Thursday, February 27, 2014

Changing to the Kennedy Half Dollar
*Picture courtesy of
 When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Mint Director Eva Adams was seriously considering changing one of the bigger denominations (either the dollar, half dollar, or the quarter dollar) to feature a portrait of John F. Kennedy.  Several days later, Eva Adams called up Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts and told him that it was authorized.

Jaqueline Kennedy had expressed that she would love to see John on the half dollar, her reason was that she did not want George Washington to be replaced on the quarter.  This was taken into consideration, and was also approved.
*Picture courtesy of
There was one problem, and it was a pretty big problem.  There are laws on the books that state that United States coin designs can’t be changed for 25 years without Congressional approval.  The current half dollar design that was in circulation at the time features Ben Franklin on one side, and the Liberty Bell on the other (this design was first issued in 1948, some 16 years before the Kennedy design). 

*Picture of Franklin half dollar
The good thing is that the new half dollar design passed with overwhelming support from Congress.  The Kennedy half dollar is still being made, but not many of them are readily seen in circulation today.  What’s better is that you can find new copies either from a coin dealer that is in your area, or you can order the coins directly from the United States mint.

Since there are plenty of Kennedy of half dollars that can be bought from either the bank or reputable dealers (both in a store setting and online), you can put together a complete set of coins for not that much money.  There are even people that look for different die varieties or coins that have errors.

Have you picked up one of these coins lately?

Sunday, February 16, 2014


In 1984, Transformers reigned supreme as the have-to-have toy for boys.  They would play with these toy for hours (myself included), and couldn’t wait to see what the newest addition to the toy aisle or store was.

This toy captured a lot of imaginations by letting you “transform” the toy from a robot to a wide variety of other shapes.  It could be a car, truck, plane, gun, boat, or even combine together into another huge robot.

Today, those same boys are now grown-ups, and are seeking the very Transformers they tore up or wore out.  They are now paying big dollars for Optimus Prime, Megatron, or even Soundwave.

Don’t you wish you still had your Transformer still in mint condition and in the box?

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*all images from

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Early Valentine’s were handmade with lace and paper, and were invented in 1834.  The 1835 to 1860 period is known as the Golden Age of lacy cards.  Embossed lithographs and wood cut examples were developed between 1825 and 1840 with early examples being hand colored.

Mass production pieces consisting of machine made cards featuring chromolithography began after 1840.  Previously, collectors focused on cards made before 1930.  When the 1980’s rolled around, interest shifted to include cards made between 1920 and 1960.  Comic sheets, Art Deco, and modern images are part of the reason.

Collectors also look for a particular subject.  It could be flowers, birds, animals, hearts, or even people.

There are many styles of valentines:  dimensional (the background is included in the count), mechanical-flat, mechanical, novelty, flat, folded flat, hold-to-light, and greeting.

Retail value seems to be increasing steadily—especially for older examples.

There are a couple of fantastic valentine examples in my Etsy shop, which can be seen here.

What kinds of Valentine's do you have in your collection?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Repurposing--making the old new again

These days, every flea market or collectible shop is filled with items that have been cleverly repurposed.  The old salt shaker becomes a necklace.  Feed sacks are suddenly skirts or dresses.  Graniteware strainers become planters or even lamp shades.

Today with the release of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, a middle grade novel by acclaimed author Holly Schindler, even kids can get in the spirit.

Auggie Jones, the heroine of the novel, with the help of her grandpa Gus, repurposes her house.

Find your shine along with Auggie.

You can find this fantastic book for sale online at places like, and can be found here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Collecting graniteware or Enamelware

About 1850, the colorful cookware that collectors today look for began to appear and is called either graniteware or enamelware in different parts of the country. 

Although easily chipped, kitchens were filled with the brightly colored pots and pans—and even tableware.  Teapots and coffeepots, along with basins and mugs, were then considered “have to haves.” 

The 20 cent specials of yesterday bring big dollars today.  Blue and white swirl, old red, cobalt blue, brown and white swirl, cream and green, even pink still can be found on antique dealers shelves or even offered in estate sales.

You can see some graniteware examples in my Etsy shop here.  What colors or pieces are you likely to find in your area?