Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Thanksgiving Report

(Henry had such a messy lunch we made him go without his shirt for a bit ... just kidding.)

Things have been going well here. Sadly, only one vacation day remains, but it won't be long until another nice break arrives (Christmas).

Thanksgiving here was excellent. Meg's cooking came out great. I especially enjoyed Meg's stuffing and my grandmother's fudge. We also had a good time socializing with our relatives. The three boys cooperated and everyone was able to hang out a bit long than usual. I even go to watch about 1/3 of the "Cars" with my oldest nephew. Henry's biggest moment came when I found him with a beer bottle cap in his mouth. His cousin Liam had thrown them on the floor and these days anything on the floor is fair game to Henry (today we found a small stick in his mouth). Henry did quite well at the dinner table too.

On Friday we didn't do too much besides rest. We got to go for a nice walk in our neighborhood and enjoyed leftovers. I searched some coin in the evening.

Seventeen large dollars and six halves didn't produce anything.

My "no-silver-quarter-streak" continued. 2,400 quarter only turned up one Bermuda 25¢.

3,000 dimes yielded three silver Rosies (1952, 1952S, 1964), three Canadians, one US penny and a Swiss ½ franc. The 1952S is a relatively rare dime, just sure wish it was another one, one that I need!

1,480 nickels turned up four Canadians (4 Ni).

The pennies were poor. 2,600 of them yielded just five Wheats, four Canadians and one Irish 1 Penny. The Wheats were:

1940, 1945, 1946, 1949D, 1958

Today in the morning I searched some more coin.

8,000 half dollars produced four 90% silver halves (1958, 2 x 1964, 1964D), eleven 40% silver halves (1965, 1967, 7 x 1968D, 1969D, 1969S), eight proof halves (1969S, 1973S, 2 x 1980S, 1982S, 3 x 1986S) and six mint set halves (1987D, 2002P, 3 x 2003D, 2006P). Compared to my previous weeks, that's a poor showing for silver, but the two new proof finds are great, especially the 1969S. Only 2.9 million of those were minted.

In the afternoon before some leaf blowing, Henry, Meg and I went to a nearby park run by the city. It was great. They have small farm there with some animals. Henry seemed to enjoy watching the birds (including some peacocks) and a small horse. Meg and I also liked the goats and two big pigs who were sleeping. We'll definitely go back there when it is warmer. There seemed to be many trails to check out.

This evening I had my first phone conversation with my almost 2 year old nephew. He said, "hello ... bye!"

Found: 2 pennies (1 at Bank of America, 1 at Green Hill park), 1 dime (at Sovereign Bank)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tonight Henry, Meg and I went for our Mexican. Meg just couldn't think of cooking more. Who can blame her? She's been very busy preparing for Thanksgiving. It looks good so far! I haven't been this excited for the holiday in a long time, if not ever. It is great thinking it is Henry's first. Can't wait for Christmas.

Today I finally got to do some decent coin roll hunting, at least in quantity.

Eighty-one half dollars turned up two 90% silver halves (2 x 1964) and two 40% silver halves (2 x 1968D).

3,700 quarters yielded three Canadians, one French franc, one US nickel and one US penny. I still haven't found a silver US quarter. :(

1,250 dimes turned up three Canadians and one Bermuda 10¢.

2,120 nickels, one box and some hand rolled, produced one War Time (1943S), three Canadians (1 Ni) and one Bermuda 5¢. That's the first silver nickel I've found in almost two weeks.

The pennies were just so-so, 1,000 of them yielded six Wheats and five Canadians. The Wheats were:

1944, 1951D, 1952D, 1953, 1957D, 1958D

Found: 1 penny (at Moe's), 2 dimes (at White Hen Pantry)

Proud Uncle

This morning I got a call from my sister with a story that made me proud. She was with my 4½ year old nephew at Wal-Mart the other day and he ran from her shouting, "there's something over there Uncle Brian told me to always check out!" It was a Coin Star machine. In the machine's reject bin he found over $2 worth of coins (including a dollar coin) and a bunch of Canadian coins. That little story made my day. I'll have to keep working on Henry. He's an even better height for this kind of work than his cousin, but his pincher grasp could use some work (although it is good enough to pick up everything from the floor and put it in his mouth).

