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From Serving Iowa Elders for Over 20 Years

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Coin Collecting: Part 6


Today we’re highlighting a different part of the collection which is a foreign coin – a British Pound. This particular pound is dated 1983 which has some significance because it was the first year that the new pound coin was circulated. 24carat.co.uk had this information about the two faces on the coin:

The obverse of the coin shows the Arnold Machin portrait of The Queen which was adopted for decimalisation, and has been used on nearly all UK coinage since 1968. It continued in use until 1984.

The reverse of the coin shows the Royal Arms, and it is appropriate that it should feature on one of the nation’s premier coins.
Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of the Sovereigns of England, of Ireland and of Scotland. Accordingly Her Majesty is head of the oldest continuing Royal Lines in Christendom. As the embodiment of the Sovereignty of those countries, Her Majesty quarters their historic Arms.
The Royal Arms achieved their present form upon the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837 and have remained essentially the same ever since.

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Coin Collecting: Part Five

Today we’re going to highlight a very special coin in the Iowa senior citizen’s collection – his Liberty Five Dollar Gold Coin. The value of these coins is very high for several reasons. First of all, the coin contains gold (almost a quarter of an ounce) which gives it a much higher value than coins made with less desirable material. Secondly, the $5 denomination of coin is no longer in circulation nor is it reproduced today. Similar to other posts, we haven’t taken any coins to an appraiser, but these coins are worth over $300 in most instances. Additionally, this coin is in very good condition whereas most of the $5 Liberty coins are worn down from circulation. These coins were circulated for 70 years, starting in 1839 and ending in 1908. The date on this coin is 1880.

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Coin Collecting: Part Four

Today we’re highlighting another special coin in the Iowa Senior Citizen’s collection, a Shield Nickel. The year on the nickel is 1872, which is printed on the reverse face side of the coin. The shield nickel is the first 5 cent coin to be called a “nickel” since it was made out of nickel and copper. 5 cent pieces before the shield nickel were called half-dimes and were made out of silver. For a complete history of the shield nickel, check out this article.


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Coin Collecting: Part Three


The first coin that we’re highlighting in this senior citizen’s collection is a 1952 Franklin half dollar. After doing just a little bit of research we found plenty of information about his special coin. Jim Bullion website had this to say about the Franklin half dollar.

“The Franklin half Dollar fifty-cent piece is a highly regarded historical coin produced by the U.S. Mint. These silver coins feature the side profile of Benjamin Franklin as well as the Liberty Bell. Franklin Half Dollars were produced for a period of 15 years, and are a favorite among collectors and coin enthusiasts for their historical significance and beautiful design. Because these coins are no longer produced, their values may continue to rise with the passage of time.”

coinstudy.com also provided some important information about where this coin was minted. There were three mints that produced this type of coin, Denver, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Since there is no mint mark above the bell on the reverse side of the coin, it means that the coin was minted in Philadelphia. Coins that were minted in the other two locations are much more rare.

We haven’t gotten this coin appraised, but Franklin half dollars are worth between $6 and $45 today!

The next coin we’re featuring is an 1886 Morgan dollar. This coin was also not very difficult to research and find some interesting information. coinweek.com has this to say about the Morgan Dollar:

“The 1886 Morgan dollar, known more officially as the Liberty Head dollar, is a silver coin that was struck at the United States Mint in Philadelphia. Nearly 20 million 1886 Morgan dollars were made, and while the vast majority were ultimately melted, enough survive today to satisfy general collector demands. The Morgan dollar, as collectors long dubbed the series of United States dollar coins struck from 1878 through 1904 (and then once more in 1921), is named for Mint engraver George T. Morgan.”

There is also some interesting information about the model who was used for this coin,Anna Willess Williams.

“Morgan designed the Liberty head bust after the likeness of Anna Willess Williams, a Philadelphia schoolteacher who modeled for the coin. Williams received significant public recognition after her face appeared on the Morgan dollar, but she rejected the attention that was heaped upon her. She refused offers for acting roles and apparently had turned down an offer for marriage following her engagement to an unknown suitor. Before dying at the age of 68 in 1926, Williams, who sat for Morgan on the sworn condition of anonymity, rebuffed her single stint as a coin design model as little more than an “incident of my youth”.”

