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Coin Finds: Silver bonanza

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.

A few years ago, I was supervising a candy sale at the school where I taught. During a one-week period, a student must have gotten into their parents’ stash of silver coins. During that one week, I gladly exchanged my change for one 1964 Roosevelt silver dime, one 1964 Washington silver quarter, and two 1964 Kennedy half dollars. I often wonder if the parents ever discovered the missing silver coins, but that was certainly the best week of finding silver coins in my life.

Ricky Ridgway
Steubenville, Ohio

I’ve been sorting through Kennedy halves for about six years – about $50 worth a month. I would find a 90 percent silver and a 40 percent silver half on occasion. The last two years, I have not found one. Then, about a month ago, one of my children asked me to make a deposit at their bank.

As I walked into the bank, a greeter asked me if she could help me. I said, half-jokingly, “Do you have any half dollars?” She said, “I have $50 worth in the vault.” I said, “I’ll take them!”

She walked with me to the teller and said, “This gentleman wants some half dollars I have in the vault.” The teller said, “I have a couple here, do you want them?” I said, “Yes!” She then asked, “I’ve got these funny looking dollars.” “How many do you have,” I asked. She had 11. I took them.

Well, for me, it was the mother lode. There were nine Ike dollars, an 1881-O and an 1882-CC in good condition. In the rolls, I found an 1896 Barber, a 1917, 1919, 1920 VG, 1923-S, and 1934, all in good condition. Also, a 1935-D, 1935-S, 1937 and 1942, all in VF condition. It was a one-time thing, as the bank has no more halves.

Hammonton, NJ

I would like to share some more Coinstar finds with you: Canadian “Loonie” dollars, approximately $3 miscellaneous Canadian change, approximately $2 U.S. clad change, one game token, two Kennedy halves – one 1970-D 40 percent silver and one 1973 clad – and one 1920 wheat penny (fine).

All of the above were found in one stop at my local Wal-mart at their Coinstar machine. Finds are still
out there!

T.F. Carley, Sr.
New York State

In 1999, I went to a Texas state auction that was selling items that had been abandoned in bank safety boxes for many years. I ended up buying only two lots. These two lots had over 14,000 Lincoln cents.

I did find a 1914-D in VG. Last month, I deposited about $30 in wheat cents in my checking account. These cents ranged from AG to XF condition. I did this to help promote our hobby and let others make coin finds. Maybe this will help us get new collectors.

Among the nickels I deposited were many Buffalo and V nickels. So if you want some coin finds, there are some to be found in Houston.

Larry Lively
Via email

I still have a hard time getting over my apprehension of checking my local Coinstar machine, but the other day I couldn’t help myself.

There was a small handful of “pennies” in the reject bin, and one looked odd. It turned out to be a one-cent coin from New Zealand. Since they were under British rule, I guess this really would be a “penny?”

While in Arizona on the weekend of Sept. 15-16, I received a 2005 Canadian quarter in change. We don’t see many Canadian coins here in
the Southwest.

Daryl Conley
Via email

Thanks to Coins Magazine for learning of the possibility of finding silver. We are still checking out boxes of half dollars, and while the success rate is not what it was years ago, there are still some finds out there.

Since June 1, we have found 10 Franklin halves! In a big change from the past searches, we have found fewer than that many 40 percent
silver Kennedys.

I would not quit my day job to go looking, but since I have not had a day job in 15 years, it is great fun finding these little treasures.

Mike from Seaford
Via email

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