Last night I searched just a bit of coin (the banks don't seem to have too much this week). 1,000 quarters, 150 dimes, 40 nickels and 50 pennies produced one Canadian quarter, four Canadian dimes, and one Wheat (1940).

Found: 1 dime (at Sovereign Bank)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yesterday morning I finished reading Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival by Dean King. I read it quite quickly as I enjoyed it so much. It told the survival story of about dozen men who shipwrecked in 1815 off the coast of Morroco. The men were robbed and made to be slaves. Eventually their captain convinced a trader to buy a few of them and take them to the English consul who then ransommed them. Along the way they suffered from the sun, starvation and dihidration. King constructed the story from two published accounts, one by the captain which became quite famous in the 19th century and another more obscure account by another shipmate who's survival story was slightly different. He also added bits he obtained from other sources and his travels to the area. Although I knew that at least these two men survived considering the conditions they were existing in I couldn't imagine how. My curiosity kept me reading this book all day on Sunday.

Last night I searched a tiny amount of coin. Fifty dimes and two hundred nickels produced just one Canadian nickel.

Found: 1 penny (outside Sovereign Bank), 2 nickels (at Sovereign Bank), 1 dime (outside the Mall), 1 quarter (at Sovereign Bank)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

W is for Wheats

This weekend Henry, Meg and I went to Maine for a wedding. One of my good friends was getting married and I was the best man. My parents also came along. These assisted us a lot by watching Henry during the rehearsal and the wedding. Although the weather never go above 30 much, even during the day, Henry and Meg were able to go swimming in the hotel's heated pool. It was very cute to watch.

Before we left I searched some coin.

Seven large dollars and fifty-one half dollars produced one 90% silver half (1964).

2,400 quarters turned up just four Canadians.

I fared better with the dimes (seems to be the case lately). 3,450 of them produced four silver dimes (1943, 1957, 2 x 1963D) and six Canadians.

620 nickels yielded just one key date Jefferson, 1955.

I also did well with the 3,800 pennies. Two rolls were marked "W" and a third was marked "Wheats." They were all solid Wheat rolls, unfortunately the Wheats in them were all corroded. In total I got one hundred sixty-seven Wheats, forty-seven Canadians, one plastic penny and one Bermuda 1¢. The Wheats were:

1929(2), 1937, 1940(3), 1941(10), 1942(7), 1942D, 1944(18), 1945(7), 1946(13), 1946D, 1947, 1947D, 1948(5), 1949(2), 1950(3), 1950D(3), 1950S, 1951, 1951D, 1952(7), 1952D(12), 1953(4), 1953D(2), 1954D(6), 1955(3), 1955D(6), 1956(4), 1956D(15), 1957(4), 1957D(10), 1958(5), 1958D(9)

After we got back from our trip I finished sorting a bunch of coin I got early Friday.

119 small dollars didn't produce anything.

I did pretty well with the halves. 8,002 of them turned up fifteen 90% silver halves (1944, 1952, 1952D, 1954D, 1957D, 1962, 2 x 1963, 1963D, 6 x 1964), twenty-seven 40% silver halves (1966, 18 x 1967, 6 x 1968D, 2 x 1969D), one proof (1978S) and twenty-nine mint set halves (2004P, 2004D, 13 x 2005P, 12 x 2005D, 2007P, 2007D).

Found: 2 pennies (at Bank of America)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vroom, Vroom

Last night when I got home Meg told me that Henry has begun to make a car sound a bit like "vroom, vroom" when he moves his truck on the floor. I haven't heard it yet, but it did get me thinking why has Henry suddenly begun to push his truck on the floor in a upright fashion. Before a few days ago he just liked to flip the thing over and play with the wheels, now he likes to push it along. It is cute. He's also started pushing a foot stool we have across the carpet. Who needs a wagon with wheels when you can push just about anything, I guess? We'll have to watch that Christmas tree and pile of gifts!

