Joe O’Donnell, digital content producer, joined the Coin World editorial staff in 2014. Joe writes web content, manages Coin World’s social media accounts, compiles content for daily digital eNewsletters, and contributes on occasion to the print magazine. He has enjoyed interacting withCoin World readers while covering the sale of coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard and the 50th anniversary Kennedy half dollar releases.
The one that got away: Rare coins used at face value
Nothing makes a numismatist cringe like someone letting a rarity pass through their hands unwittingly (unless it is passed into the hands of that numismatist).
Along those lines, Coin World Facebook follower Jack Kennedy posted this on our wall:
"I wanna hear a story if you've ever had someone you know, (spouse, sibling, etc.) unknowingly spend one of your coin pieces from your collection, as face value!"
Here’s what we’ve heard so far:
Ken Lemke: "The wife spent one of my $20 gem star notes on dog food. The identification of a star note was the dinner topic that evening."
Elijah Homuth: "I didn't myself but a kid I know showed me like 8 Morgan dollars and bought stuff with them. Or that's what I heard. I wasn't there when he actually bought the stuff....But I heard he bought McDonalds."
Louis Fiorella: "The kids cashing in pennies at machine when I looked down to see 2 Indian Heads moving on belt. I was able to grab but where did they come from, and what got by?"
David Martin: "I have a nephew who works for the PSA, and someone came in last year and paid part of their water bill with a roll of pre-1964 quarters. At face value.."
Jon Herrick: "Got a proof Statehood quarter in my change from a vending machine at work one day. I figure some kid cracked a set open and spent it."
Paul Gunsallus: "Went to the local grocery store to pick up a few items. Thought I would stop to get a scratch-off at the lottery vending machine. Some old dude was having a difficult time getting his $1 to get accepted into the machine, when I noticed he had what I seen as an original $100 pack of consecutive serial numbered silver certificates. He was not getting any of them to get accepted and I offered to buy them so he could get some different $1's and he said, 'Mind your own business,' and walked out of the store."
Paul Gunsallus: "I used to crack open Proof sets to submit Proof coins to PCGS. If I had a coin that didn't make my grade, I would just spend it. I must have dumped dozens of Proof coins that were already scratched up or whatever. On occasion, I would come across one in change.”
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