Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why you should look at your pennies:
To help introduce more people to "the magic of coin collecting," Scott A. Travers, a 44-year-old former vice president of the American Numismatic Association and author of The Coin Collector's Survival Manual, decided to mark National Coin Week in mid-April 2006 by deliberately spending three valuable old pennies as he made routine purchases around Manhattan. "I'm planting a seed, and I hope that a new generation of people will come to appreciate the history that coins represent," he said.

The three coins Scott Travers planned to spend were all relatively low-mintage U.S. one-cent pieces nearly one hundred years old: a 1908-S Indian Head cent, and 1909-S VDB and 1914-D Lincoln cents. (In the conditions released by Travers, these coins are worth roughly $200, $1,000, and $300, respectively.) Mr. Travers said he put the 1914-D Lincoln cent into circulation on 12 April 2006 when he purchased a pretzel from a food stand in Times Square, and that he planned to spend the other two coins within the next several days.

So far, there have been no reports of anyone's finding any of the three rare pennies.