I’m back from China! And boy do I have a lot to talk about – new clothing purchases, thoughts and feelings – so I think you’ll be hearing from me quite a bit in the next couple weeks. But first I wanted to just write a quick post about something that made me really happy yesterday – I went through my change jar and found a 1910 wheat penny! I wanted to go through my change and divide into nickels/dimes which I can use for parking meters and pennies, which I’m going to take to Coinstar and turn into an Amazon gift card (did you know if you turn your coins into a gift card there’s no fee? If you turn them into cash it’s about 10%). I omitted quarters because I have no quarters. Such is the life of someone who pays for laundry with quarters, it’s a real hassle. Stores won’t even give you quarters for cash because everyone in LA is short on quarters and I bank with USAA, which is purely online with no real-life locations. Sigh.
Anyhow, I was going through my coins and looking at the dates to see how old some of my coins were and keeping an eye out for wheat pennies – they were minted from 1909 to 1958. And I found two almost right at the outer corners of that realm! I also found a Canadian penny from 1939. How cool!
How did this get in with my change? I guess it’s had quite a while to migrate south.
Here’s the typical wheat penny back.
My 1958 coin, last year of the wheat penny.
And my 1910 penny! The second year of the Lincoln (and wheat) penny.
I’m not a coin or money collector – though I’ve always enjoyed collecting coins from countries I’ve traveled to and I have an awesome $10 Confederate bill that my mom bought for me at Gettysburg – and I don’t care about the values of them and all that. But there is something absolutely thrilling to me about holding something in my hand that’s a century old. Older than my great-grandmother, older than women’s suffrage in the United States, minted two years before the sinking of the Titanic. The fact that it has been in circulation for 102 years and somehow was given to me and landed in my change jar is absolutely fascinating. If you have a big jar of change, go pilfer through and just check the backs for wheat pennies and maybe you’ll find one. They’re a little piece of history, inconspicuously still in use right under our noses.