Friday my lunch tab came to $10.02. When I saw the number, I cringed a bit as I thought about the 98 cents in coins I would receive as part of my change from a $20 bill.
I should have cringed before I ordered the piece of apple pie to pad the bill, but hadn’t. Now it was time to pay the piper.
I scanned the coins as they were handed to me, but I was running a few minutes late, so I did not take the time to check the dates. My quick glance revealed nothing out of the ordinary.
I managed to get back to my desk without any of the coins rolling out of my pocket into the car seat on the way.
Then I decided to look at them a little more closely.
When I pulled the coins out of my pocket at the office, the eagle reverse of a Washington quarter caught my eye. It was shinier than any coin that is at least 14 years old ought to be.
I turned the quarter over and the date surprised me.
It was a 1983-D.
That 29-year-old coin is a top end AU. A grading service in 50 years might even assign it a nice Mint State grade.
If only I knew where the other 39 coins from the roll happened to be.
An uncirculated roll of 1983-D quarters is worth $410.
That certainly is a price that makes me wish I had been more diligent saving clad coins back then. I regularly bought proof and mint sets in those years, but in 1982 and 1983 the U.S. Mint did not issue mint sets. Anybody who needs BU coins from the two years has to find them some other way.
While I wasn’t saving rolls of BU clad quarters three decades ago, one thing that I do know I was doing in 1983 was enjoying the pie at the Crystal Cafe. That’s why it was impossible for me to say no to it on Friday and on many other days as well.