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No Cure for What 'Ails' Us?
November 08, 2011

Circulation finds never cease to fascinate me. I had lunch yesterday with three former colleagues at the Crystal Cafe.

Retired Numismatic News ad manager Joel Edler was there. Retired chief executive officer Clifford Mishler was there and retired new issues editor for the Standard Catalog of World Coins Fred Borgmann was there.

Joel’s wife, Judy, was als, there and from the start she knew she was in for some numismatic conversation.

Topics ranged from an upcoming coin show this weekend to sticker dollars and a recently arrived sticker cent that Clifford had received from an old friend and long retired world coin dealer Jess Peters.

Stickers on coins in circulation served as advertisements for local businesses, often done to prove the power of local payrolls.

The conversational show stopper for me occurred when Joel mentioned that he had received a silver dime in change at the post office.

I immediately asked what year it was.

Joel replied that it was a 1964.

I wasn’t expecting the reply to be 1916-D, but I was hoping for a more interesting date than that. My expectation is truly a symptom of my ongoing case of circulation finds-itis. It could also be described as hope springing eternal, the very motivator for those of us who still look at our change.

Joel described the coin as very dark. The strange coloration probably helped disguise it so others wouldn’t have noticed what it was until Joel had received it.

Think about it. A coin worth $2.50 silver value hijacks a lunchtime conversation that touched upon all sorts of other numismatic and local Iola topics – all because it was found in circulation.

Yup, after almost 50 years, I still have it bad for circulation finds. How about you?

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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