When I lived in Washington state and, prior to that, resided in
Pennsylvania, I could obtain all the 50-cent pieces that I could handle.
As a roll searcher, I was spoiled rotten by the banks and credit
unions I frequented, as their vaults were loaded with half dollars
that they were always eager to get rid of.
They were more than thrilled to let me have any half dollars they
had. Those banks that didn’t have half dollars in their vaults would
actually order them for me by the box. I felt loved and needed!
Now that I live in Florida, the story is much different. I would
definitely say that my access to rolls of half dollars has diminished
greatly during the past six months or so.
Oh, I have found a few rolls and individual pieces here and there,
but it has been difficult to obtain half dollars in bulk. That is not
to say that I haven’t found any good coins here in the southeast, just
that it seems to take longer.
I guess it’s true that all good things come to those who wait, as
this month I was again fortunate enough to discover a nice pile of
apparently unsearched half dollars that had recently been cashed in at
one of my local banks.
The first unusual coin to show up was a 1933 peso of the Republic
of Chile. The obverse design depicts what is known as a Defiant Condor
on Rock, facing left with the text REPUBLICA DE CHILE encircling the
upper portion of the coin.
The reverse features the denomination above the date, 1 UN PESO
1933, within a laurel wreath.
Struck in a copper-nickel alloy with a reeded edge, this coin
weighs 10.07 grams and is 29 millimeters in diameter.
It is slightly smaller in diameter than a U.S. half dollar, which
measures 30.6 millimeters, so it is somewhat understandable that this
unexpected fun find could have been mixed in with the 50-cent pieces
in the roll.
Since the coin shows some slight evidence of wear, I would grade
the piece as About Uncirculated 58. A reported mintage of 29,976,000
pieces makes this an unusual roll find, although the coin is not
Other discoveries included a 1968-D and a 1969-D Kennedy
silver-copper clad half dollar. A better find was a 1964-D Kennedy
silver half dollar.
Finally, as I searched through several rolls of dimes, one
particularly scratched and mutilated 1963 Roosevelt dime showed up.
The coin had been through the “wringer.” It still exhibited About
Uncirculated luster, but the obverse was covered with deep gouges and
scrapes. However, it is still silver!
I’ll share some other discoveries in my next column.
Bill O’Rourke is a collector who has spent the past several years
searching coin rolls in pursuit of his hobby.