Coin Collecting Was Easier When I Was Younger
Itís unfortunate that todayís beginning coin collectors missed out on the experiences I had when I first began collecting coins. It was around 1970 and you could still find silver coins in change every now and then even though it had been six years since the US Mint started minting clad coins.
I would go to the local bank after school with ten bucks and get a couple rolls of dimes and go outside and look through them for silver coins for my meager collection. After doing this a few times I got to where I could tell a silver coin just by looking at the edges and I could go through a roll pretty quickly this way.
Many times it turned out to be a 1964-D which was almost a junk coin because they were so plentiful but every so often I would hit the jackpot and find a Mercury dime in pretty good shape. I would always replace the coins I took out with the same number of clad dimes since I was an honest person and would head back inside to exchange my rolls for two more.
In the beginning the tellers asked me why I was doing this and I think they might have thought that I was trying to make some money by short changing them but after telling them that I collected coins and that I made sure to replace any coins I took out they were very happy to help me and never bothered to count the rolls I turned in.
It always struck me as odd that someone would turn a Mercury dime into the bank because of how much they were worth but I guess itís the same as the time I bought 10 silver dollars for ten dollars from a girl in my class. She didnít care because she was just going to spend them anyway so I was very happy to buy them from her. Sadly, not being as smart as I am today I sold them to another collector a couple of days later for thinking that a one dollar profit was good.
My dad also assisted me in my new hobby by having a bartender he knew save out any silver coins he got during the week. I would be able to buy these for face value but there were so many coins some weeks that I couldnít buy them all. Oh, to have that problem now!
I canít remember the last time I got a silver coin in change and even though I realize itís been over 40 years since silver coins were minted itís kind of sad that someone that is just beginning to collect coins has to buy many of the coins I used to get at face value.
Perhaps the state quarters that are so popular give the newcomer to coin collecting the same excitement I got when I was just beginning but in all honesty I have to tell you that I never really liked clad coins. In my opinion they do not come close to the beauty of the silver coins of the past that I fell in love with.
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