I searched a bit of coin last night ... no hoards.

5,000 pennies produced twenty-three Wheats, twenty-nine Canadians, four US dimes and one Euro 2¢. The Wheats were:

1916, 1934, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1944, 1944D, 1945(2), 1949D, 1951, 1953, 1953D(3), 1955(2), 1956D(4), 1957, 1958D

Found: 3 pennies (all at Costco), 1 dime (at Costco)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Hoard!

At lunch yesterday I picked up some coin to search in the evening. While doing so I got one large dollar, two small dollars and six half dollars. In the mix was one 90% silver half (1964).

Last night after giving Henry his bath and have a good pork dish with Meg I searched the coin I had gotten from two locations.

3,200 quarters produced five Canadians and two US nickels. I was really hoping I'd break out of my no-silver-quarter streak, but it didn't happen.

I next searched 4,050 dimes. With these I hit it big! I found my second hoard in two days. They produced one hundred nine silver dimes, five Canadians (including one 80% silver dime, 1960) and one US penny. The silver dimes were in five rolls. I thought I was doing insanely good when I found one roll with sixteen silver dimes in it, but then I got one with forty-seven in it (a full roll as it was three short) and later I got one with forty-five in it! This is by far my best non-half dollar silver find. Previously my best non-half silver hoards were eleven silver quarters in one roll and seven silver dimes in one roll. These dimes now represent about 1/4 of all the silver dimes I've found. In the mix I found three silver dimes I needed for my albums, 1939, 1949D and 1949S! Previous to last night I hadn't found a new dime for my Roosevelt album (besides 2008 coins) since October 26th, 2007, about thirteen months. Now I need to find just four to complete my album. I also finally found a 2008P dime. I was simply estatic. The silver dime breakdown was:

1934, 1935, 1939(2), 1940, 1941, 1941S(2), 1942(6), 1943(7), 1943D(2), 1943S, 1944(2), 1944D, 1945(4), 1946(5), 1947(3), 1948(5), 1948D, 1949(2), 1949D, 1949S, 1950(2), 1950D(3), 1951(2), 1951D, 1952(4), 1952D(2), 1953(2), 1953D, 1953S, 1954(3), 1954D, 1956, 1956D, 1957, 1957D, 1958, 1959D, 1960D(2), 1961(2), 1961D(4), 1962(4), 1962D(3), 1963(2), 1963D(3), 1964(9), 1964D(4)

I was planning on leaving the nickels for tonight, but I couldn't resist checking them out to see if my luck continued. I searched 2,000 of them and found seven Canadians (4 Ni) and two Bermuda 5¢. Oh well.

This morning I went back to the bank with the great dimes rolls. I bought all of the dimes and quarters they had left. I didn't find any more such rolls, but 1,600 quarters produced three Canadians (one 50% silver, 1968) and 500 dimes had nothing in them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sweet Wheats

This weekend Meg and I sure accomplished a lot. On Saturday we threw a party for Meg's mom friends, their husbands and their babies. We had a good time. The kids fared well until about the third hour and then they all started to crash. The need for nap time was contagious. Meg's chili was well received. On Sunday we had a different sort of day. Meg took Henry out to see his aunt and uncle. I spent my time getting a haircut and finishing the door over the stairway to the attic. I had been putting off finishing that door for so long that it really felt good to finish it.

Last night and on Saturday night I searched some coin.

2,000 nickels, all hand rolled, produced just one proof (1983S) and two Canadians. That doesn't sound like much, but I was pretty excited about the proof. It is in very good shape and is only the fourth nickel proof I've found (and it came during the week I found my first dime proof!).

