Friday, June 12, 2009

Collector’s Corner: Lincoln's Last Stand

June 12
Posted by Noah

(In the last month we’ve put out a call for submissions to our Heritage Collector’s Corner in this blog and through our in-house emailings and newsletters, and have been pleasantly surprised by the feedback. Several of you have chosen to share your stories about your start in collecting, and we’re honored for the opportunity to present them, starting today on the Heritage blog. Our opener is a story of coin collecting, which is appropriate given Heritage’s history, and shows exactly the power such a little thing – a cent to be exact – and the influence it played in the life of a young boy who later became an obviously knowledgeable numismatist. His submission even made me have to actually ask someone what a certain term relating to a specific cent means – Yes, I learned something today. Go figure. If you want to know how I have been so enlightened this fine Friday, by Heritage COO Paul Minshull no less, then you’ll have to read on. – Noah Fleisher)

"Wow ! I have not seen one of these in 10 years."

It was 1955. My dad was paying a bill at the local village hall. In change he received a 1905 Indian Cent. That was the start of my coin collecting, and I still have the coin my dad gave me that day.

My dad was born in 1911. He told me how, when he was young boy, he and his older brother use to play a game with pennies on the dining room table. My dad would set up his Army of Lincoln Cents. His older brother would assemble his Tribe of Indian Head Pennies. They would recreate Custer's Last Stand, and other battles of the Great Plains, based upon the stories and books that their father shared with them.

My dad's father, who was born in 1885, had a chance to see Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. After that he bought Western Dime Novels, from which he shared the stories with his sons.

In the battles they would take turns sliding a coin across the dining room table. If his coin hit his brother’s coin, it was wounded and turned over. If it was hit a second time, then it “died” on the battle field and was honorably removed.

I played the same game with dad in late 1950s. It was the old worn out Buffalo Indians verses the Jefferson Nickel Calvary. I often still wonder, back when my dad was young, how many 1909-S Indians or 1909-S VDBs (meaning Victor David Brenner, the designer of the 1909-S cent, whose initials appear on a limited amount of the issue. An MS-67 example sold in our January 2006 FUN auction for $97,750 – Noah) died in those historic battles.

To submit your story to Heritage Collector’s Corner, send us an email at All submissions will be posted anonymously by Heritage staff in various in-house capacities, and edited to style.

Click on the title of this post to leave a comment.

-Noah Fleisher

1 comment:

  1. very nice story and beginning to coin collecting!