Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Very Pleasant Sunday Afternoon.... By LRC-Tom (Ebay-ID)

This isn't my story. It happened to someone else.(wish it was me lol) He gave me his permission to post his story here. I know if anyone purchase's "unsearched" hoards of coins your usually happy with finding one semi key date. Most of the fun is in the looking. I mostly look for varieties because I'm pretty sure all the good dates are gone. But could you imagine this.....

A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon...By LRC-Tom

I had gotten a call...a woman saying she had a big box of old coins
her father had put away a long time ago. These calls happen
frequently, and the hoards tend to consist of mostly wheat cents,
corroded Indians, dateless Buffs, junk silver, common circ dollars,

So I was skeptical when she came by, and said the box was too
heavy...could I go out to her car and get it?

It was about a 2x2x2 metal box, with metal drawers, taped shut with
old masking tape. It had to weigh 40 pounds..It was a major struggle
to bend over and pick it up off the floormat.

She was maybe 60 years old, and she said her dad had started just
throwing stuff in the box starting in the early 50s. He had never
been a coin collector...just a hoarder.

I was still dubious, but the "early 50s" part did intrigue me...

It was a struggle to open the drawers...coins were jammed in so.

And the contents....all 90% silver, including hundreds and hundreds of
Barbers. Dimes, quarters, halves, not high-grade, but mostly problem-
free AG-VG with a few Fines here and there. A few hundred more
Standing Liberty quarters and many hundred Mercuries. And the rest
ave circ 90% silver, with the latest date being about 1961 that I
could see.

As I started skimming dates, I began to see that this truly was that
rare occurrence, a "Guaranteed Unsearched Hoard", as we see so often
promoted on eBay, but for good reason never believe. Not many better
dates emerged at first, but there lots of dates I never saw in
circulation even long ago, and I started looking as a 6-year old in
1957 (Barbers? I never saw one except in a dealer's case). And many
of the coins from 53-54-55 were borderline unc, confirming what I was
told about when these were put away.

This was great fun...It took me from 1pm to 6pm, but I checked every
date and mint, and did indeed find some goodies. Here are the

3 1921 Mercs, 2 AG-G, 1 G
2 1921 Quarters, one with nearly all 4 digits visible (the other,
only the last 1)
2 1932-D Quarters, VG-F or so
1 1909-O Barber Half, nice F-VF
1 1921-S Half, G
1 1921-D Half, nice VG
1 1938-D Half, F-VF

Oh yeah, there were also some dollars, not that many, but there was a
91-CC in Fine and a 21 Peace in AU.

Going through this hoard, I was a kid again.. "Ooh, cool, there's
another 21!"

It was so nice to forget about grading controversies and Chinese
counterfeits and sleazy sellers and all the other crap, and get back,
for an afternoon, to what numismatics is really all about.


p.s. and yes, I did pay her fair money for everything....

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Coins Lost and Found Again

A few years back I bought a metal detector off EBay. It was a Bounty Hunter Pioneer 202. Paid about $150 for it. I thought just maybe I would find a treasure trove of coins around some old house foundations where my parents lived in southern Missouri. I did find some interesting stuff, nothing valuable except for an axe head that dated back to early 1800's (or so I was told).

As for coins I found 8 wheat pennies, all 40's and 50's. One Indian penny 1899. And about $5.50 in common date coins, mostly pennies and dimes. After searching most of the old house sites I checked out my parents yard. They live in an old house built in the late 1800's out in the middle of nowhere on the Gasconade river. I found a few coins, nothing special. I did find one of those big two person saws in her front yard. I thought that was kinda neat.

I seemed to have a little luck everywhere I tried, so why not my yard I thought. We live in a pretty old town. Our house was built in 1928. I didn't think I would find much, but I had nothing better to do. So there I was digging up holes in my yard. Some of them rather large. My wife just watched and shook her head. I found alot of pennies and some quarters all common dates. I gave up after a weekend of digging. My metal detector found its way into my closet where it sat for a couple of years.

Then one spring I decided to build a water garden. About 2000 gallons. I had to dig a pretty big hole. Then the metal detector entered my mind when I seen that big pile of loose dirt. So off I went to fetch it. After changing the batteries I went to searching the pile of potentially treasure laden dirt. I found ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So I about gave up. Before I turned it off, I made a few swipes in the hole I had dug. My heart raced when I heard a definite hit. Sounded good. I started digging with a spade I used. Not 4 inches down( which would have made it about 3 feet before digging the hole) I seen the outline of a coin. when I rubbed the dirt away I seen a seated liberty outline. I was ecstatic. I ran in the house and carefully washed the dirt away. I thought what the hell it's been in the ground forever anyway, surely I can't hurt it that much. It wasn't like it was BU.

