Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Penny For Your Thoughts

One of the things I enjoy most about being here is the amount of history you come across. While I doubt I will be so lucky as to discover any ancient artifacts, I've come across my fair share of old coins.

A student I taught in Qikiqtarjuaq came to class one morning with an old penny he wanted to show me. It was an American penny from 1941. I asked him where he found it and he told me he had just picked it up off the ground up at the old DEW (Distant Early Warning) Line Site. For those not familiar with the DEW Line, this was a line of radar stations spanning the north,jointly constructed by the Canadian and US governments back in the 1950's. These sites are still in existance today though many are now automated and the original buildings are in the clean-up and demolition stages. (The communities of Hall Beach and Cambridge Bay also owe their establishment to the construction of a DEW Site, but I'm getting off topic.)

Anyhow, I was able to get my hands on this coin and though I don't fancy myself a coin collector, it got me thinking of how many other old coins might be lying around awaiting discovery. Over the course of that year, I was able to collect quite a few, though I usually picked them up from local people and not from any great hunting expeditions.

The oldest one I was able to find was an American penny from 1919.....still in pretty good condition considering its age. The first picture is a 1930 penny. I know its pretty blurry. I had a devil of a time getting my camera to focus on the tiny date that was printed on it. But it is a 1930 penny. You'll just have to take my word for it.

This coin, which is a little easier to see if my oldest Canadian penny, from 1928. Hopefully, you can just make out the date on it without going cross-eyed.

With the exception of two or three pennies from the early '30s, I have a whole set spanning 1930 up to around 1960. Eventually, I'd love to have the whole string of them. So I find myself always picking up pennies off the ground whenever I come across one 'cause you never know.


Curt, Melissa & Christopher said...

Hello Darcy,
I played poker with Wayne last night, He says HI
Take Care