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Finding silver in change raises question

When was the last time you found a silver coin in your change?

For me, it was last year. When it was is not in my memory. I received a silver dime.

A Numismatic News reader in Florida has reported to me in an email that he found some silver coins in his change.

“Just a quick note on my latest find. While checking out at my local dollar store, I received 97 cents in change. Among the coins were two silver quarters, a 1943-P and a 1950-D.

“Just proves they are still out there and if you check you will find them. Did a collection get broken up by someone without knowledge? Who can say.

“That is my first lucky find for 2018. Also waiting on the 2018 circulation coins.”

Congratulations to the reader

This find of silver quarters is good news for him. The two coins have a combined melt value of $6.

Asking how these quarters might have come into his hands shows keen insight.

His theory about how the two coins wound up in circulation is sound.

It is sad to think that a collection was unknowingly broken up in this way.

However, if Mom has just passed on, or been admitted to a nursing home, a Whitman album with a few old quarters in it is not likely to be high on any family member’s priority list.

Relatives are in a hurry to clean out possessions to put a house up for sale, or to clean out a rental.

It is not cheap funding unused housing while it sits vacant.

How much delay would be caused by someone from out of state stopping in the middle of this process to closely examine coins in a set and then calling a coin dealer?

Probably too much, especially if it is just one Whitman Washington quarter folder involved.

A coin dealer might not even think it is worth much of his time.

A family member can be forgiven for ignoring it in an emotionally and financially stressful time, especially if that person is incurring costs to be spending time away from his or her own home to handle the family emergency.

Ultimately, it is up to every coin collector to handle the disposal of his or her collection, or to provide directions as to how it should be done.

However, those collectors who do not perhaps are doing good for strangers.

Finding two silver quarters in change is a happy experience for the collector.

It is clearly good news for the reader who wrote me. I am happy for him.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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