If I found a year that was needed in my collection, I gave them my word that I would replace it with a common penny which I did as I found them.
Grandma told me she had some coins that I could go through. When we were to go home after our visit, she would give them to me under the condition that I would re-roll them using paper rollers from the bank. She had them rolled in used tinfoil and the bank would not take them, (frugal grandparents.) I agreed and off to play I went. When it was time to go home, Grandma came good on her word. On the table sat an old large coffee like tin full of pennies rolled in tinfoil. There was $40 worth of pennies in that tin! Off to home with the tin we went.
At home I had no shortage of help sorting through the horde of 4,000 pennies as my 2 brothers joined up as volunteers. I told them anything old, I would need to look at. Before too long the gems started to appear and not just Canadian but US wheat pennies too. A 1909 wheat penny is about a dollar a piece, that’s 100 times it’s face value. I was not into the wheat pennies so I gave them to my youngest brother who was begging for them. I had no shortage of good finds for myself. I was able to fill in all the years except for two years, 1923 and 1925. These are low mint years and would not come easily or cheaply.
The dimes and quarters fared much better. There was about thirty or forty, 80% silver quarters in the tins from Grandma. At the time the spot price of silver was at 5 dollars an ounce. That made the 10 dollars I had found in quarters, (3 times their face value) to 30 dollars in good old silver coins. The next time I went back, my grandpa was in. And Grandma did not mention if there were anymore tins. But I told my grandpa about the two pennies that I was needing and he asked how much they were worth. I told him my coin book had said that the 1923 penny was worth 25 dollars and the 1925 penny was worth 15 dollars.
With that, there was not much said of my two missing coins. I figured there was not much hope of getting them except to buy them by mail order, which I did. I was pleased to have the canyon filled and the collection complete. Some months later Grandpa told me he had two 1923 pennies and one 1925 penny. I called his bluff. He then brought out the three pennies. One of the 1923 pennies was really nice, being close to mint condition. I asked where he got them from, he answered with scoff ,“You will never know.” I asked if I could have one of them, “No!” came the reply. And that was the last I ever heard of those little gems. As a kid that was a lot of fun to hunt for those old pennies, and silver coins. It was a big boost to my coin collection to add those little treasures.