National Coin Week: What's in Your Pocket Change?

“Dynamic Designs, Artistic Masterpieces” is the theme of National Coin Week, April 17-23, 2022

 

Look closely at the change in your pocket or purse. You might have coins worth more than face value and certainly will find miniature works of art on every piece of money, according to the American Numismatic Association (ANA), which celebrates National Coin Week April 17-23, 2022.

Established in 1924, the theme of this year’s National Coin Week is “Dynamic Designs, Artistic Masterpieces.”

“Money is history you can hold in your hands. Every coin or piece of paper money in your pocket, wallet, or purse has a story to tell about people, places, and events,” said Dr. Ralph Ross, president of the Congressionally-chartered American Numismatic Association based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

With recent economic hard times, some older and potentially valuable coins might turn up in circulation as people cash in coins stored in piggy banks, coffee cans, and sock drawers.

Every pre-1965 dated dime, quarter-dollar, and half-dollar is composed of 90 percent silver, so if silver is $25 an ounce, those coins are worth about 18 times face value because of their precious metal content, according to the ANA. For example, when silver is at $25, a common dime dated 1964 or earlier, is worth about $1.80; 1964 or earlier quarters are worth about $4.50 each; and 1964 or earlier half dollars contain about $9 in silver. Scarce date and mintmark coins can be worth significantly more.

“While you may not find a fortune in your pocket change, we want people to realize the historical, cultural, artistic, and economic importance of all money, as well as the enjoyment of coin and paper money collecting,” said National Coin Week coordinator Andy Dickes. “Over the centuries, the designs, denominations, and metallic content of coins can tell us a great deal about civilizations past and present, such as famous and not-so-famous political and historical figures, important events, and landmarks.”

New dynamic designs and artistic masterpieces on coins continue today. All quarter-dollars issued for circulation in 2022 have a new image of President George Washington.

The “new” portrait of Washington on the obverse was created 90 years ago by acclaimed sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser as a proposed design to commemorate Washington’s 200th birthday in 1932. It is now being used as part of the United States Mint’s four-year American Women Quarters Program that will honor 20 different women with special designs on the reverse of quarters issued through 2025.

The ANA is providing complimentary online educational programs as well as hobby-related games and quizzes for the chance to win prizes during National Coin Week.

Between April 17 and 23, new members can join the Association at special discount rates of $13 for an online-only membership and $31 to receive the print edition of the Association’s award-winning monthly magazine, The Numismatist. Everyone joining or renewing their membership at the special discount rates that week will also receive a complimentary copy of the informative book Collecting Rare Coins for Pleasure and Profit.

For additional information, visit www.NationalCoinWeek.org.

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The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, and conventions. For more information, call (719) 632-2646 or visit money.org.
 

2 COMMENTS

    • Nice find!

      To address names and spelling, the small silver 5¢ coins like the one you have were never called nickels [sp]. They were always “half dimes” (rather than “half of a dime”).

      In fact the name “nickel” originally referred to multiple denominations. It started being used in the mid-19th century when the Mint began making nickel-alloy 1¢, 3¢, and 5¢ coins. People referred to -all- of them as “nickels” to distinguish them from their copper and silver counterparts. I.e. there were “3-cent nickels”, “5-cent nickels”, etc. If you search for those terms you’ll find a lot more interesting material.

      Cents were changed from cupronickel alloy to bronze in 1864, half-dimes were discontinued in 1873, and 3-cent nickels were phased out in 1889. That left the “5-cent nickel” as the only coin that contained the metal. There was no longer any need to specify a denomination, so people shortened the 5¢ piece’s nickname to just “nickel” … and here we are 130+ years later.

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