I was in a convenience store the other day and the clerk looked into her drawer with puzzlement.
“What’s this?” she asked as she pulled out three large coins.
I recognized them immediately from my coin-collecting days as a kid: They were Eisenhower dollars, one of the nation’s many failed efforts to develop a one-dollar coin.
The Ike dollar was roughly the size of a manhole cover and featured a picture commemorating America’s 1969 moon landing on the reverse. The U.S. Mint produced them from 1971-1978; the Ike dollar was succeeded by the much-smaller Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, derided as “Carter quarters.”
So why did this convenience store have three Ike dollars in its tray? I guess someone dug into the back of a drawer or raided a coin collection for a few bucks to buy a carton of smokes or a six-pack.
I quickly asked the clerk to trade a paper dollar for one of them; the guy right behind me grabbed one as well.
By Paul Fletcher