American Coin Shooter

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Rare Coins to Look Out For (Part I)

You may want to go through your change jar before you go to the bank to cash it in. Some rare coins can be worth a pretty piece of change.

It’s a little counterintuitive to think of a copper penny as an quirk but it certainly was in the 40s when copper was needed for the war effort. That year, the U.S. mint created pennies out of steel, then coated them in zinc. However, it also made a copper batch. Very few of them ever departed the facility, so the ones that did are worth a pretty penny. Real 40’s copper pennies can get you $10,000 but be warned: There are lots of fakes going around.

You may believe you’re having blurred vision if you come across a doubled die penny, but it’s basically just a case of a little askew alignment during the minting process that delivers a doubled image. In 1955, over 24,000 doubled die pennies went public, mostly as change from cigarette vending machines. The doubling is seen on the letters and numbers entirely, with the bust of Lincoln remaining unaffected. This particular coin in very fine condition could be worth about $1800.

State quarter collectors, you might want to look at your coin from the Badger State. Of the 450 million Wisconsin quarters minted in ‘04, thousands were marked with an extra leaf on a husk of corn. Some speculate a Mint employee did it on purpose. Depending on the state of the coin, these extra leaf coins have sold for up to $1500. You should take special note of your pocket change if you live in the Tucson area; around 5000 of the coins have been found there.

Reasons Why Collecting Things You Love Is Good for Your Brain (Part II)

Thirst for knowledge. Just knowing how much info is out there on any subject can provide you with a bigger thirst for learning. Knowing plenty about one thing offers a calming sense of command in that subject which is great for self-esteem and useful.

Collecting can be a family activity

Stimulates creativity. Writers and artists usually collect things that they find either aesthetic appealing or that generate feelings of connection between various elements. The simple shapes in the art of Miró were influenced by things he picked up and saved during hikes, such as seashells, driftwood, and stones.

Creativity is the act of taking tads of information from your inner store of skills, memories, and knowledge from the external surrounding, combining and recombining them in original and innovative ways to create new products or ideas that serves a purpose.

Forge a commitment to a good cause. Significantly displaying certain sorts of collections can retell us of vital causes and even lead us to vigorously support them. Learning about rhinos surely led me to give to preservation endeavors and cultivate awareness about their fight.

Encourages social connections. Discovering others with a mutual interest can be an instant icebreaker, as well as a chance to share a loving interest. Great friendships usually come from common ground.

And could create the way to a career. Children who collect rocks, stones, or seashells could become geologists or oceanographers. Those who collect postcards from other countries could become travel writers, foreign correspondents, or journalists. My favorite example is a particular 19th-century University of Cambridge student who liked to collect beetles. This unusual interest and hobby encouraged an interest with all living things and became the motivation of his life’s work. What was his name? Charles Darwin.

Reasons Why Collecting Things You Love Is Good for Your Brain (Part I)

Compulsive hoarders who can’t seem to throw anything away have a real problem. One’s choice of collectible may also display an strangeness or two. I met a woman who had collected so many antique cookie jars that she’d mounted special shelves for them that covered every wall in her home. An acquaintance has an apartment filled with snow globes, bringing a year-round wintry feel to his residence.

Collecting Vinyl Records

For standard collectors, here are reasons why their hobby is good for them:

Builds observational skills. You have a habit of becoming more aware of details of the things you collect, which makes you a better discoverer and searcher. Objects and their characteristics that might have been lost in the background before you became a collector will stand out, connecting the gap between the known and unknown. As a girl, I had a huge collection of toy animals that I carried outside to be in my sandbox (desert), birdbath (lake), or under rhododendron leaves (jungle). Having these creatures made me want to discover more about the real-life versions and I spent hours reading encyclopedias. My growing knowledge and interest evolved into a passion for nature hike and a gift for being the first to spot wildlife.

Improves organizational thinking. Collections typically call for sorting into categories, regardless if it is coins or stamps, or even unicorns. This can transform into more useful thinking in other tasks, particularly when doing research or studying for tests, as well as doing projects or school papers.

