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Silver Stash
By Coins Magazine
December 19, 2013

This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine.
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Iam 15 years old and have been collecting coins and reading this magazine for over seven years. While going to my local bank a few years ago, I asked for any Kennedy half dollars they may have. Luckily, they had one half dollar roll.

After leaving the bank, I opened the roll, discovering that all of the coins were 40 percent silver 1968-Ds in Brilliant Uncirculated. Besides that lucky find, I have found dozens of nickels from the 1940s and 1950s, wheat pennies, and one 1934 $10 bill in about Extremely Fine condition.

I try to expand my collection any chance I get, which includes going to flea markets as much as possible.

I like reading “Coin Finds” and will continue to read it for years to come.

Joel Goss
Clarkesville, Ga.

Searching rolls today for 2009 nickels was pretty disappointing, we only found one 2009-P and no 2009-D nickels. The search, which took two of us over an hour, would have been almost a complete waste of our time had it not been for the 1939 double Monticello we found. It was beautiful. It’s a high About Uncirculated grade and an unbelievable coin. What a find.

That just goes to show you that, when you least expect it, you can still find great coins, if you are looking.

Joseph M. Paulk
Prattville, Ala.

I’ve lived in New Orleans for two years, a city chock full of history (and a former U.S. Mint site). Until recently, I worked at a clothing store in the busy retail hub of Magazine Street.

Working the cash register was always a treat due to our coin deliveries from the bank. Almost every roll of pennies we got in the store included 10 or more wheat-back pennies—something that quite surprised me. They were always later dates, but a fellow employee and I would love to switch out our own pennies for the finds. I even found a 1926 Buffalo nickel in my drawer one day.

As a 28-year-old with a boyfriend who collects coins (and loves Coins magazine), coin hunting was definitely an unexpected perk of the job. I encourage everyone to continue to search their local banks for boxed or rolled coins. The large national bank that provided our change seems to still have plenty of goodies to go around.

Mary Goldie
New Orleans, La.

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For several months I have noticed your request for “Coin Find” letters. I have procrastinated long enough, so here it is for what it’s worth.

It would be difficult to put a year on the start of my coin collecting. For several years I threw my pocket change in a desk drawer. A collection wasn’t the idea in the beginning, but after spending a few years working in Italy with side trips to Sweden, England, Spain, etc., I returned home with quite a variety of leftover coins and currency.

After my retirement, some 25 plus years ago, I sorted out the various denominations. It soon became obvious that some organization was necessary, especially for the Lincoln cents. I found two with about 15 percent clips and one from which the copper had been removed, making it a zinc penny. I then filled one Whitman folder for myself and four more for our four grandsons.

At about this same time a daughter-in-law gave me a bag of foreign coins that her dad had picked up in his travels, in which I found a 1904 two and one-half centisimos, the smallest silver coin ever minted. There was also a one-franc coin from St. Pierre Miquelon. I had to do some searching to locate that place.

Several 19th-century coins were included, such as a 1854 Bank of Upper Canada penny, an 1845 East India Co. one-cent coin, an 1873 Prussian one-pfennig coin and others from Greece, Great Britian and Hong Kong.

Among these foreign coins there some Indian Head cents and two 1852 silver three-cent coins, one in Extremely Fine condition and one damaged with deep scratches.

This has all led to an enjoyable hobby of collecting, upgrading, picking through bank rolls and going to coin shows to further my sets.

Name withheld
Auburn, Wash.

I always enjoy searching for coins in rolls, but I’ve never really had much luck. But a few weeks ago, I learned that coins worth keeping can come from anywhere.

Here’s what happened. It was a really hot day, so my family and I were at the beach. The lifeguards were taking a break, so we all had to come out of the water.

As I was sitting at our table, I noticed a coin and picked it up. It turned out to be a two euro and from what I can tell it isn’t especially valuable, but it is hard to imagine how it would’ve ended up on a beach table.

Coin finds come in all shapes and sizes, all you have to do is look.

Jake Ross
Forest Lake, Minn.

My son and I always enjoy the “Coin Finds” page, and we both have a couple recent finds. He has only been collecting for about a year now, but he is constantly on the lookout.

I have gotten a 1943-S and 1945-P nickel, plus a 1906 Barber dime from vending machines, all in fair shape, along with a 1951 silver dime.

