When Roger returned from his first trip abroad he came straight over to my house.
“Check out this coin I got while I was in California,” he says as he digs in his pockets pulling out a random mix of pence, pounds, quarters, and the like. He finds what he was looking for and lays it on the table. A buffalo nickel. “It says five cents but it doesn’t look like any of the other nickels I got while I was in the States. “Pretty old too, see it says 1915. Do you think it’s worth anything?”
I picked it up and looked at it. “Not much, but it’s in pretty good shape for a buffalo. These nickels had a problem with wear. You’re lucky you can see the date on this. They tended to wear off pretty quickly. If you’re looking to get rid of it I’ll give you five quid. I’ve got a collection of these back home.”
“Thanks,” Rog said as I handed him a five pound note. “Hey, what were you doing in 1915!” he asked jokingly.
“I’m not quite that old Rog,” I grinned, “but this nickel is one of the few things that are older than me.”
When Roger left I pulled out my magnifier to study the coin. It was a 1915 S minted in San Francisco and it was in really good condition. There was some wear on the braid but the detail was still visible. This had obviously come from someone’s collection. I knew that there were only about one and a half million of them struck in San Francisco that year which meant that the value of the coin should be pretty good. In this condition I reckoned it would be worth about $500.00.
I took a sip of my coffee and lit a cigarette. Yeah, I wasn’t alive in 1915, but if I had been, I would probably have been taking advantage of suckers then too.