Souvenir Coins: A New Collectible That Won’t Break The Bank!


If you've been following my adventures you know my kids and I are huge collectors of squish pennies. Yep, after 13 years, we are still at it with volumes of books to show for our travels. We still love collecting them, but something shiny and new caught my eye on our last two trips that I want to share with you. Thinking I was heading toward a squish penny machine at Ellis Island, I came upon a machine that sold large souvenir coins slightly larger than the size of an old Kennedy half dollar-remember those? They had 3 different colors-copper, silver, and gold and each design was different-of course so you'll be tempted to buy all 3.

I saw the copper one with lady liberty staring right back at me and I just HAD to have it. $3 later, I was a very happy camper when it cling clanged down the chute into the little scoop. The thrill so reminded me of those penny machines and happy memories when my mom would give me a penny or a nickel and I could turn the handle and get a gumball or a prize. It's those little things in life that always make us smile.

When I picked up my coin I noticed on the back it had a short history of the statue and Ellis Island and the iconic phrase by poet Emma Lazarus-"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free.....What an awesome memento.

On our latest trip to Fort McHenry in Baltimore  I was drawn once again to a machine thinking it was a squish penny. Instead I found myself digging $3 out of my wallet for a silver coin commemorating the Star Spangled Banner-our national anthem inspired by the flag that continued to fly over the fort after being attacked by the British-the symbol of our nation's freedom and strength. As Joel groaned like teenagers do "seriously Mom, do you really need that?" I smiled like a kid and said "absolutely, yes I do". I know they aren't collector coins and they have no value, but truth be told-they are priceless to me.

Just goes to show you, you don't need to spend the big bucks to get something truly awesome.

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