the reverse so it tilts up, allowing the medal to be easily displayed or removed. The workers who assembled the package may have fumbled a few tiny details, but they did remember the silica packs.

The wood base is beveled on the reverse so it tilts up, allowing the medal to be easily displayed or removed. The workers who assembled the package may have fumbled a few tiny details, but they did remember the silica packs.

Really lovely. There's something about a Proof that's like diving into an absolutely still pool of water.

Really lovely. There's something about a Proof that's like diving into an absolutely still pool of water.

There's something interesting going on with the stars—their finish is somewhere between frosted and mirrored. We'll take a closer look after this slideshow.

There's something interesting going on with the stars. Mike Moran, of the CCAC, commented that he'd hoped the stars would be mirrored; while they're not that, they do have a different finish from the rest of the elements—somewhere between mirrored and frosted. We'll take a closer look after this slideshow.

So there we are—the 2017-P American Liberty silver medal with Proof finish, issued June 2017. Below this slideshow will be a brief video and some close-up images of those stars.

So there we are—the 2017-P American Liberty silver medal with Proof finish, issued June 2017. Below this slideshow will be a brief video and some close-up images of those stars.

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(Smartphone users: The slides are best viewed in landscape mode.)

Given the high markup, not everyone was interested in the American Liberty silver medal—but your intrepid editor was right at the head of the line. Other blogs have already put up unboxing photos and videos, but it still seemed like a nice idea to make the effort for MNB readers. So when the box arrived, I cleared off a space and got set up. Lacking a can of compressed air and a pair of white gloves, I didn’t go so far as to remove the medal from the capsule, but it still gives a lovely showing.

A brief video of the medal under a light:
As mentioned in the slideshow, the stars have a subtly different finish from the other elements on the medal, which are either mirrored or classically frosted. A better photographer would be able to capture the different finishes as they appear to the naked eye; the present photographer has limitations. I attached a macro lens to my cellphone and managed to get pretty close, considering the medal remained in the capsule. In the following zoomable lenses, you’ll see each separate finish.

The eye area, with its frosty finish, adjacent to the mirrored field.


The surface of a star, which has a subtle, “orange-peel” type of finish. When observed without magnification under a good light, it has a mellow gleam, somewhere between the shimmery appearance of the frosted devices and the fully mirrored finish of the field. (Note that the smudge just below center is on the capsule, not the star.)


A star adjacent to both the frosted and mirrored areas.


Another view of a star against a frosted area, in this case the headband.


If you ordered an American Liberty silver medal, what was your experience? Was it securely packaged, and did it arrive in good order? What about the medal itself—did it meet expectations, or did you need to return it?

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Comments

  1. cagcrisp says

    @data dave, “Silver Krugerrand down to $45, only another $15 to go. I think the price needs to fall below $30 to sell the million that they made.”

    Considering some on this board Purchased at $65.00…

  2. Mattarch says

    Nice post. Cool photos. Did not order the medal as I expect the price to be lower in a year or two.

  3. Ken bond says

    Does Not fit into my collection being that it’s not a coin, it is just a metal. Plus the price for an ounce of silver is not even close ($16.25) to the cost of this silver round. $59.95 Plus $4.95 S/H = $64.90 almost 4 times the cost. No thanks. I will admit I like it, It’s cool looking! But there are better bargains & real coins I would rather purchase.

  4. Xena says

    Wow Dianna – nicely done! Although I’m not a fan of the big stars, the medal looks great in your video.

    It looks like they spent more on the packaging than they did on the silver.

  5. cagcrisp says

    As I Expected…The Silver Medals were Mostly Big Boys/Dealers looking for Graded output…

    You can pretty much stick a fork in the Silver Medals…

    17XA 2017 AM LIBERTY 24K GOLD 1 OZ 23,235 +177
    17XB 2017 AM LIBERTY SILVER MEDAL (P) 36,085 + 47

  6. cagcrisp says

    Maybe an Audit…Before being pulled off the sales sheet…

    17RF 2017 CONGRATULATIONS SET 74,898 (3)

  7. cagcrisp says

    16AN 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MLTR 17,269 + 22
    17AJ 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – EFF MNDS 15,388 +63
    17AK 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – DOUGLASS 14,640 +168

  8. cagcrisp says

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 563,926 +918

    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 23,660 + 8
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,713 +1
    16EF 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 17,270 –
    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 201,471 +298

  9. cagcrisp says

    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 63,785 + 56
    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 89,578 + 68

  10. cagcrisp says

    BT continue to track Low Mintage Wonders…

    17CA 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD PROOF 1,351 +5
    17CB 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD UNC 1,780 +1
    17CC 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER PROOF 21,561 +96
    17CD 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER UNC 9,316 +50
    17CE 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD PROOF 15,553 +86
    17CF 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD UNC 13,801 + 33
    17CG 2017 BOYS TOWN 3-COIN SET 4,890 +14

