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Coins found in circulation


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Since starting my on-the-side job as a cashier, I've taken to trading pocket change for oddities that find their way to my register. Nothing too special, but I've managed some interesting finds:

 

1964-D Kennedy half-dollar (The obverse is a little yellowish, but the reverse could easily grade MS-60 or better)

1943-P Nickel

1938-P Nickel (in fine/very fine condition, I have found most non-wartime nickels 1938-1963)

Dimes- 1957-P, 1960-D, 1964-P

A handful of wheaties, mostly from the 50's

A 1959-P and 1964-P penny in EF/AU condition

A handful of S-mintmark pennies and nickels (including a 1948-S nickel I found in a roll from the bank)

And of course, a few $2 bills and dollar coins.

 

The best part is, I "bought" all of these for face value. Nickels seem to be particularly plentiful, probably on account of the unchanged design from 1938-2004. From my experience, about one in two rolls of nickels will have one from the early '50s or before. I might get some pictures up once I stop being lazy about it.

 

Anybody else have interesting finds/ tips on where to go to find good coins that people spend?

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I don't know any secrets, but I would love to hear the stories of the people spending the half dollar, $2 bills and coins and find out why they use those denominations of currency. Do you ever talk to your customers who give you the unpopular denominations of US money and tray and find out why they use that kind of money?

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The half dollar actually has a funny story behind it. Some lady came by to pick up supplies for a small convienence store, and when she went to pay in cash, she was something on the order of 60 cents short. She gave me the half dollar and the appropriate change. She had been somewhat less than polite to me, so I didn't mention that she just handed me a coin worth like six dollars for the silver content alone. She was foreign, and probably had no idea that the coin was special in any way.

 

A majority of the old nickels and dimes came directly from the bank, where they usually don't sort through the coins to pick out the old ones, provided they are in good enough condition to circulate.

 

As for the other less common denominations, I think desperation accounts for it more than anything. Most people save up the $2 bills and other old style bills, and when times get tough, they are forced to spend them instead of holding onto them for the novelty of it. In this way, I've recieved $200 in crisp 20's of various 1980-something series, and a $5 bill from series 1969. One customer claimed that he had a $500 bill, but I don't think my manager would've been happy if I took it as payment.

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I don't know about nowadays, but........

 

....... when I was a kid collector ( age 15 in 1975 ), I went to my parents childhood small town bank, and asked if I could buy at face value several bags of pennies. I specifically asked to get the bags from the bottom of their pile of coin bags. I was thinking, even at my young age, that the bank likely pulled bags off the top when they needed pennies, and hopefully the bottom bags were not touched in a long time. I recall getting many bags, and took them home to explore.

 

WOW, I was right!!! The bags were full of wheat cents, even Indian cents! It was like a motherload of older cents!!! I couldn't believe how cool that was.

 

I don't think that would work today, but I hope it is a cool story to share with you all.....

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When I started my first job as a cashier I don't recall ever getting anything great with the exception of maybe one $2 bill and a bi-centennial quarter. I believe I took the $2 bill, but gave the quarter back in change. Of course back then the economy was still in good shape and gas was at an all time cheap. A gallon of regular was actually below a dollar, but only for that summer. Soon it would go to ~$1.25 and then ~$1.50 to ~$1.75 for a few years. Then the $2, $3 and $4 gas came. Now I am eagerly awaiting that below $2 per gallon gasoline again! :ninja:

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I can remember the first time I pumped $20 worth of gas into a car. I was afraid to tell the driver what he owed. The first tank of gas I ever pumped (it was my dad's service station) was more along the lines of 20 cents a gallon. We got neat change in those days, but I wasn't yet a collector.

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All my best finds have been from rolls of halves from banks, though you never know where cools coins will turn up. Back about 10 years ago, I got a Franklin half in change from a convenience store around the block from my office (I had to ask for it, but I got it for face anyway), and just a couple months ago, I got a 1960 dime in change from a self service checkout at the local supermarket!

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50c_1964D_Ob.jpg

50c_1964D_Re.jpg

 

Here's the 1964D half dollar I found a couple months ago. The obverse isn't in very good shape, but the reverse is just beautiful.