He found a 1961-D dime in the Coinstar reject bin. He checks it every time now. We get coin rolls from the bank to search often, nothing there yet, but we are still looking.

John and Kendall Polacek
Akron, Ohio

This is my third submission to “Coin Finds.” I enjoy reading the column and hearing about the various coins other readers find.

In the five months since my last submission I have received the following coins in change at local stores: four 1965 Washington quarters; one Canadian quarter; two Canadian dimes; 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1967 Roosevelt dimes; 1939, 1941, 1946, 1956, 1958 (two), 1960, 1962 (two), 1963, and 1964 (two) Jefferson nickels; one Canadian penny dated 1867-1967; 10 wheat pennies (dates ranging from 1940 to 1958); and 17 Lincoln pennies dated between 1959 and 1964.

I find it interesting that coins from 45 to more than 70 years old are still circulating. Finding an old coin in change is always a pleasant surprise.

Name withheld
Indianapolis, Ind.

My wife and I like to go to thrift shops. We search for collectibles and fun T-shirts. As we are looking at the donated glassware, I saw what looked like a Morgan dollar in a paper weight. “This is a fake,” I thought. But, looking closer, it was a genuine 1881-S in mint state, encapsulated in clear Lucite. I purchased it for $3. I don’t think I will ever get a better price on a mint-state Morgan then that.

Bill Kaczmarski
Park City, Utah

I love Coins magazine, and I compulsively need to read “Coin Finds” to see what my fellow roll searchers are up to. Reading all the great stories reminds me of a roll I searched about a year ago.

I get rolls from my bank at every opportunity. Usually I get $10 in cents or nickels, but on this occasion my bank teller happened to have a roll of half dollars in her drawer. I remember asking her if I could purchase it, and she said, “You’re not going to find anything.”

Of course, I popped it open as soon as I got into my truck, and to my amazement I found a Franklin half. I was so excited I almost ran back into the bank to show the teller, but I didn’t want to seem like I was gloating.

At least I have a great memory, and a Franklin that only cost me 50 cents.

Michael Shea
Address withheld

A few days ago I was digging a new bed for irises in the middle of our half-circle drive. This area has been grass ever since we moved in, in 1991, so I was spading with a shovel, about 8” to 10” deep.

A couple of hours into the job I had dug about 4” in one spot and looked down to position my shovel for another bite when I noticed a small round object uncovered by my last shovel full.

I picked it up to discover it was a dime with the reverse side up. Had that previous shovel been 1/16” more shallow or deeper, the dime would have been turned back into the soil.

On cleaning the coin, my wife and I discovered we had a 1900-O Barber dime in near perfect condition. It would be interesting to know if this dime has been in the ground for 113 years. It has no wear. We were so thrilled we decided to buy a metal detector from one of your advertisers.

The rest of the story is that I have been accumulating coins and stamps ever since I was 5 years old when my grandmother gave me a handful of coins and a large envelope full of canceled stamps.

The coins amounted to less than two dollars face value, including the 1897 Morgan dollar. I have been accumulating ever since with the thought that some year I might retire and have time to do something with these coins and stamps.

Since the find, my wife became interested in going through my jars of coins. She is very thorough and persistent. We can now accumulate grey hair as we build a coin collection together.

Sometimes the simple things are the most fun.

Alden Nellis

Not sure if this qualifies as a “find” because I actually paid good old Federal Reserve Notes for it. But about four or five years ago, when silver was running about $14-$15/ounce, I bought a roll of culled silver dollars on eBay for about $200. They were so bad that this was a little below spot price for them. I was buying strictly for the silver content.

Anyway, I thought there is nothing to lose by looking at the dates, just in case. And there, buried in the middle of the roll, was a 1899 Morgan. The current catalog value for Very Fine-8 is $170. This one I got is probably only About Good-3, but last I checked it was listed for close to $100. And all I paid was about $10.

Dr. Steve Fawthrop
Radford, Va.

“Coin Finds” letters wanted!

Send your finds to:
Coin Finds
Coins magazine
700 E. State St.
Iola, WI 54990

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As a 30-year collector, I always check my pocket change. Twice in 2013 I have been happily surprised. In February I received 1952 silver dime in change from KFC and July I received a 1958 wheat cent in change from local market. This cent is absolutely AU and very close to MS-60. Just take a look, you may be glad you did. Bill Schroeder Menifee, Calif

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