Enhances pattern recognition. Categorizing objects enriches our capability in identifying usual characteristics and denotes gaps in a pattern. Fragmented patterns are typically the ones that school us the most by inspiring our expectations and preconceptions.

Valuable Pennies

Below is a list of valuable pennies including error coins and rare pennies. But first you need to know about some pennies that aren’t very valuable pennies yet, but have great potential in becoming valuable down the line.

Regardless if you decide to collect pennies, you should be on the lookout for these coins as you’re looking through your change.

These pennies are worth more than face value now and have a possibility in increasing in value as they become rarer.

 Wheat Pennies

All Wheat Pennies. They are all worth around three times the face value unless they are worn out or really damaged.

Pennies Dated Before 1982. In ‘82, the composition was changed to 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc. Previously issued pennies were 95% copper. The make-up was altered because of the fact that the over 94% copper coins had more than one cent worth of copper making them too pricey to produce.

OK, here’s the list. You know what? You might discover some invaluable pennies that are worth several hundred or thousands of dollars.

Lincoln Cents

  • Valuable Lincoln Memorial Cents – (1959-2008)
  • Rare Wheat Pennies – (1909-1958)

INDIAN HEAD TYPE 1859 – 1909

  • 1860 Pointed bust
  • 1861
  • 1864
  • 1864 L must show
  • 1867
  • 1869 over 9 (the 9 is doubled on some varieties)
  • 1869
  • 1870
  • 1871
  • 1872
  • 1873 Doubled LIBERTY
  • 1873 Open 3
  • 1876
  • 1877
  • 1878
  • 1888 over 7
  • 1894 Doubled date
  • 1908S
  • 1909S

Flying Eagle Cents (1856-1858) – Keydates

  • 1856 – only about 1,500 are known

Large Cents (1793-1857) – Keydates


All these are considered rare and valuable pennies:

  • 1793 Vine and bars edge
  • 1793 Lettered edge
  • 1794 Strawberry leaf: only 4 known to exist
  • LIBERTY CAP TYPE 1793-1796
  • 1793 Liberty Cap
  • 1794 with the “Head of 1793”
  • 1794 Stars on reverse

Unusual Collections

Wang Guohua collects cigarette boxes. Lisa Courtney has accumulated the largest assortment of Pokemon collectables. There’s John Reznikoff, who holds the world record for having the biggest collection of hair samples from celebrities. It doesn’t matter if they’re found objects, comic books, or movie ticket stubs, the majority of us, regularly, collect something. Now, because of the New Museum, we’ve been given a view into the more private worlds of collecting.

Among artist Ohtake and an endless gift of vintage photographs by Hendeles, some artistry takes point at studying the assorted things we keep and the ways we hold onto them. To support their current exhibition, the New Museum launched a campaign with the hashtag #TheKeeper, which asks participants to share stories and images about the things they collect and why.

Collection of old vintage keys.

As an art reporter describes the exhibition in his article, “it studies the urge to archive, protect, and preserve objects and proposes blurred lines between destructive and benign forms of classification.”

Unusual Collectibles

  • Hotel room keys
  • Pink plastic
  • Bells
  • Clicky pens
  • Buttons
  • Costume jewelry
  • Novelty pens
  • Fruit remains
  • Back scratchers
  • Soap bars
  • 30,000 Toenail Clippings
  • Prison shanks/Homemade weapons
  • Daleks
  • Umbrella cover sleeves
  • Coca-Cola cans and bottles
  • Cloth
  • Vintage books
  • Chicken-related items
  • Troll dolls
  • Celebrity hair locks
  • Belly button fluff
  • McDonalds memorabilia
  • Pokémon memorabilia
  • Dalmatians
  • Nicotine gumball
  • Cellphones
  • Sugar packets
  • Banana stickers
  • Joker cards
  • Love dolls
  • Autographs
  • Scratch cards
  • Barbie dolls
  • Water bottle labels
  • Raggedy Ann dolls
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Nails
  • Traffic cones
  • Dresses
  • Airline barf bag
  • Hot sauce collection
  • Paper dolls
  • Super soakers
  • Dice
  • Milk bottles
  • Miniature chairs
  • Talking clocks
  • Erasers
  • Do Not Disturb hotel signs
  • Toothbrushes
  • Napkins
  • Teddy Bears
  • Surfboards
  • Prepared food items
  • Gas Station Signs
  • Happy Meal Toys
  • Beer Mugs
  • Police Badges
  • Nazi Memorabilia
  • Rubber Duckies
  • Santa Claus
  • Superman” Memorabilia
  • Antique Clocks
  • Shrine to Britain’s Royal Family

