At my part-time job I run coins through a sorter in the store's accounting office and this allows me the chance to purchase at face value silver coins and money from the 19th century. I consider this a quite benefit at my job since we rarely get any kind of incentive.

In my time working there I have found a penny worth $100, made quite a few rolls of silver dimes, nickels and quarters and found a few out of country coins, even a 1938 penny from Germany. These coins have provided a nice side hobby that allows me to make a little money on the ones I want to put up for sale and I learn a bit of history in the research.

Recently though I came across a part of the coin world I wasn't aware of - the scammers, or in this case, a "magician's coin". This one was a vintage one that had a mercury dime on one side and welded or glued to the other side was a wheat penny. No hollow middle, and it rings like a regular coin when dropped. 

However, the question came up in the accounting office, is it worth a dime, a penny or nothing? Answer, we treat it like any bus token we get, it's worth nothing but play money. However, I had an interesting bit of research to do about defacing coins, fraud and the little world of novelty coins. And it is not illegal to make them, but it IS illegal to use them as money after they have been altered. And the coin value is 1.75 after bidding.


Drinking Glasses from Cans - If you live in a state that doesn't have bottle/can deposits and you don't have enough aluminum to take to the recycle center, you could make a "poor man's" drinking glass or a pen holder or whatever else you might need.
On the topic of recycling there are quite a few sites that you can use to recycle items and keep them out of the trash, especially if you pay per weight.
1.  Freecycle and the ReuseIt Network are two email community based sites to give away or pick up FREE items

2.  Ecycler - Sign-up to give away your recyclable items or to go pick up someone elses on the way to the recycle center. A 33 gal. bag of 200 aluminum cans is $2.15, so it may not be worth it for someone to make the trip for one, but worth recycling them if someone picks up yours and gives you the cash.

3.  The Recycle Bank occasionally gives away free points. But you can earn them by recycling, reducing or reusing items through sites like eBay, Nature Made vitamins and sending in your recyclables. The points are then used towards gift cards and stuff you need to purchase. Currently, over 125,000 households in the U.S are signed up.

If you are uncertain about the power of recycling, check out the video on the Story of Stuff and also know that you can find other recycle centers to turn your stuff into at Earth 911

Finally, I thought Donna wrote a great article on the Practice of Stealthy Acts of Kindness. I've got a few ideas of my own that I want to try for 2011 and look forward to helping out more in stealthy ways.


  1. Donna Freedman // Monday, December 20, 2010 12:15:00 PM  

    Thank you for linking to the "stealth kindness" piece. Here's hoping that more people give it a try.

  2. Hammy // Monday, December 27, 2010 4:21:00 PM  

    That was quite a good score with the $100 penny. Gotta have some perks with the job.