I also searched 12,500 pennies and they produced my best Wheat hoard to date! In them I found one hundred ninety-five Wheats, eighty-two Canadians, six US dimes, one UK penny one Euro 2¢. Most of these Wheats came from five rolls from the same lady. The total variety count was amazing, sixty-seven, and the mix including eight steel pennies (one roll had three and two others had two!). Beforehand I had thought if I ever happened upon a hoard we some many pre-1940 Wheats I'd surely find a few new ones, but it was not to be. There were no new new varieties in the batch of pennies. I did, however, get a nice upgrade to the scratched and crappy 1914 I had in my album. I also found another clipped penny. I've now found clipped coins for four straight weeks! The 1933 is only the second one of those I've found. Just 14.3 million were minted. The Wheats were:

1910(2), 1914(2), 1916, 1916D, 1917(3), 1918(2), 1919, 1919S(3), 1920(3), 1923, 1925(3), 1926(4), 1927(2), 1928(5), 1929(2), 1930(2), 1933, 1934(4), 1935(2), 1936(2), 1937(6), 1938(5), 1939(3), 1940(6), 1940S, 1941(4), 1941D, 1942, 1943(7), 1943S, 1944(8), 1944D, 1944S(3), 1945(5), 1945S(2), 1946(3), 1946D, 1946S, 1947(2), 1947D, 1948, 1949S(3), 1950(4), 1950D, 1950S(10), 1951, 1951D(4), 1951S(2), 1952(2), 1952D(3), 1953(3), 1953D(6), 1953S, 1954(2), 1954D(2), 1955(2), 1955D(3), 1956D(17), 1957D(12), 1958(2), 1958D(5)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Madagascar 2

Yesterday I took the day off and a good day with the family. In the morning Meg and I took Henry out for breakfast at a local dinner. We had a good time and Henry was very well behaved. In the afternoon I took him over to his aunt's house. She watched him, I took my older nephew to see Madagascar 2, and Meg prepared for a party we are throwing today. A win-win-win situation! Both Evan and I enjoyed the movie it was a little scary at times and I thought there would be more singing and dancing, but it was still good. I was just impressed by the graphics and happy to have some time with my nephew.

He brought good luck. Before the movies we stopped at a grocery store to buy some candy and soda (just for me). We found a bunch of coins in the Coin Star machine reject bin. I let him keep the US coins and I kept the three Russia ones, one Russian 2 Kopek coin and two Russian 15 Kopek coins. Both varieties were new to me.

I've also done a mega amount of coin searching over the past few days.

Seventy-five small dollars didn't produce anything.

8,127 half dollars turned up eight 90% silver halves (7 x 1964, 2000S), seventeen 40% silver halves (1965, 1966, 2 x 1967, 10 x 1968D, 3 x 1969D) and six mint set halves (3 x 2002P, 2002D, 2003D, 2006P). I thought I was going to do worse than last week, but my last box pushed me over the top a bit. The 2000S half I found is only the third modern silver half I've found. It has a great mirror finish to it and the silver seems much whiter and brighter than any other half I've pulled out of a roll. I was very happy to find it.

3,000 quarters yielded just four Canadians, four US nickels, one US dime and a US penny. I was really hoping for a silver quarter, but it was not to be.

I did much better with the dimes. I searched 4,200 of them and found five silver dimes (1943, 1953D, 1962D, 2 x 1964), eleven Canadians, one UK 5 pence and one French ½ franc.

The nickels weren't so good. 1,600 of them only gave me two Canadians. I did find a key date Jefferson, however, the 1949S. That's the first key I've found a while, I think.

I've yet to search another bag of nickels and the big bunch pennies I have.

Found: 7 pennies (3 at Sovereign Bank, 4 at Price Chopper), 1 nickel (at Price Chopper), 2 dimes (1 at Sovereign Bank, 1 at Price Chopper), 3 foreign coins (all at Price Chopper, one Russian 2 Kopeks, two Russian 15 Kopeks)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Proof!

Last night I did some coin roll hunting.

I searched a partial box of dimes, 2,000 coins. I didn't find anything in the rolls and was a bit bummed. I looked into the box afterwards and noticed an extra dime was in it, laying on the bottom. When I picked it up I noticed it was a 1991S! That's my first proof dime. I was quite pleased. Now I just have to find a proof penny (I've found three proof nickels, one proof time, one silver proof quarter, countless proof halves and a few proof dollars.).

