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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

I Sold My Coin Collection

I remember one period in my life when I would treat myself to a new coin each week from a small, local coin dealer. The owner showed me which coins had the least blemishes and how to discern fraud from fancy. He sold me beautiful silver dollars and such for curiously low prices. I suspected that he switched prices to give me a lower, special bargain. He kept a large shoe box of random foreign coins under the counter that he would let me rummage through for some pretty ones. I found a lot of coins that I remembered from my childhood there. I also enjoyed collecting commemorative science coins, subway tokens, and foreign coins from my own travels. I carefully collected coins from Mali* **, Mexico, Germany, and so forth. People traveling trade coins with each other as mementos and I had a few of those too. I remember an intense American Colonel who gave me coin of the realm from Saudi Arabia and said, "Remember me always." This would have been very romantic, but there was nothing to remember.

I acquired ancient coin replicas at art exhibitions like ancient Chinese coinage from Chinese art exhibits that came through town, Egyptian coin replicas at the Tutankhamen traveling show; and shekels, widow's mites, and other roman coins from a tour of dead sea scroll fragments. When my coin collection was "complete" to my liking, it filled a pretty beech wood treasure box.

Like so many other possessions, I sold my coin collection after I became increasingly aware of speculative looks from lowlifes of the type who rob old women. My lifelong coin collection had only small actual value but I feared that it had significant perceived value, so to protect myself from being robbed of it, and maybe harmed for it, I sold it. I sold it for a fraction of its worth to a man who said he was buying it for his son and could not afford to pay more for it. So I sold it to him for a flat $150.00. Then as he walked away with my treasure box coin collection, he bragged, "I think I'll keep this for myself." Cheater.

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* "Mali is one of the largest countries in Africa, covering a total area of more than 480,000 square miles. Since 1988, the country has undergone several economic reforms that began with the signing of an agreement with the World Bank and IMF. The economic adjustment program implemented by the Malian government between 1992 and 1995 resulted in economic growth and eliminated financial imbalances in the country. Despite the ongoing economic reforms and programs, Mali remains one of the poorest countries in the world with the average worker earning a wage amounting to approximately $1,500 annually. The financial affairs of Mali are handled by the Central Bank of West African States." Source:

** "The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) is a central bank serving the eight west African countries which share the common West African CFA franc currency and comprise the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA): Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo." Source:

Caption: République du Mali, 100 and 50 Francs, 1975

100 Central African CFA Franc = .17 USD

(I had these coins converted to earrings. The jeweler surprised me with the gift of gold plating them.)

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