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‘Coin Finds’ column continues to fascinate readers

Based on the long-running “Coin Finds” column in Coins magazine, which will continue to appear in print, this online version will give additional exposure to the thrill of the hunt.

Submit your own discoveries via email to Coins magazine editor Robert R. Van Ryzin at robert.vanryzin@fwmedia.com.


I was at a convention recently and happened to look down and see a dull-looking cent, which I thought might be a wheat cent. So I picked it up and put it in my pocket.

After I got home, I got a close look at it, expecting to see a 1950s or possibly 1940s date, but it turned out to be a 1920-D. It would probably only grade Good-6, but still amazing to think that a coin nearly 100 years old was still in someone’s pocket until they dropped it on the floor.

Daryl Conway
Truth or Consequences, N.M.


Back in early 2014 I received an About Uncirculated 1964-D quarter in change at my local grocer. I could see it while still in the checker’s hand, and understood the distinctive clink of silver as it and other coins touched my hand.

I could hardly contain myself, and clinched all the coinage protectively in my fist until I got to my truck. After further examination and repeatedly saying “yes” in a raised tone of voice, I drove across the parking lot to fuel up.

Excitedly, I showed the gas attendant my find and told him that I was looking at silver prices last night and the silver value was about $3.50. He looked at it briefly and said, “Wow, silver sure has gone up in value.”

Then, bam, it hit me and I asked him, “Do you know how much gas this bought back in 1964?” Without waiting for his reply, I said “about a gallon.” Then, looking at the $3.55 price of regular gas at the pump that day, I asked, “You know how much gas this buys today?” Once again without waiting for his reply I said, “about a gallon. Silver hasn’t gone up in value, but rather the dollar has become worth less.”

After staring at it for a solid five seconds, he looked me square in the eye and said “oh.”

After completing my fuel transaction, I tipped him my silver quarter. He became as excited as I was 20 minutes earlier.

Happy coin collecting,

Mike McQuaw


This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine. >> Subscribe today.


 More Collecting Resources

• The 1800s were a time of change for many, including in coin production. See how coin designs grew during the time period in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900 .

• When it comes to specialized world paper money issues, nothing can top the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Specialized Issues .

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