US Coins

Patience pays off with Jefferson 5-cent silver coins

Found in Rolls column from the Marh 14, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World:

Generally, I shop for all my household groceries on a single trip to my favorite Super-Mart just one time per month, and it usually takes me several hours to navigate my way up and down all of the aisles in search of my canned, plastic wrapped and boxed quarry.

By the time I am done finding every item on my list and loading my cart with food, paper products and pet supplies, I am beat! 

After that, having to spend what seems like an hour standing in the checkout line to pay for my items, I end up being even more exhausted. 

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It often happens that when I finish with that part of the shopping process, I do not feel like voluntarily placing myself in another line at the bank located inside the store.

This time, though, and as an afterthought, I gathered what was left of my strength and waited, and waited and waited in line. Finally when it was my turn in front of a teller, I exchanged a $10 bill for $10 worth of 5-cent coins. It almost didn’t seem worth it, just to pick up five $2 rolls of coins, but I ultimately made some really neat finds.

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The first thing that I noticed as I opened up the first hand-wrapped roll was that many of the coins were minted in the 1980s and remained in excellent condition.

It was as though these coin rolls were minute time capsules that were put away 30 years ago and just forgotten about. The best coin found from the era of the ’80s turned out to be an example of a Proof 1983-S 5-cent coin.

Other examples found that were in particularly nice Mint State condition were 1985-P, 1985-D, 1986-P, 1986-D, and 1988-D coins. 

Although these were nice, the best was yet to come! Shown here is a Mint State example of a 1943-S 5-cent coin — a silver war nickel! I was completely surprised to find a more than 70-year-old coin in such beautiful shape. 

This was not to be the only silver composition 5-cent piece discovered, as several other war nickels also emerged from the same roll that contained the 1943-S coin. Although not in Mint State, the coins were still welcome additions to my collection. The dates were a 1944-P, 1944-S, 1945-P and 1945-D. I would grade each of the four coins as being in Fine condition.

I would have to say that those 5-cent coin rolls were definitely worth my effort in waiting. It can also be pointed out that collectible coins can still be found at face value.

Good luck in your searches.

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