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Collecting from change back in the 50s/60s.. long..



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 6th 05, 06:50 PM
Harv
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Default Collecting from change back in the 50s/60s.. long..

If you subscribe to NGC's monthly emailed Newsletter, you've already seen
this.. if not, I thought it was worth re-posting here.. as I read Lange's
piece, I was taken back to my own kidhood and couldn't help but nod in
agreement with his description of collecting from change as a kid.. back
when pocket change still contained Silver coins.. if you're old enough to
remember that, this should bring back some fond memories for you too.. I
dont' know Lange's age.. I think I'm a few years older than him, since I
remember casual, as opposed to obsessive, collecting out of change in the
late 50s before I reached ten years of age..

I've blathered on in this froup many times about how as a kid, I felt rich
if I had a couple Franklin Halves in my pocket, how I occasionally got
WLHaves, SLQuarters, Buffalo Nickels, and Mercury Dimes in change, (and more
often than not, spent them).. and once in a while an IHCent.. but the ONLY
Silver Dollars I ever encountered were given to me by my Dad or Grampa..
that was a special gift when Grampa handed me a Silver Dollar.. he lived
back East and only occasionally came out to Calif. to visit us.. he was a
tailor in Detroit in his pre-retirement years, and made suits for, well,
let's just say a certain class of "businessme" who paid him in Gold coins..
unfortunately, he never handed me a Gold coin, and I don't have a clue what
happened to any that he had kept when he passed way decades ago..

Like Lange, I never found any key dates in change.. or if I did, I didn't
know they were key dates, and just spent them.. unlike Lange, I never bought
rolls from a bank to search..

I still have a lot of those kidhood coins in old blue Whitman folders.. not
a single one of them with every hole filled, of course..

As a magazine writer myself, I just think this is a damn fine piece of
writing..

QUOTE::

USA Coin Album
by David W. Lange
The Waning Days of Silver: A Personal Remembrance


In my work with NGC I have the occasion to exchange e-mails with and meet in
person at shows many of our collector customers. While a few are veterans in
the hobby who have been collecting 50 years or more, I'm struck by the fact
that the vast majority is relatively new to numismatics-at least they seem
so to me. I'm not certain at what point I realized that my perceptions of
the hobby and what makes it compelling became dated, but it now appears that
the majority of current collectors have different goals than the ones that
attracted me to coin collecting as a child.

One of the greatest distinctions between my memories of the hobby and those
of the current majority is my first-hand experience in assembling sets from
circulation. I began collecting in 1965, when dimes, quarters and halves
were all 90% silver pieces (the first clad quarters debuted late that year,
the dimes and halves early in '66). These were the only coins known to me
then, and there was no particular importance attached to the fact that they
were silver.

Though, as a child, I naturally started my collections with cents and
nickels, I progressed to the higher denominations very quickly. While I
never found any key dates in circulation, it was still possible to put
together fairly complete sets of the current types. My success was somewhat
hampered by the lack of a mentor. There were no adults collecting coins in
my family, and my brother had dropped out of the hobby just after a brief
flirtation and before learning anything useful that could be passed on to
me. Several years elapsed before I realized that I could examine a lot of
coins by getting rolls from banks. Until that time I relied simply on
whatever coins I found in my parents' and relatives' daily change.

The result was a nearly complete set of Roosevelt dimes, lacking only the
six issues of 1949-50, which were already being hoarded in circulated
condition. Living in the San Francisco area, I had only slight difficulty
with the S-Mint coins so coveted by collectors in the East, and the Philly
pieces were common by virtue of their large mintages. It was thus the Denver
Mint coins struck prior to 1950 that tended to be elusive. I had to trade
with another kid to obtain my severely worn 1947-D. Despite widespread
hoarding of the low-mintage 1955-P, D and S dimes, I had no trouble finding
them.

Mercury dimes turned up with some regularity, though they were almost always
dated in the 1940s. I assembled a complete set 1940-45, lacking only 1940-D
and the overdate, and I gathered a few scattered pieces from the 1930s.
These were all Philadelphia Mint coins, the branch mint issues having
already succumbed to the popular coin collecting mania that began around
1960.

Quarters were all of the Washington type, with just two exceptions. Each of
my parents acquired in their change one Standing Liberty quarter of the
second type issued 1917-24. Naturally, these were dateless, otherwise they
wouldn't have remained in circulation that long. With a numismatic library
consisting solely of R.S. Yeoman's A Hand Book of United States Coins (the
Blue Book), I immediately made an incorrect assumption regarding my prizes.
Noting that three stars were placed below the eagle in 1917, my
seven-year-old mind interpreted this to mean that my coins, which likewise
showed three stars below the eagle, were clearly made in 1917. Some years
went by before the bigger picture dawned on me.

