Last week I found a junk-box into which a bunch of new stuff had been dumped. I guess the dealer was glad to see an old customer return, so his 5 for $1 junk-box became—for a while, anyway—a 10 for $1 junk-box.
I picked 90 coins and had a terrific time. My two favorites were both small coins, one this 1825 British farthing,
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Aha! A near-perfect excuse to show off something else I bought that day—after the junk-box of course (first things first!).
Not from the top-shelf, but maybe one of the middle ones, this 1856 half-cent, coined the year before the end of this smallest of all the Federal denominations actually coined. Half-cents did see some enthusiastic use at first—judging by the condition of the survivors I’ve seen, anyway—but soon fell out of common use.
They continued to to see limited use after the 1857 production cut-off, but the American Civil War of 1861-1865 effectively ended their circulating careers. They do, however, remain legal tender today.
A note on coin shops later this evening....
I’m sorry to hear there are no coin shops near you, KAM. They’re such handy places for letting off steam. Even the bad ones. Maybe even especially the bad shops—there’s nothing like a good rip to brighten a week. (As opposed to wives, girlfriends, and other beautiful creatures who can make a week, or year.)
I do remember—at first—having a difficult time in German coin shops. Extreme space limitations for one thing; my own undisciplined collecting habits for another (I’m sometimes embarrassed on a Forum like this when I see the deep, directed and sustained collecting of others.)
Anyway, it took a little while, but I had a lot of fun in the German coin shops I encountered. (And suddenly I’m reminded—thinking of my favorite, the Italian-German coin shop in Heidelberg and the nice 1791 5-kopek I bought there one day—that I need to ask Sigi if he knows why the online translator sometimes flips up the word “hummingbirds” when referring to these big Russian coppers.)
And there was this visit to a German coin shop I put in my notebook…
x: This 1894 Jersey 1/12-shilling was one of the several beautiful Jersey coppers bought in Saarbrücken the day I spent all my money. Was very lucky to have had a round trip train ticket. When I finally stumbled out of the coin shop into the light I didn’t even have money enough for (a very late) lunch. Had been walking around the city looking at the sights during a layover between trains on my way to a long weekend in Luxembourg when I accidentally found the perfect coin shop at the perfect time (the dollar bought 3.40DM, and I had a bunch). Some layover. Had to hop the next Zug back to base. Was fortunate never to find that shop open again. And I checked, five or six times more, on my way to Luxembourg or to Paris. (85)
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