February 5th was an excellent day for finds at this spot, as you’ll see below.
You really have to wonder what’s going through the heads of some people. You’d think that the value or utility of some of these things that get tossed would be obvious, but I guess that’s not always the case. Common explanations for why great things get tossed include selfishness, laziness, being blinded by privilege (ie: I think some rich people forget what a dollar / item is worth to the average person) or a combination of all three. There’s also this idea that anything old must be junk, which I’d say falls under the general banner of ignorance.
Sometimes this comes from an innocent place. Technology has greatly improved over the years, especially in recent times, so a lot of the things people used in say, the 70s aren’t so practical today. The same goes with fashion – what was cool back in the day often isn’t cool even a few years later. So I can see how some people might use a similar logic when deciding whether to toss an item, especially if they’re not familiar with the antiques & collectibles market, and have no particular interest in history.
Belief in this idea exists on a continuum (according to my theory at least), so someone might use the “old = junk” theory very rarely, or they might use it to a ridiculous degree. For this particular spot, I’d say that the latter applies. I really can’t conceive of what’s going through this person’s head when they chose to toss some of these things away.
The main theme of today’s post is coins. Here’s a “bag-o-vision” shot of several sitting loose in the bag, but there were also a few medium-sized collections stored in small clear bags (like the one on the left in this photo) and in envelopes.
This bag was the least exciting of the lot. But hey, currency is currency right?
This one was both larger and more exciting.
Most of these coins were minted between the 1910s and 1960s. Most are also foreign, and there’s a good quantity of silver in there too.
Here’s what was loose in the bag, or stashed away in little envelopes.
And here’s a few more coins and baubles, including a silver thimble.
Overall I saved 33 silver coins. Most were Canadian dimes, but I also saved a Mercury (American) dime, a 1923 British half crown, a Cuban 20 centavos piece from 1920, and a Syrian 1 lira coin from 1950. Overall, the silver coins are worth an easy 100$, and the others have some collectors value as well.
I also found some neat old watches (and an old compass) that day. I don’t think any of these are worth a lot of money, but they’re definitely quite vintage and cool and worth something to somebody. If I remember right they all run too, which is always a good thing. (I sold the one on the left to someone on Instagram for 20$ – it was gold-filled, and needed a bit of work).
I’d guess that most people would see the value in old coins and watches, even if to just give them to a charity or some kid. I know I would have been thrilled to receive a coin collection like this when I was young! But, for whatever reason, this person thought their best option was to dump them in black garbage bags and let the garbage truck deal with them. I’ll probably never know why they went that route, but maybe it’s because – in their mind – all old things are junk.
I found more great stuff that day, but I’ll save that for a future post. I’ve still been picking (though not quite as often) during the pandemic, but I’ve been pretty careful, using lots of hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, and Hertel spray, while also letting some bags sit for a few days before sorting through them. I’ve had fairly decent luck overall, in large part because spring cleaning has begun. My storages are getting full, but I figure yard sale season is still about a month away. eBay sales are back up to average, in part because I’ve been listing more stuff, but I’m still struggling to stay focused recently. There’s just too much news to follow!
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