One thing leads to another. A goofy dinner conversation leads to a Numismatic Diary item, then an E-Sylum reader takes it to the
next level. An earlier E-Sylum piece about the market value of pre-1960 Jefferson Nickels led Jeff Starck of Coin
World to explore the issue in an article recently. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
someone told you that you could make a 20 percent return with absolutely no risk of losing money, you’d probably think you were talking to
a would-be Bernie Madoff.
Dealer Wayne Herndon in Virginia is one buyer willing to pay six cents for pre-1960 Jefferson nickels. Certain key dates and the silver
examples net a higher return, of course. But Herndon’s offer stands for even the most common years and Mint marks.
I first learned of Herndon’s offer through Wayne Homren, editor of E-Sylum. In the March 15, 2015, edition of the weekly
newsletter, Homren recounted a story heard at a recent gathering of collectors in the Washington, D.C., area.
Herndon explained to Coin World his offer to pay 20 percent above face value for these relatively common coins.
“I’m a dealer, and like most dealers I am constantly offered collections, accumulations, etc. ... Like bags of wheat cents, there is a
market for bags of pre-1960 Jefferson Nickels.”
Herndon sorts the coins into bins. After a bin gets full, he’ll run coins through a counter and assemble bags of 4,000 coins ($200 face
“Most of this stuff is wholesaled in my case and I have customers who from time to time will ask for bags of pre-1960 [Jeffersons],” he
He doesn’t search them for varieties or even date/mintmark combinations that are better, as that is rarely worth the investment in
The E-Sylum discussion sparked a memory for me. When I was in high school and college, I worked at a national pharmacy chain
found at the corner of happy and healthy.
As a cashier and photo clerk, I soon gained confidence of managers to search through multiple cash drawers daily to buy any coins or
paper money of interest.
At some point during my employment, I began harvesting pre-1960 5-cent coins, though my memory is foggy as to the exact reason I fixed
on that date for the search. My reasoning then was, these are 35+ years old, and if I wait another few decades, they’ll be even older. The
investment cost was certainly the right price — I could always cash them in and not lose any money.
I amassed thousands of these coins, many of which came with me to Ohio when I started at Coin World full-time in early 2004.
The discussion on E-Sylum, and an already fertile desire to winnow down my holdings, sent me searching into the collecting
closet, where I found the pile.
To learn how Jeff fared with his investment, read the complete article online. Happy hunting, everyone! -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
MAKING MONEY WITH JEFFERSON NICKELS
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY: APRIL 19, 2015 : The Big Nickel Transaction
Wayne Homren, Editor
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