The Washington series was another one that could be more or less completed,
with the exception of mintmarked coins before 1940. I retrieved two very
worn 1932 quarters from my mother's supermarket change. Oddly enough, both
came from the same store about a year apart. Later dates that eluded me
included several D-Mint pieces from the 1940s, as well as 1955(P) and
1958(P), both of which were extensively hoarded in uncirculated condition.
In fact, when I attempted to recreate this collection from dealers' junk
boxes just a few years ago, these two issues were the most difficult coins
to find in worn condition.

Half dollars, though they still circulated where I lived in the West, were
not encountered with enough frequency to complete a set. Even if it had
occurred to me to purchase rolls from banks, I lacked the means to do so at
that age. I assembled my Kennedy set as the coins were issued, nearly all
pieces being uncirculated or just faintly worn. Walking Liberty halves
dominated the older issues, and I could also count on my paternal
grandparents to give me one each time they visited. Still, I never came
close to completing even the short set of 1941-47, though I did score a nice
1927-S in VG. For some mysterious reason, I never once saw a Franklin half
dollar in circulation. To this day I still think of it as an "Eastern" coin.

There was a tremendous sense of adventure then, never knowing what old coins
awaited in the day's pocket change. Nothing I found was ever worth much more
than face value at the time, but it instilled in me a sense of wonder that
has sustained my interest in numismatics ever since. While the current
generation of collectors has its own motivations for pursuing coins, the
thrill of collecting from circulation is a memory I will always cherish.

David W. Lange's column "USA Coin Album" appears monthly in Numismatist, the
official publication of the American Numismatic Association.

END OF QUOTE.

Harv


--
"I love your sweater. How's the lunch? What are you drinking? It's on
me."
(Gov. Schwarzenegger's comment to a woman while table-hopping at a
Sacramento eatery as part of his initiatives campaign kick-off, looking to
curry favor among the voters, one drink at a time, March 1, 2005.)


Ads
  #2  
Old April 6th 05, 08:46 PM
James Higby
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"Harv" wrote in message
...

Picture a kid riding a bike with a wire basket on each side of the rear
wheel, and a $50 bag of pennies in each basket, and you will see me at age
14. That was mumbly-five years ago.

James
'oh, all right, it was 45 years ago'


  #3  
Old April 6th 05, 09:48 PM
howard
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way back in 1965 I paid for my 1965 Mercury Caliente 2 door HT 289 CID
around $2,700.
Paid for the FULL AMOUNT IN ASSORTED CHANGE (most of it was at least rolled)
and HEAVY.

Car long gone, change long gone, muscle for packing change long gone, memory
is "priceless"

H


  #4  
Old April 6th 05, 11:18 PM
cladking
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howard dot wrote:
way back in 1965 I paid for my 1965 Mercury Caliente 2 door HT 289

CID
around $2,700.
Paid for the FULL AMOUNT IN ASSORTED CHANGE (most of it was at least

rolled)
and HEAVY.

Car long gone, change long gone, muscle for packing change long gone,

memory
is "priceless"

H



I started searching change and rolls in 1957 and didn't really find
much of anything either. There were millions of people looking and the
best coins were gone long before. I did find a '50-D nickel in 1964
that I sold the same day for $25. This was a lot of money in those
days.

Not many people are looking now days and most think silver is the best
they'll find. It's none too surprising that most of the known
varieties since 1965 are scarce or rare. Someday most will be much
easier but they'll be in VG condition.

  #5  
Old April 7th 05, 12:11 AM
Bruce Farley
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Sounds like me in the early 60's. I would go to the bank after school on
Friday. (For those of you to know where the term "Bankers Hours" came
from, back in those old days the banks were only open until 3PM M-T and
open until 6 on Friday). So Friday was the day I would go and buy my
rolls of pennies. Back in those days I could even read the dates and
mint marks without glasses or loop. Boy, has that changed! It was fun. I
would go through the pennies over the weekend and roll them up to
exchange at the bank the next Friday. We would write our name on the
rolls and got to know the names of other collectors in the area so we
could reject some of the rolls without even looking! I rememebr the day
I got my first Lincoln Memorial penny while I was back in Virginia in
1959. And to think that now we are looking for those "old" wheats!
It was fun then, and now it still is, but the searching has changed to
the internet and we no longer can find old coins in the change. Still
having fun, Bruce
About the same age,57

James Higby wrote:
"Harv" wrote in message
...

