A few years ago I was bartending and was about to throw a handful of change into my tip jar when a weird penny caught my eye. It was the same size, shape, and color of a regular penny but the design was different. There was no Abraham Lincoln for starters. There was an Indian instead. The Lincoln Memorial wasn’t depicted on the back either. It just said One Cent in the middle of wreath. I thought it might have been Canadian, but it had United States of America written around the Indian’s head. I looked at it a little closer and noticed the year the coin was minted underneath the Indian. It was made in 1880. That blew my mind. I was holding a piece of history in my hand. 1880 was a long time ago. It was way before planes, cars, iPhones, and your shoes (and your shoes are old as fuck). Cowboys could have used this penny in their poker games. Your grandpa could have used it at the brothel the night he met your grandma. She was cheap but worth it. Without that penny, you might not exist. I kept that 1880 penny. I still have it to this day. I don’t plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. I looked up its value. It’s not in the best condition, but it’s still worth at least $4. That doesn’t seem like a lot until you consider that it’s increased over 400% in value. Kind of makes me wish I found an 1880 silver dollar instead.
I had the day off today. It was the middle of the week, I was bored, and I had no plans. I started wrapping coins. It was my big task for the day, my only errand to run. I put on Netflix and I went through my change jar. I would grab a handful of coins and sort them. Quarters over here, dimes here, nickels go there, pennies there, half-dollars and dollar coins go together here, and all imposters (like Canadian coins) go into the reject pile there. After they were sorted I would go through each denomination and count out how many coins were needs to fill the wrap. A wrap for quarters is ten dollars. That’s forty quarters. A wrap for dimes is five dollars. That’s fifty quarters. A wrap for nickels is two dollars. That’s forty nickels. A wrap for pennies is fifty cents. That’s fifty pennies. I didn’t bother counting out the pennies though. That can go to charity if they are willing to wrap them up and haul them to the bank. All in all, my quarters, nickels, and dimes were worth a grand total of $228. Not bad for a year’s worth of loose change and a few hours to sort through it. I could always use extra money. Now I have it and all it cost me was caving into my OCD.
Coin snatching is when you snatch a coin or coins off of your elbow. If you’re right handed, put a quarter onto your right elbow and balance it there. Then let your elbow drop and try to grab the quarter out of the air with your right hand. It takes a couple of tries but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of it. Practice with one quarter for a while and you can start moving up to more and more coins. It more impressive if you have more coins, but it’s also more embarrassing when you fail. Coin snatching will never get you any girls, but it’s a good bar trick if you can do it when you’re drunk.
Dollar coins are becoming more common, but they are still pretty annoying. You can use them for public transportation and some vending machines will accept them. They have no slot in cash registers, so you hardly use them for regular cash transactions. There are a few common dollar coins. The Susan B. Anthony dollar coin is silver and slightly bigger than a quarter. They look very similar to quarters and are constantly mistaken for them. The public hates them and I do too. Sacajawea dollar coins are gold and depict Sacajawea, the Indian Princess who loved Lewis and hated Clark. Slightly better than the Susan B. Anthony coins, these are gold and are easily distinguished from other US coins. I think it’s also the only coin with a baby on it.
The Sacajawea coins were also not well received by the public. The obvious solution was to stick a president on there. But which one? How about all of them?!? Sounds good to me. The government saw the benefits of people collecting state quarters, and they unveiled a line of dollar coins which will depict each president eventually. Finally William Henry Harrison and Gerald Ford get their own currency, what a relief.
Critically Rated at 6/17 for the Susan B. Anthony coin.
Critically Rated at 11/17 for the Sacajawea coin.
Critically Rated at 14/17 for the Presidential coins.