Then moments later I had a 1855 seated half dime perched in between my thumb and forefinger. All I did was stare at it. I hollered for my wife. She came running. Then when I told her to look at the treasure I had just dug up in the backyard she hollered at me for scaring her. Said she though that something was horribly wrong from the way I was screaming for her. Then she seemed kind of excited also. She asked me how much it was worth. My best guess was ten or fifteen dollars. She just left the room after I informed her of its probable value.

Oh well, It was worth the hundred and fifty dollars for the detector. I haven't found any more coins with it. It's now back in the closet. I am just waiting for the next time it comes out. Maybe I'll find a 16d mercury dime or something. Sure is fun dreaming. So just keep looking. You never know what you will find.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Things People Spend

My wife has had various retail jobs. She has pulled a few good coins for me from circulation. She pulls all the silver and wheat pennies she finds. I used to come home from work and she would usually have a penny or a dime waiting for me to inspect. They just ended up in my purple crown royal bag. Nothing ever worth much, but still worth saving. I have $4.67 cents now in that bag. 3 quarters 1964, 12 Roosevelt dimes and the rest wheats.

One day I came home. She said she had five coins for me. I thought cool probably just pennies. But still eager to look at them. I get excited when i see her digging them out of her purse. I know there not pennies or dimes or quarters. First thought is Ikes. Then I am handed 3 1925 peace dollars and 2 1921 morgans. Well circulated, but hell they only cost a dollar apiece. She said some kid was buying five dollars in gas. That he was probably 16 or 17. I was thinking hmmm, his dad probably isn't going to be very happy if he notices those missing. I kinda felt guilty about it. I know I didn't steal them but they were probably gotten that way. I do still have them and the guilt didn't take long to subside.

My wife quit that job a couple of months later. I was kinda still hoping he would come back and buy some more gas. Maybe with a full set of mercury dimes . He never did though and my wife said she would not continue working there just so I could see.

This was about five years ago. I still wonder if he ever came back and spent some more. If he did what did I miss out on. Ohh well. Just goes to show, you can still find good coins out there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One of My First Coin Finds

After finding my mercury dime I had bought a Red Book and a few coin magazines. One article I remember was about finding old coins in regular circulation. It had a few tips in it about increasing your chances of finding good coins. Like buying alot of coins from the bank and having friends who worked with money keep an eye out for you. It had also mentioned a book called The Cherrypickers Guide. I bought it. Then I realized after reading, that I was going to need a loupe. It had alot of newer coins listed with errors.

Seemed like I was spending a lot of money before I even got to looking at tons of change. But I knew it would pay off. I would be rich in a month or two. So off I went to the bank to buy $50 in pennies and nickels. About an hour into it I found what I was looking for a 1969 S double die. Wow it was worth thousands. I couldn't believe my luck. then I was reading the cherrypickers guide some more ....hmmmm... whats this section in front I thought. It has pictures of coins with doubling on them. I seen the mechanical doubling picture and my heart sank. Thats what my coin looks like. I still refused to believe my coin wasn't worth thousands. I had spent $70 dollars on books and a luope. My knowledge of coins was unsurpassed. Who was to tell ME I was wrong.

Well after a few coins show and five dealers. I finally gave in after they all told me the same thing. I still have this coin. It is worth more to me than some of the more expensive coins I have bought from dealers. But I'll never forget at one time for about thirty minutes I had found a coin worth four or five thousand dollars in pocket change.

Monday, November 12, 2007

How I got started coin collecting

It all started when i was about 12 years old. Me and a friend were rummaging through and old barn. I found a box of old books. I can only remember the one. It was a blue book "Handbook to US coins" The year was 73 or 74. I believe I found it in 1982.

I took it home with me. I remember looking through it and I realized it had values for coins. I also noticed the value of some newer coins I had were worth more than face value. I knew nothing at the time about coin grades. So when I went through my change I had a nickel that was worth a couple pennies more.

That started my interest in coins . But I guess it ran its course. About two months later I lost interest in going through every piece of change and finding coins that were worth a few cents more. Change was hard to come by to me back then. I always needed a soda or candy bar or something important like that.

Not until about 1995 was I to become interested again in coins. I was working At a fast food place. I was working the register. A man pulled some change from his pocket. He was counting throuh it , I noticed a funny looking coin in his hand I was hoping he would spend it. He did. I waited until he was away and then looked at the coin more closely. It had the date 1943 and appeared to be a dime(That's what I counted it as). I bought it from the register. I finally ended up calling a coin dealer I found in the phone book. Told him of my great fortune. I was hoping he would tell me it was worth hundreds. Nope turns out it was about .30 - .35 cents at the time. Oh well.

Now I have been digging through coins ever since. I have found quite a few coins and paper money in regular circulation that were pretty decent finds.