Searching pocket change

Letters to the Editor from the March 31, 2014, issue of Coin World
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Published : 03/16/14
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In a few years I hope to introduce my grandkids to coin collecting, starting them off assembling sets from pocket change.

Since I have time, I wondered how easy it would be for a youngster to collect coins. After sifting through numerous bank rolls and thousands of coins, here is how I fared:

Memorial cents — it’s probably impossible to complete a set. In all the coins I scanned, I found only one San Francisco Mint cent. Identifying the seven variants of 1982 cents is a daunting task. The Bicentennial cents of 2009 are still in circulation, but many of the cents are in damaged condition.

Jefferson 5-cent coins — again, it’s probably impossible to complete a set. I had a hard time finding Jefferson “nickels” before 1980. For some reason, I found almost no coins from the 1950s, even though I did find a few from the 1930s and 1940s (but no war nickels). 

Not paying attention to mintmarks, I found all 50 State quarter dollars in about 2 weeks. However, once I tried to separate the Philadelphia and Denver mint marks, the task became much more challenging. After two months I completed the Philadelphia set. I’m still working on the Denver set of state quarters. Surprisingly, any U.S. Territories and America the Beautiful quarters are few and far between. 

I still look forward to helping my grandkids sift through coins. Coin collecting with them will nurture bonds and help them gain patience and organizational skills, and perhaps a love for the pastime our generation has grown to enjoy.

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