A box of nickels, 2,000 coins, yielded just one Buffalo (1914D) and one Canadian. The Buffalo is a rarer date and a new variety for me, but it is terrible condition. I had to use Nic-A-Date on it three times in order to see the date. I sure wish the mint had decided to design the Buffalo nickel just slighly differently with a recessed date. Searching nickels and finding Buffalos would be so much more fun.

5,000 pennies, a box and some hand rolled coin, turned up twelve Wheats, twenty Canadians and one US dime. The Wheats all came from the hand rolled coin as the box had no pre-1983 coins. I think that's the first time that has happened to me. The Wheats were:

19XX, 1940, 1944(2), 1952D, 1953D, 1956D(3), 1957, 1957D(2)

Found: 1 penny (outside White Hen Pantry)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Zig Zag

On Sunday morning I finished the book Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre. It's the third book of his I've read and was about British double agent who operated during World War II. I enjoyed the book, but the spying done by Eddie Chapman, the main character, wasn't as exciting or movie-like as the book's title implies. I learned most about how both sides turned agents into double agents. As before I enjoyed the journalistic, close to source, writing of Ben Macintyre. I've got one more of his books on order.

In the evening we had a nice family dinner at my sister's house. Afterwards I realized just how different the boys behave when they are in such a crowd. The older boys are a bit crazier and Henry withdraws inward a bit. He's much better at handling the loud noises associated with being with his cousins, but he still seems overwhelmed by the comotion at times.

I searched some coin last night.

Twenty-three small dollars and one half dollar didn't produce anything.

1,560 quarters yielded three Canadian quarters, one UK 10 pence and a US nickel. One of the Canadians was one I needed, the 2008 RCM Snowboarding variety.

The dimes I searche were even better. 1,650 dimes produced two silver Rosies (1952, 1961), four Canadians, one UK 5 pence and one Euro 1¢ (France). That's the first Euro 1¢ I've found in a roll of dimes.

In 600 nickels I found one War Time (1944P), two Canadians (1 Ni) and one nickel I think might be an error coin. I'll have to do so research.

Lastly, the pennis I searched were so-so. 3,100 pennies turned up seven Wheats and seven Canadians. The Wheats were:

1918, 1919D, 1945, 1948, 1952, 1957D(2)

Found: 1 penny (at Sovereign Bank)

Redeemed: $.10

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Skunked ... Nope

Today was a good day. We didn't do too much, but it sure felt great to stay close to home. Henry and I went out to do errands, played some and with Meg we went to a sale of kid's stuff at a local middle school. We found a dinosaur playset there for Henry. He seems to like it, but is a bit scared of the sounds it makes.

I picked up my weekly batch of halves this morning. Things didn't look so good as no silvers were showing in any of the boxes. I was guessing I could be totally skunked. It wasn't that bad, however. 8,000 halves produced six 90% silver halves (1942, 1942D, 3 x 1964, 1964D) and nine 40% silver halves (3 x 1966, 4 x 1967, 2 x 1969D).

14 small dollars didn't produce anything. At the bank I was at the tellers let me buy a roll of Martin Van Buren 2008P dollars before their official release date of Thursday.

Found: 2 pennies (1 at Sovereign Bank, 1 at Price Chopper), 1 dime (at Sovereign Bank), 1 quarter (at Sovereign Bank), 1 foreign coin (a Canadian dime at Sovereign Bank), 1 plastic coin (at Sovereign Bank)

Redeemed: $15.65

Friday, November 7, 2008

Clap, Clap

Recently Henry's hit three development "milestones." The first one is clapping. Meg and I have been trying to teach Henry to clap for a couple of days and it has paid off. He now claps when encouraged and sometimes just for the heck of it. It is very cute. He also surprised me yesterday by banging on the bathroom door while I was in there. He wanted me out of there since I just came home. I had to be careful not to knock him over when I exited. Lastly, Henry called me for the first time. He did so by accident, but he still managed to call me on Meg's cell phone somehow.

