Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My oldest US coin- by a wide margin!

The majority of my collection is from the USA- they are very easily accessible, and in fact I've pulled the majority of them out of circulation, including every year of cent from 1933-2015.

But the majority of my collection is new. Post World War II new. I do have some older issues- and in fact my oldest issue since 2008 was an 1832 half dime that I purchased on my very first trip to a coin shop after I really, truly became a numismatist. (I had been collecting the State Quarters before that, but I don't truly consider myself a coin collector until April 2008. I didn't even know what mintmarks were for instance!) When I got that one, I had never heard of a half dime before. I just knew it was old and it only cost me $5. It's slightly bent but I don't care. It's not like I have not seen older US issues- I've seen, in person, as old as 1796, with the asterisk that I've also seen a 1652 Massachusetts shilling, technically a British colony issue.

For a time it almost seemed like I'd never get anything older than 1832. Until a few weekends ago, when I set my oldest US coin record by a wide margin- 1801! I have not yet scanned it and my pictures aren't great, but here they are-
 This first image shows the color best. It's quite dark, but at 214 years old, that's just right to me.

It's not in the greatest shape, but it was in my price range, which made me very happy. The scratches and dings it has don't concern me, I prefer circulated coins to mint state anyway. Based on the toning the scratches and dings it has have been on there a very long time...how long, who knows? Large cents circulated up to the Civil War and this one looked like it circulated quite a bit...unfortunately there is no way to ever know.

I suspect this may be my oldest US for many years to come. The previous record stood for 8 years, and it would not surprise me at all if this one holds that record even longer- the 1700s in the US are just way too expensive for me. (another reason I love world coins- I can get back much farther in history, which is my main reason for collecting) and 1800 is right up there with them. But I love this one, and I am very glad I was able to add it to my collection.

1 comment:

  1. It is so cool that you have that 1801 coin. Now if it could only tell us who handled it and the kind of history it "saw".