Making Money Collecting Barbie Dolls

Like so many other collectibles, Barbie’s magnetism holds true for both children and adults, especially adults who, as kids, weren’t allowed or couldn’t afford a Barbie of their own.

The possibility for any Barbie fan to make a personal, unique collection is limitless. The question is, where to begin? First, make sure you know the three eras of Barbie dolls: Vintage (1959 – 72), The Modern (after 72), and Collectible (1986).

Vintage Barbie

Look for dolls that are not the same. A difference in hair style or eye color can make them more valued. Try to keep your dolls and outfits boxed. Don’t play with them! Though you can sell unboxed dolls, boxed examples always get more money. For this reason many Barbie collectors buy two of every doll, one to play with and one to leave in the box.

There are three main types of collector: Collectible, Vintage, and Pink Box collectors. And because there is such a vast range of Barbies to select between, collectors usually specialize in one small area.

Vintage means made before ‘72. Check the country of manufacture to give you an indication of a doll’s age. Before ‘73 Barbies were made in Mexico, Taiwan, and the US. Pink Box Barbies are toys particularly made for kids and are vastly available, though they aren’t as valuable as the older ones.

The trick for collectors is to foresee the ones that will become future collectibles. This is a difficult thing to do, but, as a rule, go for the models that are most treasured by today’s children. They are the ones who will pay in 20 years for the Barbies they weren’t allowed as kids.

Whichever you decide to stick with, 70s Barbies, ethnic Barbies, or Barbie footwear, the crucial thing to remember is to enjoy the dollars. If not, there really isn’t any point.

Introduction to Stamp Collecting

What can you call a hobby which teaches so much and offers pleasure and fun. Stamp collecting helps educate the collector in biography, geography, art, history, and culture. Stamps are little gateways to the world.

Stamp collecting has practically no rules. You don’t have to purchase pricey rackets and sneakers to enjoy it. Though, there are some things to remember when collecting stamps.


One of the critical rules to remember is that the condition of a stamp is a vital consideration. Seriously mis-handled stamps and torn stamps are not only not pleasant to the eyes, but they aren’t worth much when compared to undamaged ones. Try to get the finest possible specimens. Stamps are rated in condition from poor to spectacular.

A stamp which can be called superb is one of the best quality, meaning it has brilliant colors, perfect gum, and perfect centering.

A used stamp can also be called spectacular, if it is good-looking, undamaged, and perfectly centered. Stamps are good when they are fairly attractive and off-center. There may be little blemishes like thin areas, huge hinge marks, and disturbed gum. Stamps which aren’t up to par should be discounted and aren’t worth buying by a serious collector. However, folks sometimes collect them as starters.

Since a stamp’s condition is crucial and stamps are only made of paper, when handling them it is vital to use caution. The best way to carefully handle stamps is with tongs.

Because stamps are tiny, it is hard to see all their smallest details with the naked eye. Magnifying glasses will aid you in seeing the design better and find small details which can help tell one stamp from another. You’ll soon find out that there are times when stamps look to be the same, but aren’t.

The Benefits of Having a Collection

Organizational skills. Pieces for collection most likely come in sets, meaning that collectors spend a lot of time with different lists and papers that aid them in categorizing their pieces. It gives your naturally systemizing brain a workout. Organizing is also what separates collecting from accumulating. A true collector will go to great lengths to see that every specimen is carefully classified and understood.