    17CH 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER PROOF 63,981 +127
    17CJ 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER UNC 16,008 +33

  11. cagcrisp says

    17EA 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 282,629 +4,430

    17EB 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 5,572 +66
    17EC 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 1,267 +44
    17ED 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 1,968 +41
    17EE 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/10 OZ 8,178 +128
    17EF 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 7,131 +24

    17EG 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 111,224 + 111,224

    17EH 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD UNC 1 OZ 2,385 +160
    17EL 2017 AM BUFFALO GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 10,839 + 5

  12. cagcrisp says

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,678 –
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,881 +1
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 2,021 +2
    JQ6 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – KENNEDY 6,709 +1
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,796 +1

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,544 +1
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,626 –
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,360 +1
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,614 –
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,413 +2
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,886 +1

  13. cagcrisp says

    The 2017 American Liberty Gold Continues to outsell each of the 1 oz. Gold coins…

  14. cagcrisp says

    Opening week vs. Opening week

    2016 vs. 2017

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 134,925
    17EG 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 111,224

    2017 Down 17.57%…

  15. TemplePriestess says

    I prefer the gold coin but cannot afford it at this time, and will not pay the exuberant price for the medal.

  16. Jerry Diekmann says

    Hello, CAG – lots of information you are sharing. I still collect coins, including some of the modern coins, but I never bought the gold 1st Spouses coins (except one for Jackie as a type set coin), and I also never went in for the 5 oz. silver “quarters”. None of the four commems from 2016 or 2017 appear to have generated any enthusiasm, and this silver medal is way overpriced – I won’t be getting any of these medals but I did buy the 2 2016 silver medals, which were offered at a much lower and more reasonable price. The problem I see is that many designs are not very good (and haven’t been good for a long time) and the prices being charged by the Mint are much too high. And I have always stayed away from TPG of modern coins (and labels) and the money I have saved has enabled me to buy the coins and medals that I like.

  17. cagcrisp says

    AM Gold Fix $1,224.25….

    We are on track for a Gold Decrease tomorrow afternoon…

  18. KCSO says

    cagcrisp says, “We are on track for a Gold Decrease tomorrow afternoon…”

    Buuuuttttttt…, what is there to buy? Fractional Gold Buff’s?! Enhanced Gold Uncirculated Buff’s???!

    Oh, silly me, I’m dreaming again, …wake me up in 5 months.., for another reality check

  19. KCSO says

    It dawned on me last night that this is the first time in eleven (11) years that I have bought pratically nothing from the mint six month into a year. Usually by now I’m blowing through my budget and thinking about how to stretch it through the remainder of the year.

    And I’m not sure if I’m in for anything else this year. I’ve pick up a HR Liberty (which was essential free from off-loading ‘S’ sets) and the $1 BT Comms, and that’s it. Doubtful on the APE, and No on the UNC SP Clad set.., gonna be another long 6 months if there’s no other surprises.

  20. cagcrisp says

    @KCSO, “Buuuuttttttt…, what is there to buy? Fractional Gold Buff’s?! Enhanced Gold Uncirculated Buff’s???!”

    I Agree with that.

    I’ve said many times IF there is no Viable secondary market, Eventually there will be NO viable Primary market.

    This is coming to fruition.

    Across virtually all Mint offerings and you will see a steady y/y decline in sales. The drop off in 2017 has been substantial.

    20 percent or More on the Highly visible offerings. That is why you will see More and More gimmicks like the 225 enhanced set.

    One off gimmick to try to get the ” This is the ONLY enhanced CLAD offering in the History of the US Mint (sounds like MCM?)”

    Just Another gimmick to sell at $30, $40 or $50 to get $7- $10 million in Revenue and since NO precious metals will be used this will be a HUGH profit maker for the Mint.

    Long term just drives off More and More customers as dealers and flippers will make a Hay Day out of the 70s.

    Short term Great for the Mint…

  21. Dennis Tucker says

    Great article! Thank you for sharing that video and the close-up photos.

    I bought one of the medals at the Mint’s gift shop in Washington a couple weeks ago. I admired it while I was there, but haven’t had a chance to sit down and really study the surfaces like you have here. I’m going to!

    I like the whole package. The box is well made and I think it will appeal to new collectors and people who receive the medal as a gift. And the accompanying book adds a nice touch — its photographs of different classic coin types and information on U.S. numismatics will hopefully spark the interest of some new collectors.

  22. Throckmorton says

    Happy Fourth of July! In spite of a wayward mint mint and a few other issues, our nation continues to be the best one of the bunch!

