Buffalo Herds & Windmills

What are the odds of me even noticing this awesome coin in my pocket? And what journey did it take to get there?

The Buffalo Nickel was minted between 1913 and 1938. They’re 75% copper and 25% nickel. Mine’s not likely to be worth much — it’s neither the coveted 1937D “three legged” variety, nor the 1917/8 overdate which fetches upwards of $3-5,000. It probably worth a buck or two. Still.

In 1936, America was still in the grips of The Great Depression. Congress passed the Rural Electrification Bill. The Hoover Dam was completed. The Hindenberg made its first trans-Atlantic flight. Social Security was one-year-old. And the Golden Gate Bridge was still under construction. It’s nearly seventy years ago. My grandmother was exactly my age.

In how many pockets did my little nickel jingle? And whose? What was purchased with it?

Frankly, it’s a small stroke of serendipity that I even found the thing. Had I not left my cell phone at The Engine Room, I wouldn’t have had to use a pay phone to order dinner. Had I not had to use a pay phone, I would have just chucked it into the jar with all my other change, and it would have travelled on to someone.

Instead, my Buffalo Nickel rests safely in a small, silver box by my bedside along with a 1924 Indian Head Penny, six ounces of silver bullion, a few silver quarters, a Susan B. Anthony dollar, and some other nearly-worthless keepsakes. Well, nearly worthless to anyone else. I happen to think it’s pretty valuable to hold all that history, all those lost memories, all those miles and experiences, in the palm of my hand.