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Coin Finds: Welcome the Unexpected

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 edit for content, style, and length.

I would like to share this coin find with everyone. I was on my way to check my mail at my apartment where I live when I stumbled upon this find. There in the parking lot of our washeteria (laundromat) lay a small coin about the size of a dime. Out of curiosity, I picked it up, and it turned out to be a 1944-D silver centavo from the commonwealth of the Philippines. I was ecstatic! How did a piece of American and Filipino World War II history end up here in my apartment complex? One can only wonder how. I enjoy collecting old American and foreign money, but to have one of both in the same coin is amazing! Happy collecting, everyone.

Steven Walters
West Monroe, LA

I began collecting, for a few years, as a youngster. I worked for three different filling stations where people went for meals. I was lucky to find a three-legged Buffalo nickel. This was around 1938. I’ve been going to sales, and I bought a 2000 plain quarter set in platinum. I was wondering what it’s worth. I paid $5 for it.

While I was working on construction on canals, I was lucky enough to pick up a Mercury dime, 1916-D, in very good condition. As you can see, I’m no youngster. I’m 93 and still like to look through rolls of coins.

Chuck Wright
Lenora, KS

A couple of months ago I went to one of my favorite flea markets, and my favorite coin guy was there, and he had these boxes of coins in brown boxes. I got the last 20 years of Indian Head pennies and Buffalo nickels, and it had a key to lock it up. The Indian pennies started at 1890 and went to 1909 and were in average condition. The 1909 was the only rare Indian. Now, on to the good part: The Buffalo nickels, 1916 to 1938. The 1916-D had two feathers. I think it is a G-4 condition or better. I say it’s better. I also got 1917 F-12, 1918 VF-20, 1919 and 1920 F-12, 1921 VG-8, 1923 VG-8, 1924 to 1930 F-12. Here is the really good one: 1931-S VF-20 and the 1934 to 1938 VF-20. I got a box with silver dollars in it, but no silver. I was very pleased with the coins.

Also, fellow coin collectors, don’t do what I did a month ago. I bought a notebook of coins, and when I got home, about 10 of my coins were gone. I turned the notebook the wrong way. I got a bag next time. Everyone keep on hunting. Truly yours,

Daryl Wayne Padgett
Waynesburg, KY

I think that finding old or foreign coins in everyday change just enhances the coin-collecting bug. I am always going through my money looking for outdated treasures or money from other countries. When I lived in New England, finding Canadian coins was a commonplace occurrence. Since moving to Oklahoma, most of my finds have been older American coins. In my present town, I have had considerable luck. There seems to be an awful lot of Lincoln wheat pennies floating around in circulation, especially pre-1940 specimens. Earlier this year, I obtained a Whitman blue book for Lincoln cents 1909-1940 and have so far filled 15 slots from pocket change.

We have one pizza place by my house that seems to attract silver Roosevelt dimes, as I have acquired five of them in the past three years. Earlier this year, the local Quik Trip gave me back a nickel in change. The coin was tarnished in black, and nothing was discernible as to its true identity. I am usually loathe to try and clean a coin, but the film was extremely thick, leading me no choice but to proceed. After a deep soaking in olive oil and a lot of scrubbing with an old towel, I discovered that I had a silver 1942-P Jefferson. One of the members of our local coin club has just started putting together a collection of Jefferson wartime nickels, so I presented it to him at our last meeting, with the admission it had been cleaned. He was pleased, regardless.

I recall being in Connecticut a few years back and receiving change back from a pizza parlor in Seymour. At the time I didn’t have time to check it. About an hour later, I was reaching for my keys in my pocket and heard that familiar cling of silver. I pulled out a 1954 Washington quarter that rated about VF. Sometimes, the easiest way to find something is to let it find you. Always keep searching.

Timothy F. O’Keefe

Each week I go to the local branch to get a roll of quarters, a roll of nickels and two rolls of pennies. I ask for customer-wrapped rolls of nickels and pennies. This spring, I had success. There were no surprises in the quarter or nickel roll. The penny rolls were wrapped in a lot of tape. They included several wheat pennies, several Canadian cents and an Indian Head cent. I returned to the bank and saw Jake. I asked him for any remaining rolls brought in by the same customer. Jake had $6 worth, so I bought them all. In total, there were 60 wheat pennies, including a steel cent; 62 Canadian cents, including 2 with King George; 2 Indian Head pennies; a Hungarian coin from 1895; and a 1957 centine from Belgium. There was even a dime in one of the rolls!

This was my best coin roll find ever. Keep searching those coin rolls, as you never know what you will find!

Cheryl Cullick
Bellevue, KY

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