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100th birthday present - need a little help (coins wanted)!


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Hi - 

My maternal grandmother - Jeremiah's great grandmother - has her 100th birthday coming up. We decided it would be cool to give her 100 of something, and since she lives in a tiny place we eventually decided we'd try to do not just 100 coins, but one coin from each year she's been alive. We've gone through our coin stash and the stashes of friends and family in the area, and I've been trolling the till at work when I get a chance. We've got everything from 1960 up covered but have only found a handful of the earlier years. Since her birthday is on the 19th of February I'm reaching out here to see if you all can help. 


We're certainly not looking for anything collectible or pricey, and while most of what we have in the jar so far are pennies, any coin (from anywhere - doesn't have to be US) is great. I'm not asking for a freebie - we're willing to pay going rate for what you have, but we don't really have the budget for anything rare or in mint/uncirculated condition. 


What I AM asking is that if you have some coins kicking around that you aren't attached to, and you have some free time, please take a look and see if you've got anything from 1919 - 1958 that you'd be willing to part with. There are many listings of value online - here's one that covers wheat pennies (1909-1956):



For the most part, shipping - even in a first class letter/envelope - is probably the more expensive part of the proposition. Anyway - if you've got something please get in touch with me via pm, or just a reply here, and let me know what you have and what you'd like for it. I'll see about a follow up post with the years we still need, but for now it's almost everything from 1909-1952, plus '54 and '58.  






PS - almost forgot we can drag and drop pics now - here is one from her 98th (that was during our year-ish ride around the US, but we flew up from Texas for the party), and another from her 99th last year. 



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I'm not a collector, but I do have a small collection of uncatalogued coins from various countries, mostly from Denmark, dating from the 1890s to the 1970s. A quick look through located 5 from the year 1919, all with legible dates, but definitely not in perfect condition. From Denmark they are a 1 øre, a 10 øre and a 25 øre (the last 2 in reasonably good condition) and from the UK a halfpenny and a 3 penny.  There are numerous others from the period you are looking for, but making a list would take some time. I haven't checked if they are of any value, but they are not really of any value to me. You'd have to count on a week or more for delivery from New Zealand.

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I've got a small hoard that I certainly don't need (prolly got your whole kit here).  I'll give you a bulk rate.


What a sweetie!  What year was she born?


(Just kidding!)

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Speaking of coins...  Have you seen those guys that hoard copper pennies?  So there's about two cents worth of copper in every penny, which explains why they're made of zinc now.  Some people feel that the government will abandon the penny, and so they can sell their hoard for scrap and double their money.  One guy even built a machine to separate zinc from copper pennies.  Apparently there's people out there who have filled their basements with pennies.  They stop at the bank, get a sack of pennies, take them home, sort them, bring back the zinc ones the next day, and start over.  I think I'd rather chew on a piece of sandpaper.


There's one guy making a living selling pre-sorted coins to other speculators.  Genius!



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Several years ago I read about a guy in Portland doing the same - except he’d hired a few people to run whatever hardware he had, and they brought them in by the pallet or something crazy like that. I’ll have to look for the article....

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Thanks largely to artig and elkroeger we now have something from almost every year. The only ones we are for sure missing are 1922 and this year (2019). 



...now I just need to figure out what we're going to do to present them...




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Almost 50 years ago, for the 50th birthday of an uncle who was a stamp collector, I mounted 50 stamps making up the digits 5 and 0 in large format. It's not as easy to mount coins, but perhaps two sheets of clear acrylic bolted together, with the coins sandwiched between them, making 1 0 0 in large format. I have a few artistic jigsaw puzzles mounted like that, back to back, so either side can be displayed. One of the 1919 coins has a hole in the centre, so could be hung as a pendant.

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Great ideas. I’d been thinking about mounting them like that and pondering how to make both sides visible. Latest idea is to get a thin sheet of acrylic and put a hole in it for each coin, and then sandwich that between to other sheets of glass or plastic in a backless frame. That should either look fantastic or terrible :)


I think a classic shadow box mounting would be more elegant, but I don’t want to hide one side of the coins. 


Cool idea also for a pendant - convenient that you were generous enough to send two 1919s

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Google "coin display case".  I would think a nice box, that she could open and also handle them would be perfect.  Small enough to sit on a coffee table or dresser.


something along these lines:  LINK


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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks really good, Josh, with the coins visible both front and back. Is it glass or acrylic? Is there a third layer with a hole for each coin to hold it in place?

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6 hours ago, artig said:

Looks really good, Josh, with the coins visible both front and back. Is it glass or acrylic? Is there a third layer with a hole for each coin to hold it in place?


You and I apparently think along the same lines because in addition to having an idea similar to your suggested pattern for the coins I was also thinking of doing exactly that (middle layer cut to fit each individual coin). Laura suggested the spiral and found a clear adhesive that should be removable, so we

went that (easier!) route - seems to be working so far. 


I will likely go over tomorrow to hang the piece, and I’ll try to remember to take some better pictures then. 


Thanks again!

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2 hours ago, Marty Hill said:

just saw this for the first time/much too late.  Have some coins for next year so post a reminder.



Hi Marty! We did leave room in the spiral to add future years :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

A long overdue pic - though not a good one! - finally:



I think it looks better in person, and it can be easily taken down so one can look at the other side. 



I had trouble getting a shot that wasn’t all reflection, so this is what you get for now. :)


@artig I’ve been looking around for an interisting place to fulfill your request and I think I found it a few days ago. As soon as I’m back from a run down the coast I’ll let you know!



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Thanks,  Josh. Looks good. And plenty of room for more years. I hope your grandmother was pleased with the result.


Looking at the spiral it's interesting that some countries had holes in the centres of many of their coins, and then stopped doing it some years later. I've often wondered what the reason was for the holes. Perhaps just to make it easier for blind people to distinguish them? Or to save on the amount of metal used? Or?

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Jeremiah has exactly the same question - he almost immediately devised an elaborate theory involving the use of strings or cords instead of wallets or purses. I suppose we should actually look it up. :)


I think that she was - she’s always been tricky to pin down on things like that (she almost never says she doesn’t like something, and almost never says “no” {but you learn quickly what she means by maybe or we’ll see about that!}) - but she has been telling people about it, so that’s usually a good sign. 


I’m glad you enjoy the design since many of your coins are in there! If you’re ever over in the PNW of the USA we’ll have to arrange an in-person viewing for you. 

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