Sunday, January 31, 2010

Finding Coins on the Street

Well it looks like we're having a real Winter this year!  After our 16 inch snow on December 19th, the temperature stayed pretty much below freezing for the next month. In mid-January we had a bit of a thaw, but here on the last weekend of the month, we got another 6 inch snowfall last night. In all that, I got out with the metal detector twice and found about $5.00 in change, no jewelry. 

As always, when one treasure source isn't producing, I can turn to another. This month was a bit of a surprise, we'll get to that in a minute. As I've talked about previously, coin roll hunting is a great way to treasure hunt.  I did go through a few boxes of halves but they were very bleak. I think out of 3 boxes, I found one silver half.  I did find a 1980 Panama half dollar (in the same box) which was a neat surprise. Does that count as Spanish treasure?

This month I also went through a couple thousand pennies, just to see what's out there.  I do look for the error coins, but haven't come up with a penny error yet. I have to admit that's a bit tedious. They can be worth some money though, so I'll probably keep looking for errors and see if it's worth my time. Every type of treasure-hunting isn't for everybody.  It's easier to just collect wheat pennies because you can't miss them. You could easily start a coin book for wheats just found through coin roll hunting.  I did have more luck with the wheats. They are fun to find.

Since yard sale season is still a month or two away, there is always thrift store hunting. That's good in any season.  If you have a few stores in a reasonable distance from you, they are worth checking out. My better half trolls through them on a regular basis and sometimes turns up a gem or two. Last week, she found a neat old Carnival glass vase.  They are called that because they were given out as prizes at carnivals during the Depression. They were also used for cheap giveaways at grocery stores to entice shoppers to come in.  Nowadays they can be worth a pretty penny for nice pieces.  The vase she turned up is from the 1920's based on the Imperial Glass cross mark on the base. We haven't been able to figure out what it's worth yet, but certainly exponentially more than the $1.90 she paid for it.  We have a small collection of Carnival glass, and it really looks good when it's all displayed together.  At this point, what it's worth doesn't matter, since it's not going anywhere but into the collection as a piece of found treasure.

So the final type of treasure-hunting I was able to do in January is moneywalking.  I've picked up 5 or 10 coins a month off the street when they appear in the path of my daily walks. But I've not had what you could call steady success with moneywalking.  I've been reading some other blogs for tips on what other treasure hunters have done to increase their coin finds, and I wanted to test out that theory of finding change in melting snowpiles. I put more emphasis on it this month and did the best I ever have.  In January, I was able to find 69 coins. That's like 6 months tallies from 2009.  I was amazed, but it truly does work. I only came up with 2 or 3 coins out of snowpiles, so the jury's still out on that.  I have concentrated on the ground under parking meters, and that continues to produce pretty well. I expanded my walking range to different streets and that has helped a lot.  In my city, though, they are taking out the parking meters one by one and replacing them with  2 or 3 parking machines per block.  I thought that would be the death knell for moneywalking in that area. However, last week I decided to start checking them and I've been pleasantly surprised to find coins in the reject slots, and not just grubby pennies. Here's a picture of January's returns just from moneywalking, over $2.00, including an angel token and a wheat penny.  That's great, I'm encouraged that this avenue of treasure hunting will be a producer as well, and I haven't even hit my first car wash or drive-through window yet! Ha-ha!  


  1. I haven't tried coin walks yet, but I plan to. And I love that vase! If it's as patternless as it looks, it could be Imperial's "Smooth Panels," though I've never seen one that shape. What a great find!

  2. Great job on the money walks! Any time I'm out, the hunt is on. I still haven't tried coin roll hunting...need to really give that one a try. Hopefully your metal detector isn't too cold.

    Happy Hunting,

  3. I found the vase! I finally pulled my texts out (I collect milk glass). It's in the Imperial Glass Encyclopedia (volume 1, The Glass Press, 1995) - a picture of this exact vase is on page 171. It's Imperial "Art Glass," which was wrapped into their "Nuart" line around 1919 or 20 (which dates the vase since it's not marked "Nuart"). Value in this edition - $95-110!

  4. You go, Bunny That's great - thanks for the info!