Monday, August 22, 2011

The oldest item in my collection

The best thing in my collection is not a baseball card. It isn't a piece of game-used or autographed memorabilia. It does have a somewhat loose tie to this Allen & Ginter card.

I pulled this Minds That Made the Future Samuel Colt from a blaster recently. The same blaster that had the Russell Martin bat relic. It reminded me of my grandfather who passed away a number of years ago.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my grandpa told me he had something he wanted to show me. It was something he wanted to leave me someday when he wasn't around anymore. Of course, I didn't want to hear him talk like that, but I was curious about what he might want me to have someday. He went into his bedroom and was gone for what seemed like forever. When he returned, he had an old leather case. He pulled out two somethings wrapped in cloths. Not one, but two.

Now I was definitely intrigued. He carefully unwrapped both cloths and there before me lay two Colt Revolvers. Well, he said they were Colt Revolvers. I wouldn't have known what they were, except they looked like the pistols cowboys wore in the the old westerns I watched with my dad. He said they had been handed down to him from his grandfather. I know now that his grandfather was born somewhere around 1850, so that should give you some idea of the age on these guns. All he really knew about them was that his grandfather had worn them "back when men wore guns all the time." He said he wanted me to have them because he knew I would keep them in the family and not sell them. I was touched, but being a teenager, I put it out of my mind.

Several years later, my grandfather's health started to decline and he was in and out of the hospital. During one of my visits to the hospital, my grandmother took me aside. She told me that she knew Grandpa had promised the Colts to me, but that my Uncle had taken them at some point and sold them. I was sad that my Grandpa's wishes hadn't been followed and sad that I wouldn't have that family heirloom to pass down to my kid someday. That's when she pulled out an old, worn coin purse. She said it belonged to my great-grandmother, my Grandpa's mom. She wanted me to have it and hoped that there were some items in there that I could pass down to my children someday.

I opened the coin purse and it was full of Indian Head pennies, early 1900's silver quarters and dimes, a couple of late 1800's silver dollars and buried way at the bottom was one of these:

This isn't the exact coin because mine is in a safe deposit box. I can only say that I was shocked. I couldn't believe something so old had been sitting around in a desk drawer in my grandfather's study all these years.

I'm glad to have this coin. I don't know the history behind it, but I know that it was once in the hand of my great-grandmother and will one day sit in the hand of my son and hopefully be passed down to his children. I may not have the Colts, but it's nice to have something connecting my family's past with my family's future.


  1. Great story and a very cool coin.

  2. Cool story. Sucks that the guns were disposed of before you could get 'em. That 1799 coin is sweet!

    Oh, and you have an e-mail. Yahoo sends mine to spam folders a lot, just so ya know.

  3. That's awesome. My wife's grandfather is a collector of many things, so going to their house is like visiting the Smithsonian. Too bad about the Colts, but that coin is a great story, too.

  4. Love the coin's design! Those 13 stars are so simple but mean so much.

  5. cool stuff. that coin looks familiar from my dad's coin collecting days as one of the "really hard to find coins you see in catalogs" or something.

  6. Amazing story Brian!!! Glad it had a happy ending... Thanks for sharing!