Many people look at Mondays with disdain. It can be difficult to get back into the swing of the workweek after two pleasant days off. Nevertheless, I have a lot of work to do in order to wind down my participation on my current project so I can transfer to do something else. As the clock struck noon, my iPod finished playing the playlist I selected and decided it was time for lunch.

The company cafeteria is nothing special except that it is convenient. After being handed the takeout carton of my food, I went to pay for the purchase. When the cashier handed over my change, I noticed something strange… all the cents were wheat backs! I asked the cashier to look in the draw and see what else was there. We separated 38 wheat back cents from the draw. She then opened the next roll and we found more. The third roll did not have any wheat cents. When I was finished, I had found 88 wheat back cents.

I returned to my office and emptied my pocket onto my desk. While eating lunch I quickly checked to see what I found. When I separated coins by decade, I found 43 coins from the 1950s, 38 coins from the 1940s, and six cents from the 1930s. Twelve were shell casing cents (1944-45) and there was one Canadian cent from 1958. Most were minted in Philadelphia although there were more Denver minted coins amongst those with mint marks.

As a result, all I found were 87 common wheat back cents in Good to Fine condition. According to, these coins are worth $2.15 in melt value, although it is illegal to melt cents. Hoarding is legal and these coins will be added to my tubes of cents from the various decades.

It was a little numismatic pleasure during lunch!

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