Picture a kid riding a bike with a wire basket on each side of the rear
wheel, and a $50 bag of pennies in each basket, and you will see me at age
14. That was mumbly-five years ago.

James
'oh, all right, it was 45 years ago'



  #6  
Old April 7th 05, 01:19 AM
Bruce Remick
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"cladking" wrote in message
oups.com...

howard dot wrote:
way back in 1965 I paid for my 1965 Mercury Caliente 2 door HT 289

CID
around $2,700.
Paid for the FULL AMOUNT IN ASSORTED CHANGE (most of it was at least

rolled)
and HEAVY.

Car long gone, change long gone, muscle for packing change long gone,

memory
is "priceless"

H



I started searching change and rolls in 1957 and didn't really find
much of anything either. There were millions of people looking and the
best coins were gone long before. I did find a '50-D nickel in 1964
that I sold the same day for $25. This was a lot of money in those
days.

Not many people are looking now days and most think silver is the best
they'll find. It's none too surprising that most of the known
varieties since 1965 are scarce or rare. Someday most will be much
easier but they'll be in VG condition.


I can't remember the last time I received a coin in change that was in VG or
lower condition. Decades, maybe. Coins just don't wear nowadays sitting in
pickel jars and coffee cans. In the early 1950's, I'll bet at least 10% of the
coins I encountered were VG or worse.

Bruce

Bruce


  #7  
Old April 7th 05, 04:15 AM
Chuck Miller
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This sounds a lot like when I was a paper boy a few years ago. I would make
my collections and frequently was paid in coin. I would go home with my
pants barely hanging on and would unload my loot. I would get lots of
interesting coins including silver dollars when people would raid their
stashes inorder to pay their bill. I never, to the best of my knowledge,
came across any keys and only saved the coins older than 1940. Now when I
look at what I saved I don't believe it would even qualify for a junk box. I
remember that I wanted a new bike to deliver papers on. So I went to the
Bike shop and purchased a new 1959 Schwinn Corvette model for right at $100.
Of course I paid in silver dollars! Well the Bike is still in my garage
however I doubt that I could ride it. It is always fun to look back at what
we have done and dream about what we could have done instead.

Chuck Miller


  #8  
Old April 7th 05, 11:43 AM
Alan Williams
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cladking wrote:

howard dot wrote:
way back in 1965 I paid for my 1965 Mercury Caliente 2 door HT 289

CID
around $2,700.
Paid for the FULL AMOUNT IN ASSORTED CHANGE (most of it was at least

rolled)
and HEAVY.

Car long gone, change long gone, muscle for packing change long gone,

memory
is "priceless"

H


I started searching change and rolls in 1957 and didn't really find
much of anything either. There were millions of people looking and the
best coins were gone long before. I did find a '50-D nickel in 1964
that I sold the same day for $25. This was a lot of money in those
days.

Not many people are looking now days and most think silver is the best
they'll find. It's none too surprising that most of the known
varieties since 1965 are scarce or rare. Someday most will be much
easier but they'll be in VG condition.


Great post, Harv! Great story, Howard! Congratulations, Clad! (41
years late!)

;-)

Alan
'skimming from circulation since age 6'
  #9  
Old April 7th 05, 07:41 PM
Jud
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Deja vu all over again! I started collecting coins at age 6 fifty years
ago. It started with a Whitman blank penny folder (still have
it).Before too long I had folders for each circulating denomination,
which included "Mercury" dimes, Buffalo nickels (yeah, not many still
circulating but still found them), SLQ were a rare find and usually
slick "no-dates", and Walking Liberty halves. I would go through my
parents pocket change, being allowed to keep only 1 of each date,
mintmark and denomination. I never completed any of those totally from
circulation. The thought of actually having to buy a coin was anethema!
Where was the thrill of the hunt? I did buy my first coin at the age of
14, an 1878CC dollar in VF condition. I wanted it because of the
mintmark. At about the same time I started saving wheat pennies by the
roll. In those days collecting uncirculated rolls was all the rage so I
figured that circulated rolls was the next step down from that. Before
too long most of my relatives knew that I was collecting coins and
would often give me a silver dollar for my birthday or Christmas. When
my grandfather died I got two bags of coins that he had put away,
probably passed down to him as well. These bags had a lot of Large
Cents, Indian Cents, "V" nickels and surprisingly, Civil War Tokens and
Hard Times Tokens. Then a friend of the family started me off in a
whole new direction by giving me a number of British coins. Now I was a
foreign coin collector! I too remember the first Memorial cents. Ahh
yes, those were the days. I ashamedly admit to actually spending a
silver dollar at the drug store soda fountain (remember them?). After
all, it was only worth a dollar!

 




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