 

The luster is fantastic! The toning on the obverse actually makes it look like a coin from earlier in the century - I forget it's a modern coin.

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Ive recieved my share of silver coinage and oddball stuff from circulation. But out of the best, and the strangest, I got a Crisp Uncirculated Series 1935E $1 Silver Cert, a 1917D Buffalo Nickel, an 1880 Spanish 50 centavos as a dime, and a 2005 Proof Reagan Dime.

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Ive recieved my share of silver coinage and oddball stuff from circulation. But out of the best, and the strangest, I got a Crisp Uncirculated Series 1935E $1 Silver Cert, a 1917D Buffalo Nickel, an 1880 Spanish 50 centavos as a dime, and a 2005 Proof Reagan Dime.

 

By any chance were these from a coinstar or similar machine? It has only been on VERY rare occasions that anybody will knowingly spend something valuable like that. Heck, bicentennials carry little or no premium over face value, and I won't let one of those go unless I have absolutely no other choice.

 

Now that I think about it, just about the only time I ever get unusual coins from customers, they're trying to pull something. I've had to explain to several people that Canadian dollars and Mexican pesos are NOT legal tender in the US, and cannot be spent in a 1:1 ratio.

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry about the bump; just thought I'd check back in with some updates.

 

Things have more or less slowed down, but I think that somebody dumped a very old stash of coins into a coin star recently. Over the past couple weeks, I've snagged:

-More than half a dozen wheat pennies (some of them from the early 40's, which made me excited)

-A considerable number of bicentennial quarters (for two weeks, it was unusual for me to NOT find one... I now have 2 dozen of both mintmarks)

-A handful of old pennies in AU or better condition (the dates led me to believe that this person got a bunch of 1983 pennies and tossed them in a jar before circulating them)

-Yes, even more old nickels. A couple days ago, I managed to snag a 1946-S as I was counting change.

 

I'm starting to impress myself at this point. I don't even know if there's anything unique about the die of an "S" coin besides its mintmark, but I've gotten to the point where I can look at a coin, say "Hmm, that one looks kind of funny" only to find that it's a 1970-S nickel. I live on the East Coast, so S coins are pretty rare over here, especially from circulation.

 

I need to head over to the bank soon and break some bills so I can keep trading for these things. :ninja:

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  • 2 weeks later...

New findings of the past week.

 

1959D penny in AU condition, if not better. It came in with a shipment of pennies, and I managed to snag it when the color stood out to me from the corner of my eye. Slightly duller and a tad reddish.

 

1964D quarter. It's not in superb condition, but it's in better shape than the average bicentennial. Strictly speaking, a good friend of mine got it in change for an energy drink, and I saved it before it was spent back into circulation. It caught my eye because of the tell-tale whitish tint of the old silver coins.

 

Also found a 1939-P nickel today, but haven't had a chance to take a picture of it. Fine/Very Fine condition. (I thought it was 1959 at first because of the funny 3's they used back then)

1c_1959D_Ob.jpg

25c_1964D_ob.jpg

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I was at wally world the other day and when I stepped up to the cashier she was complaining to her super about 5 Ikes that some one gave her. I offer to give her $5 for them and she was glad to accept my offer. I took the coins and put the in my pocket. When I got home I looked and one of the coins was a silver Ike proof. Nice return on my $5.

 

Rick

:ninja:

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I was at wally world the other day and when I stepped up to the cashier she was complaining to her super about 5 Ikes that some one gave her. I offer to give her $5 for them and she was glad to accept my offer. I took the coins and put the in my pocket. When I got home I looked and one of the coins was a silver Ike proof. Nice return on my $5.

 

Rick

;)

:ninja: Congrats!

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  • 3 weeks later...

A couple interesting finds today.

 

One of the employees in my store's cash office found a 1907 Liberty Head V nickel while she was sorting through a bunch of coins. It was very badly worn, but I wasn't able to convince her to let me buy it from her.

 

To brighten my mood, though, one of my customers paid me with a 1935E $1 silver certificate. It's very badly worn (not that I haven't seen worse). Somehow or another, she either didn't notice that it wasn't a regular dollar bill (the blue treasury seal was what immediately tipped me off), or she simply didn't care.

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