The Great American Coin Hunt to start in Greater Lafayette this week

You may want to take a closer look at your pocket change this week. It's National Coin Week and with that, the Great American Coin Hunt. Which means vintage coins will be in circulation throughout Greater Lafayette.

Posted: Apr 21, 2019 6:38 PM
Updated: Apr 21, 2019 7:22 PM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI)—This week you’ll have a chance to put on your coin collecting hats, in hopes of collecting historic U.S. currency like a half dollar coin or even a historic silver certificate one dollar bill, which was made in 1935 and was redeemable for a Morgan Silver Dollar.

What began as an idea between a few coin dealers around America will now grace Greater Lafayette.

“There are hundreds of dealers all across the country that are going to be dumping a million coins back into circulation,” said Michelle Davis, Coin Dealer at Smith’s Coins in Lafayette . “It’s going to be out there just circulating in your pocket change.”

The Great American Coin Hunt will be in full effect. Davis will be joining the movement, spending vintage coins and currency anywhere from fast food restaurants to retail stores in Greater Lafayette. 

“It’s something a beginning collector can start with and you can come into a local dealer and buy those pieces to put in your collection,” said Davis.

The goal of this hunt is to spark interest in numismatics, which is the study or collection of coins, paper currency, and medals, to a brand new demographic.

“Think about the history,” said Davis. “Who may have held this coin? Who could’ve held that in their pocket change? Whose hands could that have circulated through?”

This is the first time an event like this has been planned on a national level. The United States Mint, which is responsible for producing coinage, will produce the 2019 “W” America the Beautiful Quarters. This rare participation will be a first in the Mint’s 227-year history.

“The Mint got on board and, they are like, we’re going to release W Mint mark national park quarters into general circulation,” said Davis. “But we’re only going to make 2 million of each design this year.”

According to organizers of the Great American Coin Hunt, in some places, these collectible coins are set to be released in a Willy Wonka style.

Organizers will release 250 marked holographic medallions. These medallions will include five “Golden Tickets." If these medallions are found, coin hunters will be able to redeem them for numismatic rarities valued up to $1000 each by contacting the Great American Coin Hunt website.

Coins to look out for are Indian head cents, one-dollar silver certificates, buffalo nickels, Lincoln wheat cents, “V” nickels, and war nickels.

So while you’re out spending money this week, keep a close eye on your pocket change. You could be the new owner of a historic American coin.

If you become the lucky new owner of a historic coin, you can learn more about your new prized possession at  Smith’s Coins in Lafayette.

For more information on the Great American Coin Hunt, click here.

To learn more about the coins released by the United States Mint, click here.

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