Expertise. Having a collection provides you with a chance to become a T-shaped man. When you start researching for your collection, you’ll begin broad, making a foundational base of knowledge. But when you go further, your

Model toy car collection

collection will find a niche and your expertise will increase. Becoming an expert on antique shavers could possibly lead to a one-of-a-kind job position someday.

The benefits credited to collecting was usually focused on kids. It was thought in the early 20th century that education was a form of collecting, so collecting objects was an extension of gathering information. So keep your children in mind as you collect and have some fun.

Marketplace skills. Most males like to think of themselves as smart consumers. We too often pay full price and get drawn to cheap gimmicks at big box stores. Collecting is a good way to build up those marketplace skills of researching, haggling, and being really sure you’re getting the right item. Since trading and bartering is so ingrained in the collectibles marketplace, you’ll swiftly get firsthand expertise in those skills. When you’ve efficiently bartered for a valuable Forest Ranger patch, you’re likely to carry that new confidence to other purchases too.

Potentially profitable. While definitely not the point of owning a collection, your pieces can really be profitable. When put in sets, antiques and other collectibles can be a great investment.

Why I Collect Baseball Cards (A Women’s View)

Although it doesn’t come up in every day conversation, when I tell folks I collect sports cards, I typically receive one of two usual reactions.

Wait, when I think about it, I get three.

The first is simply, “Why?” People who don’t collect don’t truly understand collecting and rightly so. “Why do you collect pieces of cardboard?” That is a question I have heard more than once. “What do you do with them?” is another.

Non-collectors don’t get it. But how could they? It’s not their thing. You have to possess a certain drive to collect sports cards or anything for that matter. It’s simple to begin by buying a pack or two of cards, but to really stick with it for a long period of time, you have to truly love it.

Like many, I begin collecting as a child. The first one I ever bought was a 1988 Fleer Tim Belcher. To this day I remember buying it from a card store in PA. I looked through pages of nine-pocket sleeves, having no idea what I was looking at or looking for. I picked the Belcher because I liked the colors. I paid ten cents and I was certain it’d sell for a hundred times that when I was ready to go to college. All my cards were going to pay for college, right?

The second reaction I usually get is something like, “I have a bunch of cards and they are really old! You should look at them sometime.” I say I’d be happy to look through people’s old cards, already knowing that it will be a bunch of late ’80s and early ’90s Fleer or Topps.

The third reaction I get is, “You’re a woman and you collect sports cards? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I’m surprised.” Last time I checked there’s no ban on women collecting sports cards. This hobby is male-dominated, but there are lots of female collectors out there. And from what I have seen, the numbers are growing.

Popular Collection Ideas

Hobbies should be a crucial part of everyone’s life, particularly in our highly abstract and passive world. There are some advantages to having a favorite pastime, a hobby.

Collecting delivers feelings of ownership and pride that are even bigger than owning items. We know what we have

Antique Shops are a great place to start!

is at least something unique. Everyone has furniture, bestselling books, a television. Not everybody has a great vintage men’s magazine collection. Our collections have a special place in our hearts and become one of our most treasured possessions.

The pride of a collection is a pride that is difficult to come by in other hobbies such as gardening or reading. While you get a feeling of accomplishment with other hobbies, collecting brings you a sense of victory, especially when you’ve found a piece you’ve been searching for your whole life.

How to Start a Collection

Pick your poison. First, you clearly have to choose what you’re going to collect. Lots of times this isn’t really a conscious choice, but something passed down through a family or a random item that catches your eye on a trip which then becomes a collection.

Start with the commonplace. You have to throw a wide net when beginning your collection. You need to begin with common pieces that are low-cost and will shape your collection’s foundation. As you’re doing your homework, you’ll come to find those common pieces. Think of it as a pyramid. There has to be a basis before you can move up into rarer pieces.

Do your homework. Before going in whole hog, do some research on what you’re collecting. Regardless the item, it’s almost certain there are fellow collectors out there. There are websites for any collection you could think of. So get online, do some searching and decide where to start.