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Coin Finds: Mercury find

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.


This month I found a 1943 Mercury dime in F/VG in a stack including three foreign coins someone had left as rejects near a Coinstar machine.

I wonder why the person who left it there thought it was a foreign coin, but I’m not complaining.

I also bought $15.50 of half dollars from a bank and received a 1940 Walking Liberty in Fine, a 1954-D Franklin in Fine, and three silver Kennedys (one of which was a 1964). There are still silver coins out there to be found.

Name and address withheld


A few years ago, I was working for a local utility inspecting a new concrete foundation. As I walked along, I noticed an odd-shaped square copper coin that had been uncovered during the excavation of the foundation. It was dirty, and difficult to read the design or year of production.

I took it home, carefully put in clear water to remove some of the dirt in the devices.

Later, I checked on it and carefully rinsed more of the dirt off, and discovered that it was a 1920 Straits Settlement copper, with King George V on the obverse and one cent and the date on the reverse.

The condition was poor, but an unusual coin find just the same.

I wondered how it ever ended up there, where it had been during its life span, and how I was fortunate enough to find it.

Good luck.

One never knows when a beautiful coin may be found.

Craig Green,
Pleasant Grove, Utah


I have been working on obtaining the different varieties of large cents and have acquired a few surprises, some of which I have reported here before.

Today was another example. I purchased a 1798 large cent on eBay because it was the second hair, large 8 variety and it had a clearly identifiable reverse, although I wasn’t exactly certain which variety it was from the photos.

I received the coin and under magnification determined it to be an S-165, which is the earliest die state of the three Style 2, large 8 varieties, exhibiting none of the cracks or cuds that appeared later on.

According to Whitman’s A Guide Book to Half Cents and Large Cents, the known population for this variety is just 120-160 examples. What a great coin to add to my collection.

I graded it AG-3 obverse/G-4 reverse, although the obverse is quite close to G-4.

Daryl Conley


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 .

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.

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