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Dream of Finding 'S' Mintmarks?
May 31, 2012



I had a surprise in my change last night after I paid for some ice cream.

The 56 cents in change was not quite what I am used to seeing.

There was a 1979 quarter and a 1985-P quarter. So far, so dull.

But then my attention turned to the cent. It still had some traces of mint luster around the lettering and I could tell at a distance it was earlier than 1969 because the bust of Lincoln did not have that touched up look.

It turned out to be a 1968-S cent. I haven’t received one of those in change in many years. Perhaps someone had decided to clean out some old Whitman albums.

Then my attention turned to the nickel. It, too, was a 1968-S. It had somewhat more evidence of wear.

Now unless the cash drawer was heavily salted with 1968-S cents and nickels, I expect what I received is a bit unusual.

The coins have no collector value other than perhaps to someone who is trying to fill out a Whitman album covering those years.

I felt that old sense of success from circulation finds days, despite there being no extra monetary value to my finds.

It is too bad that the U.S. Mint will not broaden its new program for circulation quality “S” mint America the Beautiful quarters to include the release of some to the banking system.

I know those days are gone, but I can still dream.



Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”





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Recent Comments
On June 1, 2012 Brad said
I still find the occasional 1969-S cent in change.  Every time I see one, I ALWAYS check it out to make sure it's not a stray double-die (the REAL one, not a machine-doubled), albeit circulated.  You just never know!

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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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