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Hey, I got a new nickel

When was the last time I mentioned looking at my change? Can’t remember? Neither can I.

After paying my tab for Friday fish at Too-Dars cafe here in Iola, I was handed quite a handful. My bill was $6.07.

I put a $1 bill on the counter along with one of the quarters that I had been given from the till.

I hadn’t looked at the quarter that I put on the counter very closely other than to see that it was a state quarter. Now I wish I had. I can't even remember the state.

When I got back to the office I decided to empty my pocket and look at the coins more closely.

These coins were all from years past with the exception of a 2016-D Jefferson nickel.

That startled me.

Of all the denominations in circulation, it seems to take the new nickels the longest to reach Iola, Wis.

I can’t say that new cents or new quarters are all that routine here either since the crash in 2008, but a current year cent or quarter comes my way much more often than a current nickel.

I even walked it over to the desk of Bob Van Ryzin, the Coins Magazine and Bank Note Reporter editor, just to show it off.

The other coins from my pocket were simply typical of what you can find on an average day around here.

There were three cents, 1996, 2010-D and 2014.

The dime was a 2010-D.

In the remaining pair of quarters there was a 1985-P and a 1991-D.

Nothing of value to be sure, but these coins definitely have been around a bit and in consequence show character.

Counting the huge number of designs created since the 1999 commencement of the state quarter series, Washington quarters offer the widest variety of possible dates in circulation. Plus the clad coins from 50 years ago are still around.

It is not uncommon to find 1965, 1966 and 1967 in my change, but just as was the case a half century ago, the 1966 is the hardest of the trio to find and the 1965 the easiest.

It’s nice that some things never change.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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