Coins star on television like an episode of 'The Andy Griffith Show'

Deputy Barney Fife buys a 'Buffalo nickel' with the buffalo facing the wrong way
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 02/19/16
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This is the second in a series of articles from Gerald Tebben's cover feature about coins starring in television programs that appears in the March 2016 issue of Coin World Weekly. This installment focuses on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, first airing Feb. 13, 1961.

A running gag involving a fictional mint error plays a major part in the “Mayberry on Record” episode (season 1, episode 19) of The Andy Griffith Show and caused perhaps a few of the more gullible among us to check our change for a certain supposedly misstruck Indian Head 5-cent piece in the early 1960s.

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At the beginning of the episode, Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) says he’s looking for an investment “that zooms overnight.” 

“It happens, you know,” he says, plopping himself down on top of a table. “Oil stocks and uranium.”

Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) cautions, “You better watch this investing business. The woods are full of con men. You’d be just ripe for the plucking, too.”

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Barney, calling himself “old eagle-eye,” says that’s not likely, providing an intro for the joke that falsely foreshadows the drama to come. 

Andy, sitting at his desk, says, “Well now, I’ll tell you. If you’re really considering investing, why don’t you try coin collecting?”

“Coin collecting for investing?” Barney asks.

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