  23. cagcrisp says

    Unless Gold’s Wednesday’s PM fix is Above $1,250.00, you can save some money on buying Gold until Wednesday PM…

  24. Tom P. - MA says

    The big bullion dealer beginning with an A has the Mt Rushmore 5 oz bullion piece for $136 after all the “as low as” stuff is factored in.

    It’s an eye opening experience to click on their collectables tab and browse though the proof and mint sets. 2 proof sets selling for $3.99.

    The enhanced set could do well only because there probably are about 225,000 collectors of US Mints sets in the US. I see a relatively quick sell out for this — unless it’s priced at $40 or higher.

  25. earthling says

    If a Silver American Eagle sells 225,000 , is it hot in the marketplace? I see it as not very hot at all. Is it dead? Well not really.

    Will these Enhanced Clad Sets be in demand? Maybe at first, if there’s no HHL. A couple months down the road, IMHO they will be stone cold.

    Personally, I have no interest in any Clad Set, enhanced or not.

  26. DBR says

    I received my medal and opened it. On the obverse mine had a scratch above the 1792 and hazing/residue around the rim near the “I” and “B” in LIBERTY.

    Easy to order. Modern coins are struck so perfectly that any flaw seems glaringly obvious. The capsule isn’t clear either with smudges and small scratches.

    All in all it’s beautiful but the impressive packaging and design makes a collector want a very pristine near perfect product.

    The reverse is stunning with the eagle in flight. The light just plays off the feather detail very well.

    I’m not returning it. It’s a keeper and I like the accompanying booklet.

    Still not sure if I’m buying the HR gold 225th Anniversary coin.

  27. KML in KY says

    Diana – Your medal looks pretty flawless from what I can see in your pictures and video. Mine had a gouge next to the “L” in LIBERTY. I returned it to the Mint for a replacement. The medal is overpriced but I wanted to have one example for my collection.

    DBR- You can keep your medal if you want but the Mint makes it very easy to return a defective coin. All you have to do is click on “return items from this order” then select “unacceptable product or packaging quality” for the reason and they will send you a prepaid label. I don’t know if the Mint’s quality control has gone down hill in last few years or if I’ve just become more picky. Personally I am no longer willing to keep anything the Mint sends me that doesn’t look like a 70. Anything less is a guaranteed money loser if I decide to sell it. There are occasional exceptions like the 2016 Liberty Silver Medals and the 2017-S ASE’s where the 69’s are worth keeping.

    KCSO – I don’t think I’m getting a platinum proof from the Mint. I may get a certified 70 later if the price is right or skip it all together. I did buy a PCGS 70 Gold Buffalo and burnished Gold Eagle for not much more than the Mint issue price. I have mixed feeling though about having money tied up in these coins. The way the market is even if they turn out to be the lowest mintage Buffaloes and burnished Gold Eagles what kind of premium will they bring? I used to have a lot of fun buying and selling coins but lately not so much

  28. MikeinPA says

    thinking of adding to my silver stash, would gold be a better option in the long run? also with the current situation with N. Korea will it affect PM on the up or down side? Thanks

  29. data dave says

    @MikeinPA – I am trying to balance my silver and gold purchases this year. I set a goal to stick to because I always enjoy getting silver more than gold because you get more coins for the money. I am in the slow accumulate mode because I have no idea where the price might be going.

  30. Mint News Blog says

    On closer examination, I did find a little ding on it. I received the medal more than 7 days ago, and of course the Mint’s return window is one week. I called them this morning and they said that, since there is actual damage, they’ll still take the return and send me a replacement. I was surprised; I fully expected to hear the customer service agent say “too bad.”

  31. Sakybagster says

    Wont be buying this ever. Dont like the design, never did. Not sure what the mint is trying to do, or who they are trying to impress, but the medals are turds…..

  32. cagcrisp says

    @MNB, “they’ll still take the return and send me a replacement. I was surprised; I fully expected to hear the customer service agent say “too bad.””

    The Mint knows from past history that as long as a product is still available (as is the American Liberty Silver) all a customer has to do is place order #2 for the same item and then once it arrives you just ship back order #1 ( the bad medal) within the replacement time frame for order #2.

    Repeat..Repeat…Repeat…

    Until you finally get a good one…

  33. says

    I thought this to be very interesting, for reasons previously discussed here,

    Ron Paul Says Nasdaq Looks “Shaky” Right Now (QQQ)

    From Tyler Durden: Precariously overstretched equity valuations and the purportedly “data dependent” Federal Reserve’s insistence on raising interest rates could bring about the next market correction as soon as October, former Congressman Ron Paul said during a recent appearance on CNBC’s “Futures Now.”

