A Penny For Your Thoughts

Pastor Mark Hopper

Pastor Mark Hopper

By Pastor Mark Hopper

In my last article, I shared my story of finding a penny at a local Hardware store.

It was a “Wheat Penny”.  It was dated 1914.  It was over 100 years old!

I smile when I think about where that penny has been over the past 100 years.  I wonder who has held it in their hand.  I wonder how many purchases it has made?  I wonder in what stores and in what states that penny has been?

No one can know for sure the answers to these questions, but here are some of my thoughts.  I’m sure you can add more.

That penny probably went as a shiny new coin from the US Mint to a large bank on the east coast.  I think there were three US Mints in the early 1900’s in San Francisco, Denver and Philadelphia.  I think this coin was made in Philly.

The First World War started in 1914 although our nation was not drawn into the war until 1917.  In those days, a few pennies could purchase a gallon of gas.  Maybe the penny ended up in the cash register of a local gas station?

That penny survived through the “Roaring Twenties”.  It may have traveled to Chicago during the days of prohibition.  It probably changed hands many times to pay for many things.

In the 1930’s, that penny was probably kept in a small tin box as people struggled to survive during the Great Depression.  A penny was probably worth a lot more than we can imagine today.

I wonder where the penny was during World War Two?  During the war, pennies were not made of copper because the copper was needed to make bombs and bullets.

I suspect that in the 1960’s that old penny may have ended up in an old cigar box of a young newspaper delivery boy in Arizona.

Or, maybe that middle aged penny stayed in circulation during the second half of the twentieth century.  It may have found its way to In N Out Burger, a local movie theater or a snack bar at the beach.  That penny probably helped purchase groceries and prescriptions at the local market.

I wonder how that coin got to California?   Did it get lost between the cushions of a couch or under the floor mat of a car?

With the use of debit cards and credit cards, that penny was probably used less and less. Who needs coins when you can buy things with a plastic card?

I wonder how that 1914 penny ended up at a local hardware store in Diamond Bar, California?  Did someone use it by accident or was a family member cashing in the coin collection of a relative that died?

It is fun to dream and imagine where a coin has been over the past 100 years.  We will never know the answer.

Let me encourage you to take a look in your purse or pocket.  See what coins have found their way into your life.  They may have a lot of stories to tell!

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd.  Sunday services are 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.  For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.