Again, we haven’t appraised this coin, but according to cointrackers.com an average circulated 1886 Morgan dollar is worth $45!


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Collecting: German Police Badge

The Iowa Senior Citizen that we have been featuring on this blog has another interesting piece of history in this “Bremen Police”  badge. Although we couldn’t find any history about the origin of this particular police badge, we believe that it originates from Bremen, Germany which is in the northwestern part of the country. The interesting thing about the badge is that police is spelled in english and not polizei which is the German translation of police. Again, if you happen across this blog and might know any history about the badge and its origin, please comment below!

Collecting: Russian Submarine Clock

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The Iowa Senior Citizen also has this old Russian Submarine clock and we’re not exactly sure what its origin is. After doing some research we found out what the text on the face of the clock reads. The text on the top face reads КРАСНЫЙ ОКТЯбРЬ which translates to “Red October” and the bottom reads СдЕдАНО В СССР. This Translates to “Made in USSR”. If anybody knows any information about the clock, comment below!


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Collecting: Ornate Wooden Chair

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The coin collector that is sharing his collection with me also collects other unique items.  He has a chair that was given to him years ago from a friend.  He does not know the history of this chair but he appreciates the beauty and uniqueness of it.  I quickly looked around the web for photos of similar chairs.  I didn’t find anything exactly like his chair but I did find chairs that looked similar that were Japanese wooden chairs from the Meiji period.  I honestly don’t know if this chair belongs under that classification or not but this is a gorgeous, unique chair.


This gallery contains 15 photos

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Coin Collecting: Part Two

The senior citizen who shared his coin collection with me has quite a few one dollar coins.  I took a photo of six of them showing six different designs on the back.

One dollar coins, back side

United States One Dollar Coins, Front Side


The coins are all United States one dollar coins.  During my conversation with the Iowa coin collector, I didn’t take good notes about the coins themselves as I was most interested in the history of the man’s interest in coin collecting.

But when I was back at Elder Concern’s office looking at the photos of the coins, I became interested in the coins themselves.  We have an intern this year from Drake University, Katie, and she looked up the coins on Wikipedia and other sites for me.  Thus I will try to paraphrase her research using Wikipedia as the basis for my information.  As I am not a coin expert and neither is Kattie, we do not know if the information that we found was 100% accurate.  If one is interested in learning more about these coins, I would suggest talking with your local public librarian to ask about “official” sources of information on coins.

Thus as far as I know, the coins on the top row are referred to Eisenhower Dollars.  The Eisenhower Dollar on the left is called the 1976 Bicentennial Commemorative Design and is designed by Dennis R. Williams.  Mr. Williams was 21 years of age at the time and the youngest person to ever design a US coin.  The design had been created for a college art class and he submitted it for the US Mint competition in the early 1970’s.  The Eisenhower Dollar on the right has a back side to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing and was designed by Frank Gasparro.

The dollar coins in the middle row are called Morgan Dollars.  These were composed of 90% silver and 10% copper and “were struck between 1878 and 1904 with a final minting in 1921 ” according to Wikipedia.  The designer was George T. Morgan.

The last row contains dollars called Peace Dollars.  It is also made of 90% silver and 10% copper.  It was designed by Anthony De Francisci to commemorate the Allied signing of the peace treaty with Germany and Austria after WWI.  They were minted between 1922 and 1928 and again between 1934 and 1936.  Minting was halted between 1928 and 1934 due to The Great Depression.

I will post more photos of this senior citizen’s coin collection in the coming days.


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Coin Collecting Hobby: Part One

As mentioned in the last post, a Michigan-raised Iowa senior citizen was kind enough to show me his coin collection.  I am a poor photographer and my photos don’t do his collection justice but here are two photos that I took while visiting him and discussing the hobby of coin collecting:

Buffalo Nickel

Buffalo Nickels

These coins appear to be “a copper-nickel five cent piece that was struck by the United States Mint from 1913 to 1938.  It was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser.” according to a Wikipedia entry.