    The stock market’s fragility – exposed by a series of volatility events in recent months – suggests that the Fed should tread carefully. However, policy makers, it seems, are focused on bracing for the next crash, and have telegraphed to the market that they will continue to hike rates, even as they struggle for justification.

    All of this suggests that stocks could be in for a hard landing as soon as this fall, Paul said.

    “I think that it will have a negative effect but I’m not going to say where it’s going exactly. I would not be shocked if in October if its 25% lower than it is now.”
    When the next crash does arrive, Paul believes the Fed will be powerless to arrest it.

    “I think the markets are very nervous for good reason: They don’t know what to expect and while it’s unpredictable what the Fed will do, it’s also unpredictable how the markets will react.”

    “Since they’re incapable of knowing what to do I don’t expect much good to come out of anything they do they cannot anticipate. They haven’t been right on most of their projections and their planning. I don’t think the bubble atmosphere and the wonderful things happening on Wall Street will last forever. I think it’s coming to an end.”
    The unemployment rate at 4.3% belies the fact that many of the jobs being created are low paying or part time, and often don’t offer benefits like health care.

    “But I think the signs are that the economy is weakening even more so, and I don’t accept this idea that employment is magnificent and perfect and will last forever.”

    “Some of these markets are already looking a little shaky. The Nasdaq looks a little shaky, the dollar looks a little shaky right now and on to bonds – those prices are going down too as interest rates are going up.”
    Paul closes the interview by pointing out that the laws of economics haven’t changed since the last crisis.

    “People have been convinced that stocks are going to go up forever, that it’s a new era, but I don’t happen to buy this. I think the old rules always exist. There’s too much debt, and too much investment. The adjustment will have to come. If our markets are down 25% and gold is up 50%, it wouldn’t be a total shock to me.”

    The PowerShares QQQ ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) rose $12.2 (+9.88%) in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, QQQ has gained 14.95%, versus a 8.36% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

    QQQ currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #1 of 34 ETFs in the Large Cap Growth ETFs category.

    This article is brought to you courtesy of ZeroHedge

  34. says

    KML – ” I have mixed feeling though about having money tied up in these coins. The way the market is even if they turn out to be the lowest mintage Buffaloes and burnished Gold Eagles what kind of premium will they bring? ”

    Very well put, I share your sentiment.
    I feel that I have a lot of excess that needs to be culled before I need to embark on any more ‘excitement buys’

  35. earthling says

    Gold decrease? Well expect a big run on First Spouse Gold. I’ll bet they sell at least 10 or 20 Fords and Nixons by the next sales report.

    🤑

  36. cagcrisp says

    How weak is the PM market? FOMC minutes came out and “Slightly” less chance of Fed rate increase and what did the PM markets do?

    Took a “Slightly” Down turn on Bullish news…

  37. Scott says

    @ Tom, $1150 or less for the platinum proof on the secondary market within six months. $400 bucks over spot for this coin is a premium that’s way to high.

  38. Barron T says

    Keep repricing, I’m with KCSO have not bought ANYTHING from Mint this year, almost ordered a mint set but I thought WTF who cares…so no I passed, as with all else the mint’s lineup of products is stale…..overpriced….and too much “monkey business” for me…..

  39. earthling says

    Anymore Bullion buyers seem to like Proof Bullion. Look at last years Proof APE – gone really fast. I liked last years design well enough to pile on, this year I have zero interest.

  40. Louis Golino says

    Anyone ever return a coin to the Royal Mint? The shipping options in the USA to the UK or anywhere international are terrible esp. for a heavy item. Since it does not sound like they cover return shipping, looks like I am stuck with it. There goes this client, who can buy your stuff from others without worrying about returning.

  41. earthling says

    Louis

    I feel your frustration. But at least you still have metal in your possession. When the US Mint Returns Dept decided to rip me off they left me with nothing but a $1600 loss. I’d call about it and they tried spinning me around in circles and in essence they laughed in my face. But that’s OK by me. I’m a firm believer in Karma and one day Karma will extract a price from those that did the deed.

    Life moves on.

  42. Numismatrix says

    Louis : “The shipping options in the USA to the UK or anywhere international are terrible esp. for a heavy item. ”

    Just a thought : USPS Intl Priority or Express are not weight restricted for a flat fee.
    Signature confirmation is a few dollars more.

  43. Louis Golino, Author says

    Thanks, guys. I am waiting to hear if the mint will cover the shipping cost. It is a small spot to be fair. The coin is 90% sold out after just a couple weeks, and prices will definitely move higher, so I will be okay.

  44. Howard Ian Cohen says

    had tow return this coin TWICE already – both time for scratches –
    don’t they ever LOOK at what they send before they send it?

    especially returns?

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