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Coin Finds: Amazing Finds From Surprising Places

One collector finds an 1828 large cent in a corn field and 1848 and 1852 large cents near Fairmount, Indiana where actor James Dean was raised.

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After reading On the Scene by Clifford Mishler in the January 19, 2021 edition of Numismatic News, I too have found two Jefferson nickels dated 1963D and 1964D in AU or better condition in change. One was received from a fast food restaurant in Brownsburg, IN and the other from a Sunoco service station, in the town of Lizton IN where I live, found just earlier this month. It always pays to check your change, especially if you’re a coin collector.

Steve Little
Lizton, IN

I came across a 1975 Washington Quarter and it's not in the red book. Now what's up with that?

Ken Jackson
Madison WI

I am age 78 and was interested in old coins as a boy but it did not lead into a hobby at the time. As a boy I routinely saw Mercury & Roosevelt dimes, Standing Liberty & Washington quarters, plus Liberty Walking & Franklin halves. As a young teen I received a very worn Liberty Head nickel dated in the 1900s. As a young US Navy sailor, I received my first Kennedy half in December 1964. In early 1962 my Greyhound bus stopped in St. George, Utah for breakfast; I walked out with two worn Morgan dollars in change. In 1965 I brought home coins and currency from in-port visits to the Republic of the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan. In 1968, in my home state of Iowa, I received in change a very worn half dollar dated about 1913; at the time I did not know that collectors call it a Barber half.

My official beginning as a coin collector was in 1970 at age 27; it started with my collecting Lincoln cents from circulation. I quickly graduated from bank rolls to bank bags; usually two $50 bags a week purchased each Friday: payday. The following are some results of that activity practiced for perhaps four years. My long-term average of wheat-backs was approximately 300 wheats, in each bag of 5000 coins. Stated in another way; about 6% wheats.

My biggest find was a 1909-S Lincoln in strict VF. I felt like I had found a small fortune as the retail value was approximately $30. I think the only two date/mint combinations I did not find were a 1909-S VDB and a 1914-D. I found two blank planchets with the brightness of a recently minted cent. I do not remember finding any other mint errors. There were rather numerous 1943 steel specimens. I rapidly realized I needed tubes for most date/mint combinations. I eventually advertised to sell some of my cents; a coin dealer, who had been burglarized, responded and bought many of them.

While I was living in Portland, OR I found numerous Canadian cents. One bag had an unusually high number of them. Also, because of my location I found many “S” mints. I have a full bank roll of uncirculated 1970-S cents obtained almost fifty-one years ago.

In addition, there were a few other foreign coins that somehow made it through the sorting machines. One time a bag held a very large number of mutilated cents; it seemed as if one person must have accumulated them and then turned them into the bank as part of a lot. A few dimes slipped through with the cents also.

Maurice Wadle
Coralville IA

When I search rolls, I tend to get small amounts which has me get limited and uneven results since I began coin roll hunting the Spring of 2019. I pursue mainly quarters, half dollars, and dollar coins. In my search, only once was I able to get a roll of half dollars. When I first started I got a few 90% silver coins once in a great while but since October 2019 I have had no luck finding 90% and 40% silver coins. Possibly, more people have discovered the fun of coin roll hunting!

My top finds since Spring 2019 till now have been: a) 1929 Standing Liberty Quarter in Good condition and date showing, b) a F - VF condition 1963-D Franklin Half Dollar , d) 2009 Sacagawea Dollar with Missing Edge Lettering in EF condition, e) 2005 Satin finish Sac Dollar in low MS state and e) 1917-D Lincoln cent in the slot of a change machine! The Lincoln cent was in AG-3 condition but still quite a surprise.

Name and address withheld

1828 large cent

Found this 1828 large cent in a corn field along with a 1848 and 1852 large cents near Fairmount Indiana near where James Dean was raised.

John Clevenger
Gas City, Indiana

I recently obtained in change a lightly circulated Washington quarter showing two obverse sides: one dated 1986 and the other 1988. As a coin collector for over 30 years, I never saw a coin like it.

Dr. Frank Krause, DDS, MS
Cranford NJ