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An Unusual Find

9 posts in this topic

Over the years, I have retrieved Indian Head Cents, Buffalo Nickels, and War Nickels from circulation. Adding to those finds are hundreds of wheaties and an occasional silver coin. However, I have never found a proof coin in circulation... That is until now.


Summer is a great time for day tripping and occasional stops along the way for fuel and refreshments. If you pay cash for your purchases, more often than not by the time the trip is over, you come home with a pocketful of change.


Now my wife and I are members of an evangelistic pantomime drama team and last Friday we left for a day trip to a youth camp to do a show. On the way to the show, we stopped at a Speedway station to buy gas. While there, I went into the convenience store to buy a couple of bottles of water for my wife and I and paid for them in cash.


Now it is usually my habit to examine my change before placing it in my pocket. However because I was in a hurry, I put the change in my pocket without looking through it.


On Sunday morning while we were getting ready to go to church, I cleaned out the pockets of my shorts before throwing them down the laundry chute. When I stepped towards my dresser to put the coins from my pocket in a dish, I noticed the reverse of a Montana State Quarter with a much more reflective surface than usual.


Now I was in a dimly lit room when I first noticed the quarter and thought to myself that it must be proof-like. I also noticed that the feel of the coins rim was much sharper than usual. At that, I flipped the coin to examine the obverse finding that it was just as reflective as the reverse. Then I saw the S mintmark and thought not proof-like but PROOF! I had just retrieved my first proof coin from circulation!


I know that every serious coin collector has heard of PVC residue but how many of you have heard of sweat residue. Now it gets a little hot in front of stage lights and I was beginning to sweat during my performance with a proof coin unknowingly in my front pocket. Therefore, not surprisingly, sweat residue is exactly what happened and the picture I am posting clearly shows it.


Normally, I am not a strong proponent of cleaning coins and I do not have any acetone on hand. However, I have heard that olive oil can safely remove some forms of residue and I gave my coin an olive oil bath. Well this worked pretty well and I am posting the after pictures of my coin with the before pictures.


Now, if you are wondering what am I going to do with the coin, I am not going to submit it for grading because as you can see its banged up a bit. I am also not returning this coin to circulation. Instead, I am going to keep it as a memento of an enjoyable day and my first circulated proof find.


All this begs to question, how did this coin find its way into circulation? Did some kid raid their parents collection to buy candy? The world may never know! Happy hunting!




See more journals by gherrmann44

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Either taken from a collection or someone put it in circulation on purpose. Cool change though. I've never gotten a proof in change either.

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Nice story. Now the coin has some history behind it...granted it's your history, but cool none the less.


I've read in the past that some collectors like to circulate proof coins for the joy of it. Could this be one of them? Who knows. There many possibilities as to how this got in circulation.

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The real fun is when you find some of those gold-wash junk pieces. Those are great to toss in the church collection plate...gets 'em all excited...same for new "golden dollars."


As my olde, longe deade minister once said "Greedeth, breedeth, greedeth."


And as I once remarked to him: "Getteth thou'st hand of't mine wallet."

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Maybe the proof coin was damaged to the point a collector knew it would have no value as a collectable and just spent it. I have a 1984 proof set that I bought several years ago and did not open it right away. Turns out the coins must have sat in water as they are terribly corroded. I paid 4 dollars and none of the coins have any collector value so at some point I will just spend them. At least I will get 91 cents back from my bad purchase!

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I too cannot remember finding a proof coin of any ilk in my change. I have, however, put in many. Recently, [in the past 5 years], I have attended many coin shows, and have learned that the 'proof sets' which our government mints have put out number in the millions. For many years folks spend fortunes on them receiving 'as advertised' beautiful proof sets.


Accumulating these from time to time, and me being easily swayed by a pretty face, or reverse, I found myself more prone to graded coins and began to sell my proof sets.


Much to my dismay, I found no market what-so-ever. Much worse, no matter the condtion of them and the package, the most I could glean from a dealer was somewhere between face value and double face value.


I even thought about grading as they were so pretty, but upon inspection of the numbers available, minted and difficulty in getting a '70', I gave up and any packages which were in tatters or with any marks, I just did the unthinkable, and spent them or gave them away.


So, with that all in mind, it is not beyond conseption that some are fining their way into circulation.


This makes me wish the mint did not get so prolific with their output.


Capt. Brian

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