Saturday, October 13, 2007

Time Warp Coin

(Click Image to Enlarge)      Last week I stopped at the local con-
venience store and got a small fountain Coke. 79¢ + 6% sales tax = 84¢. 16¢ change from my dollar. I was in kind of a hurry so I just grabbed the change and shoved it in my pocket without even looking.


Yesterday, I was gathering up my clothes to do laundry and the pair of shorts I had worn to the store decided to divest itself of the change I had shoved in the pocket. As I was picking up the coins i noticed there was something different about the "penny."

It looked like a badly tarnished one-cent piece, but, hmm...what's this? The edge of the coin was flute-milled, like a dime. I shoved my glasses up on my forehead and looked a little closer. This wasn't like any coin I had ever seen.

Sooo, I took it to the sink and tried to clean it off—first with some dish liquid, then with Barkeeper's Friend. It got a little cleaner, but no brighter. Then I tried Tarn-X and then jewelry cleaner, then vinegar and baking soda. Not much luck with them, either.

But, it got cleaned up enough to see what it is: A badly worn 5 pfennig piece, dated 1944, minted in Nazi Germany. Never saw one before, or even knew about them.

According to this Wikipedia article, they are made of a zinc-aluminum alloy. 1944 was the last year for coins bearing a swastika, for obvious reasons.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, since it's too beat up to be worth much of anything. I suppose it'll just end up forgotten in a drawer or a box, forgotten like so much other weird junk we all collect over the years.

1 comment:

Paul said...

That is a weird one.

1) Not in circulation after 1945. And I mean really not in circ. A Swastika would not play well.
2) Never in circulation in the Americas.

So where did it come from? A Nazi in Argintina empties his boot on a beach? More than likely a war souvenir that made it back with a G.I.. But then how does it get back in circulation in 2007? I had a high school friend who was mad at his Dad who took his silver dollar collection and played pinball on the Vineyard with the proceeds.