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Well worn Copper's Blog

29 Mar 2020

The Eyam Boundary Stone, English Coinage, and the 1665 Plague

| Well worn Copper

In 1665, a plague swept through the English village of Eyam. The residents of Eyam selflessly self-quarantined themselves and depended upon food and medical supplies from outsiders. To safety facilitate trade, villagers would leave vinegar-soaked coins in the holes of the village's "boundary stone". (It was believed vinegar would make the coins sterile) Outsiders would then take the coins and leave food and supplies, thus minimizing the plague's effect on the town's people. The Eyam Boundary Stone still rests in it's original spot, and because of the Coronavirus pandemic has reminded people everywhere of the mercy of strangers. That's something to reflect upon should you have a 1665-dated English coin in your collection.

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28 Mar 2020

1978 Pope John Paul I Vatican Coin with Mylar Packaging

| Well worn Copper

A few days ago I purchased a silver 1978 Vatican City 1000 Lire coin. What makes the piece special is it was issued under the brief 32 day reign of Pope John Paul I. The coin came in it's original cardboard presentation case, which unfortunately included what appears to be a removable soft Mylar cover which slipped over the coin. The coin doesn't show any problems from the Mylar, but I have removed it just the same. The Mylar also shows a indentation of the coin, which is scary, considering it's been there since 1978. The coin is silver and I am considering just leaving it in the cardboard case as is (without the Mylar of course) until I get it slabbed someday. My question is this: If left in the cardboard, could the coin possibly tone, like coins in old Whitman folders did after many years? Or should i just put it in a 2x2?

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20 Mar 2020

Could Cash be King Once Again?

| Well worn Copper

Depending where you live, some areas are experiencing "runs on cash" due to the Coronavirus situation. While these fears are unjustified, it has affected where you bank or shop. While out for a few groceries today, I noticed some stores had "no cash back" options concerning debit card purchases, while other stores were giving cash back as usual. And some banks had long lines, while others did not. It all reminded me of those 1933 Bank Holiday stories. I don't see any reason why the virus would affect electronic debit or credit card purchases, but maybe some folks just need to have some cash on hand until things calm down. Who knows - maybe there will be a brief return to "cash is king" again, and all the talk about cashless societies will prove null and void. It makes me wonder whether this is a good time to empty the vaults of all those SBA and Presidential mini dollars that were so unloved. Heck, folks might even be glad to take the new Innovations dollars in change! Until all this is over, I hope none of my fellow ANA bloggers and members become ill or suffer economic hardship. It's a good time to sit home any enjoy your collection.

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14 Mar 2020

Remembering The Y2K Coin Shortage Scare 20 Years Later

| Well worn Copper

It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since the Y2K scare of 1999/2000. One of the then-predominate possibilities were ATM's, banks, and even cash registers, shutting down at midnight on December 31, 1999 and prompting a shortage of circulating money. Because of this, the US Mint decided to dust off Susan B. Anthony and strike 1999-dated SBA Dollars. Fortunately, the Y2K "doomsday" shutdown never happened, and the coins remained sitting in treasury vaults. Looking back it was a foolish exercise, but lately I've considered another reason the mint took precautions: 1999 was also the first year the mint issued the Statehood quarter series. And although an abundance of quarters were struck, a great many of them were absorbed into collections. Also consider how many rolls were set aside by collectors as well as speculators. Multiples were needed for the day, 10 years later, when dealers could finally offer complete sets to the public. So in other words, a LOT of quarters issued in 1999 were being set aside instead of used in pocket change. And since the quarter was the workhorse, the mint probably hedged their bets by striking 1999 SBA dollars to offset any shortage. Almost everyone was looking at their pocket change in 1999, and even non-collectors were jumping on the bandwagon by hoarding the new quarter designs. The Mint could have played it safe and begun the Statehood series a year later in 2000, but their hands were tied by Congressional law. So when you consider a possible shortage on new quarters, the 1999 SBA dollar made sense.... at least until 12:01 am on 01/01/2000.

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