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Coin Finds: Car Wash Find

We recently asked you, our readers, to share your best numismatic finds with us. 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.


Send your "Coin Finds" to and we'll get them in.

Please include your name, city and state. Names and addresses will be withheld from publication upon request. The editor reserves the right to to edit for content, style and length.

Recently, I decided to wash my car at the local car wash. I placed a paper dollar in the change machine and received four quarters for a manual spray wash. The required amount of the wash was $1.75, so I placed another paper dollar in the change machine, and received another four quarters.

I went back to my car to start the wash procedure, and I looked at my eight coins. I couldn’t believe my eyes when a Standing Liberty quarter dollar was in my hand along with seven other Washington quarters. It was well worn. The date was worn off, but it was 90 percent silver all the same. I got roughly $4.50 in silver for a $1.75 wash. One never knows when a special coin may appear, just keep looking for them.

Craig Green
Pleasant Grove, Utah

I started going to different banks back in 2012 in search of one-cent and five-cent boxes of coins. The one-cent boxes yielded different years of wheat cents, Canadian cents, which I collect, as well as different foreign coins.

The boxes that got my most attention were the nickels. I found one very worn 1896 Liberty head five-cent piece, three Liberty Head five-cent pieces in Good to Very Good, 13 dateless Buffalo nickels, four Buffalo nickels in VG to Fine, one 1939-D Jefferson nickel, numerous war nickels, one 1950-D Jefferson nickel, and enough Jeffersons to fill a 1938 to 1964 coin folder. The only five-cent piece I have yet to find is a 1938-S.

I am in my 70s and have been collecting coins, on and off, since I was seven years old. My point is, you really never know just what one can find.

Brian Blakeney
Albuquerque, N.M.

Like many other readers, my favorite portion of the magazine is “Coin Finds.” It is exciting to read of the success of others and to try their methodologies.

Several years ago I became very focused on coin collecting and especially filling coin albums. It did not take me long to see that it is usually pretty hard to find the desired coins from change in cash transactions, especially cents, nickels and dimes.

My best finds have come from banks, and, on a few occasions, I have had them order halves. I also have had some fortune at banks in neighboring towns.

On one occasion, I was able to get eight rolls of half dollars. One of the rolls had a 1959 Franklin half that looked like it was fresh from the Philadelphia Mint.

I also have bought a few Kennedy halves to place in a coin set.

I have started collecting dollar coins and have assembled them in sets. I spend some of the culled halves, which generally can initiate a conversation. Some cashiers have asked me the value of dollar coins; whether this was American money; and whether a half was dollar, or vice versa. Many people hoard the dollar coins and halves, so they are rapidly taken out of circulation.

I just wanted to share my finds and happiness with this hobby.

James Williamson
Address withheld

I am 37 years old. I have propably been collecting coins for 30 years. I worked at a Wawa in eastern Pennsylvania. In the mid 1990s, while working at the cash register, I would occasionally come across wheat cents and various silver coins.

This brings me to my latest coin find. I was shopping at a local Walmart. I happened to look at the reject bin on the store’s Coinstar. I noticed that there were a few coins in the bin. I pulled the coins out and sorted through them. There were a few flattened cents and two rough modern nickels. Then I finally saw it. In my hand was a 1962-D dime in AU-55.

This was the first silver coin I pulled out of circulation in over 20 years. Even though its been 51 years since the last silver coin left the Mint, they are still out there waiting to be found.

Robert W.
Allentown Pa.

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