Member Journal Entry:

$5.00 Coins

Posted: 5/29/2011 9:15:08 AM | Views:1124

I don’t mean $5.00 gold coins but rather graded coins that can be had for $5.00 or less.

I swear my brain works in weird ways maybe it’s because I’m a high school teacher and I spend all day around teenagers. Anyway, school is winding down; the seniors are taking their finals and getting ready for graduation. While the seniors are taking their final exams my room is quiet and my work is caught up so I pull up EBay to see if anything catches my eye. Sure enough, I low ball a couple of bids and I find myself picking up a 2007 SMS MS68 Lincoln cent and a 1956 PF 66 Roosevelt Dime both for under $5.00. Normally I would have passed on the dime but given its age and the price tag of a top pop I figured what the heck. Later that afternoon I’m sitting at my desk and “BAMM” it hits me like a 2-ton wrecking ball. But first, let me back track a little.

I always talk about coins to my kids in school. I have one you man this year who is really into it and has started putting a set of Lincoln Cents together. For Christmas I got him a 2009 LP1 1st Day Issue BU graded coin. When I gave it to him you would think I had just given him an Olympic Gold Medal! He must have talked about that coin for a week when we got back to school. He told me how he showed to his parents and family and it was just the coolest thing he got. I grinned the whole time knowing how much enjoyment collecting coins has brought me over the years and seeing this young man starting his collecting journey. Other than that I really didn’t think too much about it, let’s face it A 2009 1st Day Issue BU graded coin costs less than $5.00.

Back to my wrecking ball, I’m sitting at my desk that afternoon when everything connects in my brain. Most kids don’t see coins as anything more than money to spend. Getting them started on building a raw set of coins can be pretty frustrating when they would rather buy a new video game or some new clothes but a graded coin is not so easily spent. If you compound that with the present state of the economy collecting coins seems like a waste of time to most kids when they need some pocket change. But given the reaction of my student to receiving a graded penny it occurred to me that I can get a kid interested in starting to build a very nice graded set for less than $5.00 a coin. I went back and checked my graded coins and found that of the 130 or so coins I now own I got 15 of them for $5.00 or less. There are a lot of very nice $5.00 coins out there. You can get a lot of PF69UC Lincoln Cents, State Quarters, and modern Roosevelt Dimes for less than $5.00 not to mention quite a few of the PF mid-60’s older coins. MS65 Lincoln Cents also frequently run under $5.00. I grant you these coins are not Top Pop coins but the goal here is to grow the hobby and it just struck me as an awesome why to get kids with some pre-disposition to collecting coins really hooked and help them make the distinction between collecting coins and spending money.

Anyway, my kids still are bringing me coins, US and foreign. They are still are amused with my fascination with pennies. This week I even found an AU 1970 S SD in the stash they brought me. Believe it or not it filled a hole in my raw set of Lincolns. My wife is still bringing my rolls of pennies and nickels from the grocery store to keep me entertained. She always wants to know if they were good rolls and while most of the time they are pretty average every once in a while I’ll pick up a couple of nice wheat pennies, some pre-1960 nickels and even then the odd silver war nickel out of the rolls. Of course I always tell her all rolls are good rolls.

Well, enough of my prattle for today. I would like to thank all of the members here who served in the Armed Forces. I for one greatly appreciate and respect your sacrifices over the years. You are what make this country great. I will end this entry with a picture of two Columbian coins and one from Hong Kong that my kids brought me this week.

Have a great weekend!


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