During a visit to my favorite coin shop, I spotted a Chain cent. Not spectacular Mint State, mind you. This old copper coin was well worn and a bit scruffed up. The edges were not perfect and the color was that tone you see on older coins that have been out in the world. The grade was Fine and that may have been generous.
Doesn't matter. The Chain cent was the very first "penny" issued by the Mint. It's a quaint design, not beautiful in the classic sense, but a treasure. As I admired the coin, I wondered where it had been once it left the Philadelphia Mint. Who spent this coin, for what? How many hands did it pass through? Who rescued it from circulation and saved it for future collectors?
At one time it blazed with luster. Now it was an old copper cent. An average person might shun it for being old and worn, but a coin person who knew of this coin would appreciate it...dare I say, love it...and know what a true piece of history this was. It's a dream coin for many collectors, type set fans, large cent buffs, historians. It's a wonderful coin.
(This blog is dedicated to my Mom, who died 3 yrs ago Monday. She loved Chain cents too.)