This is a post published several years ago by the Nashua Coin Club, but very accurate today, enjoy!
We have been busy at NC&C this month. The coin business has been steady, pushed primarily by the bullion market. Most of what comes in the door is common silver and wheat cents but occasionally something interesting walks in. Our sign says “We are the Nashua Pickers” we buy neat old stuff. So we have also been buying a lot of old and interesting items other than coins. We are having a lot of fun researching and learning about them.
About a year ago I got a call from guy in Salem, NH who had inherited an accumulation of wheat cents from his Dad. He asked if I was interested and I told him I would gladly buy all his wheat cents. He showed up at my door with twenty three 3 gallon buckets filled with wheat cents which came to over 20 5000 piece bags….. A little more than I expected, but I bought them and had them all sold within a couple of months. At the end of September I heard from this gentleman again. This time he had his grandfather’s collection of half cents and large cents and wanted to sell it for his mother. We set an appointment for the beginning of October.
He arrived at my store accompanied by his mother, with a good size box filled with small bags and a conglomeration of odd and interesting containers of coins, ( sometimes the containers people keep their coins in are more interesting than the coins), not the case here. The seller had everything organized and listed with his notes… there’s nothing more dangerous than a novice who researches the values of his coins online and with the red book….. but that’s another story for another time. He handed me a small box with 6 r 8 early Bust large cents and the first coin I pulled out was a very nice 1795 capped bust cent with strong Fine obverse detail and the usual weaker reverse strike, overall a very desirable piece but this coin had been counter stamped on the obverse. Upon closer inspection the counter stamp turned out to be a very neat example of the Mason’s symbol right smack in the middle of the obverse bust with a numeral 9 punched in the field. This was obviously a contemporary counter stamp of the era based on the condition of the coin and in itself a very desirable collectible.
For those of you who aren’t aware of it, the Nashua Mason’s own my store building and are my landlords so Masonic material is of special interest to me. The other coins in the group were common 1802-1803 and well worn and we quickly agreed on a price for the group. Over the next two hours my friend showed me groups of coins and some single pieces and I proceeded to buy the entire collection. Included was in excess of 400 large cents, 20 or so half cents, 2c pieces, 3c pieces, and odds and ends of early type coins.
The highlights included an 1875-CC twenty cent piece, 1799 and 1800 Bust dollars, a few early bust halves including a nice XF-AU 1817/3 with a large rim dent that turned an $800 coin into a $100 coin. There was the usual conglomeration of common Indian cents with a couple of surprises thrown in and an old Whitman folder of Lincolns with some surprisingly nice early red BU coins.
My friend’s mother told me that when she was a child, her father kept the half cents and large cents in a wooden box on their living room coffee table and as kids they would play with them. She believed the collection was started by her grandfather and passed down to her Dad who added to it.
Overall a very fun and entertaining couple of hours for me, buying a neat collection of fresh coins is always exciting! Although there were more valuable coins included, for me the highlight of the collection was the first coin I saw, the counter punched “Mason” 1795 large cent.