Moneynerd

A blog by and for moneynerds. Otherwise known as numismatists, coin and/or bank note collectors.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why has it taken so long to post?

Why has it taken me so long to post any updates on this blog? Life happens to daily get in the way of my writing. I am ashamed and will try to do better.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

New Dollar Coins

Recently the US Senate has passed a bill authorizing a new series of dollar coins to commemorate the US Presidents. Having already passed in the House, once the final details are sorted out, it looks like this program is a go. Each president, will get his face on a circulating dollar coin the same size and composition of the current Sacagawea dollars, to be released in order of his term at the rate of four a year. The sitting president will be the lone exception. I do not like this.

Now I am totally in favor of a circulating dollar coin that actually circulates. That is one of the excuses for this bill, to get people to use the dollar coin. The flaw is, that the bill does not address the number one problem with dollar coin circulation, the continual production of the one dollar bill. Now, there are several bogus reasons that people give for wanting to keep the $1 bill. Most overheard excuse is you can never get the $1 coin in change. True, that's because there is still a $1 bill. Get rid of it, and unless you want to donate anything under a $5 bill to the store, you'll get and use the dollar coin. The purchasing power of the dollar keeps dropping, the life expectancy of a $1 bill is 17 months compared to many years for a coin, businesses will be able to adapt without the world coming to an end, the list of good reasons to switch just keeps on going. Look to Canada for a model of how to do things right, enough said.

As much as I would like to have another ongoing coin series to collect out of circulation, I think that giving a coin to every president is a bad idea that cheapens the idea of commemorative coins. We have had forty plus presidents, most people can't name them. That's sad, but not likely to change by a circulating commemorative. If you did not already know who the guy on the horse on the Delaware State Quarter was, did you go and find out? If you did, I believe that you are in the minority. Plus, we have had a few presidents who are not worthy of commemoration on a coin. I have always seen images on coins as a fitting way to celebrate people, things, or ideas that are important to the people who will issue and use the coins. Now we as Americans may not agree on which ones, but all educated people can certainly agree that there are some US Presidents that are not worthy of such an honor. Think hard and you'll come up with a list. Seriously.

But since it will more than likely pass, I'll spend the coins as I always do, and save at least one of each because I won't be able to help it. Even the loser Commanders-in-Chiefs who were lucky enough to put that job on their resume. But during the duration of the program, I will quietly think about what we might have chosen to honor instead. Don't even get me started on the subject of US paper money.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

This Week's Finds in Circulation

I have listed my occupation as part-time coin dealer. The other part of my time is spent managing a route for a coin operated amusements company. I go to 11 locations of a major retailer at least once a week to fix and collect the money from dozens of video games, gumball machines, and kiddie rides. Thrilling work, kids, stay in school! Maybe I am being to harsh on the job, it has benefits and I get to go through thousands of quarters and dollars each week. From time to time I find something that pull out and add to a collection of things that I have found while on the job.

This week's take included: a 1997 UK 10p coin, a 2000 New Hampshire "colorized" quarter, a series 1981-A $1 FRN, a crusty old 1940 nickel, a Funtricity token, and a 1962-D silver dime.

The dime was the most interesting find to me. Mostly because I never find too many non-quarter coins in machines. The video games and kiddie rides spit them back out, only the gumball machines take them, even if they don't give you anything for them. So for someone to drop a silver one in a gumball machine means that some young kid found grandad's change jar.

While you may never grow rich off of circulation finds, there is still plenty of interesting things out there that can be picked up for face value if you have a little patience and a good eye. I have spent the last two years on the job looking through one dollar bills each week. By accident almost, I have put together a nice little collection of $1 FRN going all the way back to series 1963. I have yet to find any silver certificates but it would not surprise me to do so. The funny thing is that I have found many more series from the 1960's than from the 1970's. I'm not sure why. I have also found many radar notes (serial numbers the same backwards as forwards a la 123454321) and repeater notes (serial numbers that repeat a la 12341234). No solids yet (all the same number a la 22222222) I have come close, I have found a series 2003 with the serial number B 34444443 C. So far the lowest serial number I have found has been a series 2003 with serial number F 00000320 H.

If any of this seems interesting to you, you should look for the "Found in Rolls Column"in Coin World. I think it is in every other issue. The author escapes me at the moment, but he is a collector who has built up a very interesting coin collection by going through rolls that he gets from banks. He shares his finds in each column, as well as, the finds of readers who write in to him. It is a nice change of pace to see someone enjoying the hobby, who does not have to spend thousands of dollars to get satisfaction. Not that there is anything wrong with spending thousands of dollars on your collection. In fact, if this sounds like you, please see the Moneynerd eBay store link to the right.

Feel free to send any comments on things you may have found in circulation.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Moneynerd the Blog

I am not a big fan of blogs. I wasn't sure why. I thought it was because I was too "Old School" when it came to online content. I'd rather read the daily newspaper made out of paper. I tried the online edition of Coin World but switched quickly back to the print edition. I just like paper better. Maybe it's because I collect coins and paper money. If I collected online credit card receipts, maybe things would be different.

So why do a blog? Simply because I couldn't find one that I liked on coins and paper money. In fact, I really didn't find one at all. Now, I'm sure that someone will find this one day and point out that there are plenty of them out there, but I'll stand by the statement that I couldn't fine one that I liked. So if I end up not liking this one, I will know who to beat up.

Why call it Moneynerd? Well, that was not totally my own fault. I have a friend who I have known since high school ( Jackson Central-Merry c/o '91, just a quick shout out to all I have gone to school with. Sorry to be so silent for the past 14 years but, I've been busy). I casually told him a few years ago that I was going to come and visit him,but, I was going to spend part of the time attending a paper money show. He responded to this with "You know what you are? You are a money nerd!" Now, this buddy of mind is a comic book artist. Seriously. He draws them for a living. This is his website: www.ihatemike.com

Can you imagine the nerve of a guy who goes to comic book conventions where people dress up as superheroes calling a numismatist a nerd? Now, I am not denying my nerdiness, but come on! The hypocrisy! Well, the word kind of stuck, and it was much easier to pronounce and spell than numismatist. So I embrace it now. I have even named my eBay store after it. It seems much more down to earth and less pretentious.

What will you find here? I'm not really sure yet. I will post interesting and helpful links as I find them. I will also discuss issues that affect collectors, or comment on events in the world of money. I will try to do this in a way that makes it interesting and worth stopping by every few days or so.