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Trip Starts With Small Reward
October 11, 2010

I am just back from a road trip to Seattle. As I packed Thursday morning, I realized that I had no Tums left. It is no fun to wake up in the middle of the night away from home with indigestion due to varying hours and meal times, so I decided to swing by the IGA on the way out of town just in case.

I quickly performed my task. Once back in the car and I decided to empty my pocket of the change so I wouldn’t either lose it or set off the metal detector at the airport.

I examined the coins. The first quarter I looked at was a 1986-P. It showed quite a bit of wear. If I had an uncirculated roll of them, then they would be worth saving.

The second quarter in the group surprised me. It was a 1961-D quarter. With silver at over $23 an ounce, I could hardly believe it. It has a slightly off color, which might be why no one spotted it before me.

It has been so long since I have received a silver quarter in change that I cannot recall the last time it happened. Half dollars in my change have been silver on rare occasions over the years, but even in Iola, half dollar use has pretty well fizzled out. Silver dimes are the most frequent, but even they are rare events. Silver quarters are unusual. The public or other collectors seem more attuned to this denomination.

The cent wasn’t worth looking at. I don’t remember the date. Perhaps in my excitement I didn’t look at it closely enough for it to even register with my long-term memory other than to prompt the thought it was copper-coated zinc.

I considered receipt of the silver coin to be a propitious start to my sojourn. I was on my way. Sure enough, it was good trip. I have no airline adventures to report.

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Recent Comments
On October 11, 2010 harvlaser said
I check the knee-level reject slot of the CoinStar machine every time I go to the supermarket, and have found quite a few Silver dimes and quarters, which the machines reject (and the screen even tells whoever dumped their jars and bags of change in to check the slot for rejected coins, but they just walk away, for some reason).. also a lot of foreign coins.. on the rare occasion when I DO find some Silver in the machine's reject slot, it's USUALLY pre-1965 dimes, but I have found an occasinoal Silver quarter.. so it's always worth checking the reject slot of those machines..

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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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