From the Blog

The Story A Coin Could Tell


I am always amazed as a Treasure Finder at where I find coins with my metal detector. The unusual places and circumstances of how that coin (s) got there has led me to believe that many of those coins have their own story to tell. Let a few of these coins tell you their stories.

Hi! I am a very fine 1861 Indian Cent manufactured in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I was dropped by a Union soldier from Fort Brooke in Tampa FL in 1862. Just last night two men escaped from the fort. Word got out that the two Confederate escapees were headed west through the Trail of Pines, now called Pinellas County. My owner and a small squad of about 10 other calvary men discussed up with them on a small knoll overlooking the Anclote River, on the one side, and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. Their steps were easy to follow through the sandy soil and our horses made great time in catching up with them. I have to admit that they, tired and weary from running, did a good job of making the 30mile trip across this unsettled area. My owner lost me while setting up a hangman's noose on a tall pine tree on the knoll. I saw them hanging lifeless on what is now called Hangman's Hill in beautiful Tarpon Spring's Florida. My owner did not know that I fell out of his pocket or he would have searched for me as a penny then was close to being his daily wage as a soldier. Soon I was covered with pine needles and sank into the soil until a hot summer day in 1988, one hundred and twenty two years later, my new owner dug me up. Larry trees me real nice and shows me off to all of his coin collecting friends. I live in a nice case with my story on it and he says I am priceless. He believes in me and let me tell you my story, or at least a part of it. I have much more to share but that is another story.

Splish, splash I was taking a bath! (A very, very long bath of almost two hundred years in the Atlantic Ocean) Let me introduce myself. I am a counterfeit 1796 Spanish Eight Reales coin. No I am not a reproduction! I was made of pewter instead of silver before the year 1800 by a member of the Spanish navy who made a small number dated 1793 – 1796.Several coins just like me have been found in the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Gulf of Mexico by Treasure finders using underwater metal detectors. I, in fact, am more valuable to counterfeit collectors than the actual silver pieces manufactured by the Spanish government during these four years. Why, because I am very rare. My value is somewhere between $ 300.and $ 400. US dollars depending on my condition. My owner found me using a Fisher 1280 in the Gulf of Mexico in 1990 after a winter storm had moved me close enough to the surface to be detected. I look good for my age and time in the water and will be offered for sale in the near future on the world wide net.

Have you heard someone say that he is older than dirt? I am close to that age, and, I am sure that I am one of the oldest coins ever dug up by a coin- shooter in America. Having been minted in 69 AD in Jerusalem one year before the Roman army attacked and destroyed the city, I am quite the treasure. My patina is perfect and I am in exceptional condition considering I was buried in a Greek schoolyard in Tarpon Springs FL for several years. My owner's son took me to school to show me off and lost me. The school was torn down in 1964and I was found in 1978 by my new owner, who located me at nine inches deep using a Fisher 555 VLF metal detector. Keeping me good company was a 1950 D Jefferson nickel that Larry says is a great find and a key to his nickel collection. I am much older and better looking than that youngster. In fact, an appraisal by a dealer of ancient coins says I am worth at least $ 350.00 and Jefferson is only worth $ 6.00. He has over 2 million brothers and sisters and only a few hundred of my brothers and sisters survived the attack of AD 70. I am a bronze half shekel and Larry says he would not sell me for anything.

I am an Extra Fine 1882 San Francisco Mint Silver Dollar. I could well be a Vam. Most people do not even know what a Vam is. There is this guy who appraises silver dollars that have special pedigrees. If he or his team teams the coin is really different, it can be declared a Vam and given a distinct code. Vams are consistently worth more than other coins of the same mint and year. I was found with a Fisher 1260 metal detector in Tarpon Springs FL in 1995. My owner was admiring my good looks one day as he was going through his silver dollar collection and noticed that there were some very different differences in my body. I have doubling on both sides in the lettering, stars, date and parts of my face too. I was taken to a coin shop and a team of dealers said I am a goodie and my owner needs to submit me for possible classification as a Vam since there are no known 1882 S's like me. I am very valuable and Larry says I will be offered for sale on the world wide net soon.

Source by Larry E. Smith