Gothamist tends to throw our small change into the tip jar at coffee bars or in our piggy bank at home, awaiting getting changed into bills, but after reading about how an avid coin collector is putting valuable coins into circulation in NYC, we'll be looking more closely. Scott A. Travers tells the NY Times, "I'm planting a seed and I hope that a new generation of people will come to appreciate the history that coins represent," with the help of three coins:
- A 1909 penny with the initials "VDB" (for engraver Victor D. Brenner) on the back and an "S" below the date (from San Francisco) - worth more than $1,000
- A 1914 penny with a "D" under the date (it's from a Denver mint), worth $350
- A 1908 penny with an Indian girl in headdress, worth $200
The Times says he spent the 1914 penny at a Times Square hot dog and pretzel vendor in Times Square - if only that vendor knew!
Fun! Just wash your hands after you handle your change. Here's information about National Coin Week (it starts on Sunday) from the American Numismatic Association. And the American Numimastic Society is located at 96 Fulton Street - you can do coin research there. Plus, Wikipedia on U.S. coinage and Victor Brenner. Did you know the U.S. Mint is selling 2006 American Egle Platinum Proof coins for up to $1500?