Tim L. Shuck of Ames, IA wrote an article for CoinLink this week about an unusual circulation find (for 2010).
Recently ... I was notified of a in-circulation find that I'm fairly certain even I would have noticed. In an email from my brother in the Richmond, Virginia, area, he noted that a co-worker had discovered an unusual coin in his pocket change. A U.S. coin, but one that didn't quite look right. I contacted the finder, and he provided me with this narrative (slightly edited for publication):
"I went through the drive-through at the local Chic-fil-A to get a milkshake. I confess to a serious addiction to their milkshakes. I got the change and stuffed it my pocket and drove off for home.
When I was getting ready to throw the change into the coin jar on the kitchen counter, I noticed that a couple of quarters looked very new. My wife is saving state quarters to make full sets for the grandkids and I'm under instructions to check any good ones to see if she needs them.
The quarters were of no interest, but I noticed a dime that had a strange kind of patina to it and took a closer look. Frankly, my first thought was that I had probably gotten a Canadian coin.
I didn't know what it was, so off I went to the web, where I found out it was a three-cent coin (thus, the Roman numeral III), a little about its history, and a few prices. That's about it.
I'd hate to think it was some other guy like me who just thought it was a dime and had no idea what he'd just spent for a sugar and chocolate fix.
As for coin collecting, I now have a one-coin collection."
He sent a couple of snapshots of this well-worn coin to my brother, who forwarded them to me.
Wondering how this nearly 150-year old coin, minted in the fourth year of a denomination last produced in 1889, found it's way into a Chick-fil-A cash drawer leads to interesting speculation.
We will probably never know why this coin ended up at a Chick-fil-A, but it seems likely it passed through a couple of hands, and possibly a bank or two, on its way to a new home as the star coin of a one- coin collection.
Perhaps the most intriguing question is wondering whether there were others like this from the original source, also placed into circulation and now waiting to be found. And as unlikely as this last possibility might be and though I live a long way from Virginia, I think I'll be looking a little more closely at my pocket change from now on
To read the complete article, see:
Pocket Change Yields an Unusual Find
Wayne Homren, Editor
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