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What Stories Can Your Coin Collection Tell

Jul 1, 2008
Have you ever thought about the stories that your coin collection could tell you if only they could talk? Several times I have considered this, especially when looking at a particular coin from a particular era of time I seem to become lost in nostalgic dreams that I find inescapable at times.

For instance, when ever I view a silver dollar that was minted back in the late 1880s I can imagine a time of the old west when cowboys were fighting Indians and miners had traveled west to work in the mines. Miners were extracting silver ore from the famous Comstock Lode and in the nearby Virginia City the saloons were going strong. Maybe this silver dollar that I am holding was actually at one time on a stage coach and outlaws decided to hold that particular stage coach up.

There is no telling who could have held this silver dollar in their hands at one time or another. In that era Mark Twain, Helen Keller, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Jesse James, and Billy the Kid could have held my coin, but there is really no way of every really knowing. For some collectors it is the value of the coin that they are mostly concerned with, but for many of us it is the hidden historical value that these tiny pieces hold. Can you imagine owning a piece of history that could have a one time been used in a poker game with members of the Hole in the Wall Gang?

When I happen to catch a glimpse of a coin that was minted during 1916, then immediately I begin thinking about America preparing for the World War I. I wonder if perhaps that coin traveled across the ocean to Europe with one of our soldiers, who was fixing to face conflict for our nation. Perhaps the coin was given to the sweetheart of a soldier to hold until he returned back from war.

When all copper was being sent to help the Americans during World War II in 1943, the Lincoln pennies were instead made of zinc-coated steel. This is one penny, although not that valuable, I am proud to have in my own personal collection. For me and probably other collectors as well, this coin represents a pivotal time during the great history of our nation. I begin remembering Pearl Harbor and the many battles leading up to it and all that our great nation had to go through.

Stories from ancient Roman times tend t tell fascinating stories as well. In fact, one such coin tells of the insane Roman Emperor Caligula, who believed he son was a god. His son had an affair with on of the sisters of his father and Caligula murdered them both and then ate their offspring. Later he was assassinated when he was found on the wrong side of the government. This coin shows Caligula on one side and his sisters on the other, which represents the story of incest, murder, and cannibalism.

There is another truly amazing coin that can tell the entire story of the entire Roman era. Septimius Severus, who was one of the greatest Roman Emperors, is depicted upon the obverse and the reverse of this fabulous coin. His complete name was Imperator Caesar Lucius Septimius Severus Pertinax Augustus Arabicus, Adiabenicus, Pius, Parthicus Maximus, Britannicus Maximus, which has a variety of meanings. This Emperor ascended to the throne through a series of murder and defeat of political rivals, which took some time doing, but he succeeded and then continued to hold a firm grip on the empire and conquered many lands. Like Adam from biblical times, he had two sons and one was notoriously cruel, who murdered his brother, his wife, and his father-in-law.

With all of these stories and more to found within your own collection, take the time to research your own coins to find out what incredible stories your collection has waiting for you to uncover.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for: coin stories, collections, and rare coins.
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