"My Father's Hoard"

In honor of Father's Day in the US, I am posting this information about what I call "My Father's Hoard". My Dad z"l, was not really a collector of coins-- he was by definition a hoarder and began hoarding any coin or numismatic/bullion related item around 1967 and continued until his death in the early 2000's. I was fully aware of his hoarding as he would occasionally share a new "find" with me over the years. His coins were predominantly American coins that he harvested from his regular accumulations of change. Items that were still relatively easy to obtain in American circulation during the tenure of his hoarding. 

He kept his finds in an old watch box. I don't recall the make of the watch and there are no markings whatsoever to identify the maker on the box. It's approximately 12 x 9 cm and about 5 cm in height with about half that as interior space for the contents. The box records what was available in circulation in the US in the last 30+ years of the 20th Century, at least in the geographic location we resided in at the time (East Coast US). Much of what he hoarded early on consisted of Lincoln Pennies (wheat variety), and silver dimes, quarters and half dollars as well as Bicentennial commemorative quarters, halves and dollars (all CuNi). There are also misc. foreign coins of which I am certain the Canadian 25c piece was picked up in change but the other pieces are of unknown origin as well as a sterling silver ring with the name "Regina" on it that he found on the ground as well as two troy ounces of silver bullion pieces, also of unknown origin. 

The number of actual coins is 82 of which 95% are circulated American coins consisting of various levels of preservation from Fine condition to Almost Uncirculated, but mostly averaging Very Fine condition. The breakdown is as follows (all items are generally singles unless indicated otherwise):

Lincoln Pennies (wheat variety) [40]  1909 VDB, 1920-D, 1928, 1934 (2), 1937 (2), 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 (3), 1944 (4), 1945 (2), 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1950-D (2), 1950-S, 1952, 1952-D, 1955 (2), 1956, 1956-D, 1957 (4), 1957-D (2), 1958.

Buffalo Nickels [1] 1929-S.

Jefferson Nickels [5] 1939 (3), 1940 (2), 1941 (2), 1943-S, 1960.

Roosevelt Dimes [3] 1947, 1957, 1964.

Washington Quarters [4] 1944, 1964-D, 1976 (2).

Kennedy Half-Dollars [11] 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 (3), 1976 (5). 

Eisenhower Dollars [2] 1976, 1978.

S. B. Anthony Dollars [5] 1979-P (5)

Sacagewea Dollars [3] 2000-P (3)

Misc. Foreign Coins [4] 1964 50 Lepta/Greece, 1969 25c/Canada, 1953 50FF/France, 1946 50 Groschen/Austria.

Misc. Silver items [3]  Sterling Silver finger ring inscribed in raised lettering "Regina", Troy Oz. of Silver Bullion (2). 

Photos of the inside of the watch box:

About 12% of the coins are silver or have some silver content. The US discontinued minting coins in silver for general circulation in 1964, but continued at 40% silver for the Kennedy Half Dollars through 1970 beginning with CuNi clad being used for these coins in 1971. I can only think that the only reason why there are no post-1967 silver Kennedy Half-Dollars is general availability as 1967 was the last year when nearly 300 million 50 c pieces were minted. In 1968 only D and S varieties were minted with the D variety minted in almost 247 million examples but not readily available on the East Coast where we lived. The 1969 and 1970 examples were minted again in only D and S varieties in every decreasing numbers with 129 million of the 1969-D variety and 2.9 million of the S with between 2.1-2.6 million of the 1970 D and S varieties being minted. The CuNi Clad issues beginning in 1971 return to larger mintings with the S examples still in smaller quantities. 

If a conclusion can be gathered from the information available in this hoard, which would be classified as a "collectors hoard" rather than a "savings hoard", it is that post the discontinuance of Silver in the majority of US coinage after 1964, that perhaps as much as 10-12 percent of the still circulating coins by 1967-1971 consisted of Silver coins, but Gresham's Law eventually removed even these items from circulation as is evidenced by this "hoard" collected during that time. Post-1971 there were some Silver coins still available but these were few and far between examples that were eventually completely removed from circulation. 

There are no Lincoln Memorial Cents collected even though they continued to be minted in Copper until 1982. 1959, the first year of the Lincoln Memorial reverse was apparently the cut off my father used for his hoarding of Lincoln cents.  

Other conclusions can likely be made from this small hoard, but I think for the most part hoards are small vignettes of the person creating the hoard be it a regular pastime or one of necessity. Unlike most hoards; this one was not forgotten (yet), was not buried except in the back of a dresser drawer and contains nothing of great value except memories of the owner. Thanks to my Dad, I also constantly look at my change (particularly when I am abroad) because something can always be learned from what's in your pocket about the people or culture producing the coins that circulate daily in every corner of the planet.  

ITALY/Napoleon 1804-1814/15 "Kindom of Italy"

C1.2  1811-M (Milano mint) AE Centesimo
1,944,000 minted.


not a very attractive example, but one I acquired in August 1979 and haven't thought much about since. Though, recently I've been reading about J. F. Champollion and his times, his support of Napoleon and internal exile after the Bourbon restoration so I retrieved this piece from my collection of world coins and post it for those who may also share interest in this particular historical figure or the period. Also, Napoleon's been in the news again as a result of the bicentennial last week of the Battle of Waterloo and a minor kerfluffle with France over the Belgians issuing of a 2.50 Euro coin to commemorate it.  

For some perspective on the year that this coin was minted, Wellington defeated the French at Fuentes d'Onoro and Albuhera in Portugal and Napoleon's son was born and named "King of Rome" in 1811.