Last night I searched some coin. I did fairly well.

2,000 quarters produced one silver Washington (1964), two Canadians and two US nickels.

In 3,000 dimes I found two silver Rosies (1959, 1964D) and six Canadians.

2,000 nickels yielded one War Time (1943S) and six Canadians (3 Ni).

I had a pretty good time with the pennies too. I searched 5,000 of them and found twenty Wheats, thirty-four Canadians, eleven US dimes, two Euro 2¢ and one Russian 50 Kopek (worth 2¢). The Russian coin is only the second coin from that country I've found and it is a new variety for me. Strangely after just coming back from California and finding a 1936S there, I found another one! This happened to me before. Two weeks after finding a 1917S in Seattle I found one at home. Oh well, the 1936S I found in CA was in better condition and finding another just makes me think finding the 1936D is possible. The Wheats were:

1926, 1935, 1936S, 1938, 1941, 1942, 1944(4), 1945, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1955D, 1956, 1957D(2)

Found: 1 dime (at work)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Silver Lining

Tonight I had a good night coin roll hunting.

1,600 quarters, all hand rolled, turned up one silver Washington (1962), five Canadians and one US nickel. That's a new silver one for me.

I did really well with the dimes I searched. 4,000 dimes produced six silver Rosies (1947, 1957, 1960, 1962D, 1963D, 1964), eleven Canadians, three Bermuda 10¢, one US penny, two UK 5 pence and one British Caribbean Territories 10¢.

The nickels weren't too bad either. In 2,000 nickels I found one War Time (1943S), five Canadians, one Bermuda 5¢ and one Kingdom of Greece 1 Drachma. The Greek coin is a new for me. I have smaller coin from the same era, but not this one.

I had great luck with the pennies I searched. 2,500 pennies produced forty-two Wheats, twenty-two Canadians, one Euro 1¢ and one US dime. One of the Wheats was clipped, but better yet was the number and variety of Wheats I found. I didn't find any new varieties, but I wasn't complaining! The Wheats were:

1910(2), 1911, 1915, 1917, 1919(3), 1920, 1925(3), 1929, 1935(2), 1936, 1938(2), 1939, 1940(2), 1944(4), 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953(2), 1956D(4), 1957, 1957D(5), 1958D

Found: 1 penny (at Home Depot), 1 dime (at White Hen Pantry)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back Home

Tonight I did some coin hunting. I miss CA! I didn't find any pre-50 mint marked pennies. Oh well.

I searched fourteen small dollars and found two Canadian Loonies.

1,960 quarters produced four Canadian quarters.

650 dimes turned up one Canadian dime and two Bermuda 10¢. One of my favorite tellers saved me a silver dime (1964D).

120 nickels didn't yield anything.

The pennies were a bit better. In 1,950 pennies I found fourteen Wheats, eighteen Canadians and one Bahamas 1¢. The Wheats were:

1910, 1928, 1938, 1941, 1944(3), 1945, 1953, 1955(2), 1957D(2), 1958D

Found: 1 penny (at Costco), 1 foreign find (a Canadian quarter at Stop & Shop)


This past weekend was a great weekend. On Friday Meg and I took Henry trick-or-treating with my sister's family and my parents. The whole experience brought back a lot of good memories and it was definitely something special to take our son out for his first time. We continued the fun on Saturday when we drove out to Meg's alma mater for homecoming. There we met up with some of her college friends, their husbands and their kids (all three, including Henry were born this year). I had a great time talking politics and Dad stuff to the guys. That night Meg and I had a great date dinner while her parents watched Henry.

Before taking off from California I was able to search some more coin. My finger was a bit sore from sorting and my back was tired from hauling pennies, but I decided to press on. I figured any penny searching I do out in CA has a better chance of finding a new variety than my searches back home. Plus there are still a few varieties I found last year, but I haven't found this year. (Keeping track of 2008 vs. 2007 has been a good way to keep things interesting while I wait to find the next variety. Next year I think I'll do this for pre-60 nickels as well.)

