the idea for this post comes from my nocturnal activities.
before starting this I checked in with a moderator who counseled me & told me to post it here. I will try to keep it as short as possible, although i'll need to sacrifice some details. i'll try not to ramble.
i am going to demonstrate alchemy by other means.
everyone has a found money story. I encourage all members to share their found money stories, with or without pix, and whether collectible coins tie into it or not. my story has both.
some time ago I decided I was going to retire early. I had turned 50 and decided i'd had enough of work & jobs. I am really only semi-retired at this point. I'm not as busy as I used to be. i'd rather be a retired painter so I can be a full-time coin enthusiast & cat whisperer.
in december of 2017 I acquired an apartment I did not like, but had to take it. by january/february I wanted out, but was stuck with what I got. I prefer to be a homebody, spending most of my time at home with my cat/s, but because I absolutely loathed my new living arrangements I tried to start spending a little more time out when i'd go out at night.
after midnight I would go out and feed a kitty near a previous apartment. she was one of three strays I fed when I lived in that area, the other two I had adopted & were living with me.
so, I began spending more time out & about after feeding the kitty, walking & biking around, just killing some time.
eventually I began noticing all the coins lying around everywhere. change, either tossed aside or dropped, almost everywhere i'd go... streets, sidewalks, parking lots... walking through parking lots at night, I figured out how to spot coins on the pavement by just watching for the 'gleaming disk'. coins reflect streetlights, so when walking or biking around I watch for the gleaming disks. I pick up every cent I see, anywhere I find them. I've trained myself how to differentiate between a quarter and a flattened bottle cap. lots of junk on the ground can easily be mistaken for a coin, but a coin has a very bright, unmistakeable gleam to it. if the coin isn't gleaming, sometimes I can recognize a coin on the ground in bad light due to it's perfect circular shape. I don't always need to see the gleaming.
i started collecting found change. each night i'd go out to feed the kitty and then pedal around watching for coins on the ground. after an hour or two i'd return home, empty my pocket, examine what i'd found, write it down, take a picture of it and put it into a jar. over time the change accumulates.
as the weeks & months passed I began expanding & refining my search each night, primarily to areas where people have their money out... malls, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations... all of these places yield change in varying amounts. I also narrowed my search times to between midnight & 2am.
i now have a set routine for finding money. I walk/bike through places that tend to yield money somewhat consistently, but I literally spot change lying around almost everywhere I go. a typical night will yield $1.50-$2.50 in change. sometimes I find paper dollars (FRNs), but not often, once a week if I'm lucky. kind of rare to find more than $5 on any night, but it happens.
my first search cycle ended in november when I filled the fifth jar. the five jars topped at varying amounts. I had amassed over $300.
just before this past thanksgiving I sorted, counted & rolled the five jars of change. I had 70 rolls of cents ($35), 11 rolls of nickels ($22), 20 rolls of dimes ($100), and 9 rolls of quarters ($90), plus all the FRNs I had found. I use quarters for laundry, so I bought all the quarters from myself with more FRNs. this is what I took to the bank:
all found money! the kicker is that I repeatedly find money every night in essentially the same areas. people really do just throw down their change. i'll continue scraping it all up as long as they keep throwing it down.
no quarters in the picture since I kept them all. there's $90 in extra FRNs in the pic because I bought the quarters. I had found about $113 in FRNs, mostly ones.
i deposited all of that money into my checking account. once my deposit registered, I then made a credit card payment with that money.
before I conclude this & tell you what I did with the money I want to show you some of the interesting things I've picked off the ground this year:
unbelievable! but it's true, I picked this off the ground somewhere, not a trace of road rash on it. I have no idea where I scored this beauty. I don't examine my finds until I get home, so any great stuff I find I don't realize I have until I get home & empty my pocket. same is true with the rest of what you're about to see.
i found those three on the same night, likely in the same place, I just don't know where. yes, I picked these off the ground somewhere.
wow! that '58 looks like it fell out of a BU roll. another groundscore, believe it or not.
i also look for key dates, like 1972 LMCs. look at these pretty nice '72s I've picked off the ground:
i haven't yet found a '72 doubled die, but I keep separate all the '72s I find. these four are just in really nice condition for their age & considering I picked them off the ground.
1963-D Roosevelt dime
the only silver I have picked off the ground. has a moderate case of road rash, but it's still a silver dime, and has a die chip at the mintmark.
i also find foreign coins... euros, canadian, bahamas, mexico, but I don't register any of it in my notes & typically don't take pictures of it. I keep all the foreign coin in a small container, usually will find someone to give them to... kids are good to give them to, gets them curious about coins & money in general.
currently, I am on jar 7. jar 6 filled a week ago, topped at about $90.
...so after I made my credit card payment with the found money this is what I spent that money on:
i bought myself a random date AU 1853 quarter eagle gold coin! I turned in a small mountain of change for one gold coin no bigger than a dime.
it even has a little clashing on the reverse. lucky me!
this, to me, is alchemy by other means. I turned a small heap of (free) junk metal into gold.
cats & coins are my life. I hope many of you are inspired to share your found money stories here. I'm glad to kick off this new thread!
(the actual Mr Pink, my cross-eyed flame-point siamese)