By Charles Morgan for CoinWeek …..
Here’s something you don’t expect to see in your Google Alerts.
Last weekend, Melody Atwood, a woman from Lansing, Michigan, and her sister discovered what appeared to be a potentially dangerous piece of unexploded ordinance tucked away in a closet in their aunt’s home. The aunt, who is unnamed in the report, suffers from dementia and the two sisters were cleaning out the property.
Alarmed by the discovery, the women called the Lansing Police, who arrived onto the scene, examined the shell, and called in the Bomb Squad, who took the dangerous device away to examine it in a safe location. After x-rays were taken, the police discovered that the mortar shell was being used to store coins and paper money.
This ‘bomb bank’, it has been reported, was filled with numismatic treasure, some of it dating back to the 1800s.
But was this really an interesting find? Numismatically, no.
Nothing like the “Fort Knox” purported by the ABC 13 On Your Side reporter.
Perhaps the most interesting thing in the accumulation, besides the projectile piggy bank, was a Series 1914 Blue Seal $5 note, which in the condition it’s in might bring $50 to $75 at a local coin show.
Besides the obvious tip-offs (worn Jefferson nickels, Kennedy halves, Series 1963A $5 bills in circulated condition), the “hoard” had amongst its treasures clad half dollars, Bicentennial quarters, and (yikes!) a 50 State quarter.
My guess is that this stash had been put together over the years, probably starting in the 1970s as silver trickled out of change and that someone kept up with it for a spell. Sure, the sisters may not have known what to expect when they found this unusual storage device, but I’m quite confident that it wasn’t a distant relative who put this together.
In terms of explosive numismatic stories, this one’s a dud!