I searched 10,100 pennies (four boxes and two rolls) thus surpassing my goal of 50,000 pennies for this trip. I found seventy-nine Wheats, twenty Canadians and one Panama 1¢. The Wheat varieties were:

1919S, 1925, 1941, 1942, 1944(2), 1944D(2), 1944S(2), 1945, 1945D(2), 1945S(2), 1946S, 1947, 1947S(2), 1950D, 1950S, 1951, 1951D, 1951S(2), 1952D(3), 1952S(4), 1953D(2), 1953S(3), 1954D, 1954S, 1955D(3), 1955S, 1956(2), 1956D(8), 1957(4), 1957D(7), 1958D(11)

While putting non-keepers from the above search into the coin counting machine I had the good fortune of crossing paths with a lady turning in a whole bunch of coin. I could tell she had a lot of foreign coins (and hopefully a silver coin or two!), so I asked her if I could buy her rejects. I gave her $30 for a basket of leftovers and twelve rolls of pennies and two rolls of nickels. I definitely made out ahead! The mix had $10.64 in US coins, $34.65 in Canadian and eighteen other foreign coins. Assuming I can get rid of the Canadians at US face value, I came out $15.29 ahead. The coins included one Twoonie, three Loonies, sixty-three Canadian quarters, one hundred one Canadian dimes, thirty-four Canadian nickels (15 Ni), thirty-five Canadian pennies and two Wheats (1945, 1957D). The other foreign coins were three Cayman Islands 1¢, one Australian 2¢, one Ireland 2 pence, one New Zealand 10 pence, one Cayman Islands 25¢, two Cayman Islands 5¢, three UK 5 pence, one Swiss 20 Rappen, one Fiji Islands 2¢, two UK new pennies and two Australian 5¢. No silver, but not too bad I think! There's a few new foreign types in that mix for me, a new Canadian quarter(2008 Alpine Skiing) and one new country, Fiji Islands.

On the first leg of my trip home I finished reading Diana and Michael Preston's Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire. About a year ago I went to a book reading and signing session of theirs that they were doing to promote this book. I didn't buy the book until much later, but had always planned on reading it as I've enjoyed other works of Diana Preston's and knew next to nothing about the Taj Mahal. The title of the book is a bit misleading. Only about a third of the book concerns the Taj Mahal itself. The majority of the book covers the Moghul Empire. I found the topic to be pretty interesting. I like Indian food a lot, but other than that don't know much about India. I'd like to know a lot more as on the surface the culture and history seem romantic and exotic to me. The book did a pretty good job of describing the Moghul period, roughly 1500-1700, and had a lot of cultural details throughout that brought the story to life. The lives of those involved were well documented by official historians and by traveling Europeans. As always, Diana Preston did a great job creating a flowing narrative out of these sources. My only complaints are that all of the personalities were tough to keep track off and the book lacks good illustrations. The photographs taken by the authors are not as powerful as they could be as most are reproduced in black and white. I'm definitely going to have to bite the bullet and buy Ebba Koch's The Complete Taj Mahal sometime soon. Now that I've learned so much about the back story of the Taj Mahal I'm anxious to see better drawings and photographs. One of these days I hope Meg and I can travel to India. I think we both would enjoy touring the Taj Mahal and all of the other wonders within the country. Until then I'll have to study from afar and enjoy books like this.

On Saturday morning I searched some local coin.

Twenty small dollars didn't turn up anything.

8,000 half dollars produced ten 90% silver halves (1938, 1942, 1963D, 6 x 1964, 1964D), ten 40% silver halves (6 x 1967, 4 x 1968D), two proof halves (1993S, 2001S), two mint set halves (2006D, 2007P) and one clipped half. That's only the second clipped half I've found. They command quite a premimum on E-Bay too!

Found: 3 pennies (1 at Starbucks at LAX, 1 at LAX, 1 in Williamstown), 1 nickel (at Mollie Stone's), 1 dime (at Mollie Stone's), 1 foreign coin (a Canadian nickel (1 Ni) at Mollie Stone's)