Featured A Family Story...about a gold coin

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Chris B, Oct 3, 2021.

  1. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I vaguely remember hearing when I was younger that my grandmother had a gold coin stowed away somewhere. Her husband, my grandfather, is the one that got me started collecting about the time I was able to sit up on my own. We would sort pennies for hours and I would block out everything going on around us. It is some of my fondest childhood memories.

    Despite that, I never really paid much interest to the gold coin story because I was concerned with stuff you found in circulation and it was impressed upon me that gold coins were expensive, thus, out of my budget.

    I hadn't even thought about the coin for many years. Then, my mother moved in with us last year. She gave me some coins of my grandparents that she had held back. Mostly, low-end circulation stuff that she had held on to for sentimental reasons. Then, she mentioned the gold coin. Being a more seasoned collector now, I was interested.


    Then she told me the story of how my grandmother had acquired it.

    This starts with her mother, my great-grandmother. Annie Enders was born in 1883 and after marrying George Enders she relocated to his hometown of Enders, Pennsylvania. Enders is a tiny town, with current driving conditions is, about 30 minutes north of Harrisburg. She gave birth to my grandmother, Sara Jane Enders, in 1920. At this time in her life, she would do odd jobs to make a little extra money including being a wet nurse for underprivileged families. This would frequently take her on the road. A common destination was Baltimore, MD, which is about 110 miles away.

    Honestly, this kind of blows my mind. Even then, Baltimore was a large city. Why would they bring someone in from that far away? It had to be a long uncomfortable trip. My grandmother said she would usually be gone a week or more on these trips.

    Anyway, back to the gold coin. The story is that the first time she ever received payment for her services, she was paid with this gold coin. In addition, she is the one to have it mounted in this bezel. Our family has never had money so her decision to save it is significant, at least to me. It is common for people today to save their "first" dollar earned, but it does not create a financial hardship to do so.

    Her payment came in the form of this 1851 dollar. My lousy photos do not show this well but it is still in good condition. If I had to guess, it should grade AU. I know it would get tagged with a details grade if submitted to one of the TPG's but since it is never going to leave this mount, it doesn't matter to me.

    At some point, this will get passed on to my daughter and granddaughter but for now, I will be the custodian of our family history.

  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I love it. And you're right, that's one coin that should never come out of its bezel.
  4. J.T. Parker

    J.T. Parker Well-Known Member

    Great story, Chris
    Appreciate you taking the time to share,
  5. Jeffjay

    Jeffjay Well-Known Member

    Nice story. I'm sure she would be pleased that you have taken so much interest in her necklace and your family history.
  6. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    In this day and age, with families so fragmented, it is heart-warming to know that some families keep their lore alive. And yours is an endearing story. Thanks for sharing.
  7. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Awesome story and coin!

    I always thought the gold dollars were more popular on the West Coast and paper money on the East Coast but it sounds like she preferred to be paid in hard money. ^_^

    Sounds like gold dollar coins were more common on the East Coast than I thought.

    Now I’m wondering what the point was of a gold dollar. Why not just stick with silver dollars?
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
    Chris B and Inspector43 like this.
  8. Inspector43

    Inspector43 Celebrating 75 Years Active Collecting Supporter

    Thanks for the story. These stories are very important and should mean a lot. The youngsters today don't get much in the way of family verbal history. They are too busy with gadgets. When I was young we didn't have TV and I thrived on listening to the older generations and their stories. Thanks again.
    derkerlegand and Gam3rBlake like this.
  9. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Active Member

    Wonderful story! Make sure you write it down and keep that with the coin.
  10. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Good idea! It would be awful if the story was forgotten and the coin was just sold off for a couple hundred dollars on a whim.
    NM Rookie, Chris B and Inspector43 like this.
  11. Inspector43

    Inspector43 Celebrating 75 Years Active Collecting Supporter

    I feel the same way. After collecting for more than 70 years I find there are a lot of things with stories behind them. What I have started doing is to copy a post of mine and paste it to a Word document and then save it.
    JimsOkay, -jeffB and derkerlegand like this.
  12. Mad Stax

    Mad Stax Well-Known Member

    Awesome story, thanks for sharing. Man, even i feel nostalgic thinking of you and your grandpa hanging out, sorting cents. Super cool gold piece too with a heck of a back story!
    Inspector43 and Chris B like this.
  13. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I appreciate all the positive feedback. I feel truly fortunate that, for whatever reason, I have been the family member that has ended up with all the stuff. Pictures, furniture, etc. I don't mind at all, but it always seemed like the others weren't interested. Now, there are a few cousins of mine that would love to have something like this, but it wouldn't stay in their possession for long.

    I think the reason the family items mean so much to me is that I grew so close to them as a child. I never met my great-grandmother, but her daughter was one of the most influential people in my life.

    Part of the reason that I end up with the family stuff is that they know I will take care of it and pass it on.
    LaCointessa, -jeffB and Inspector43 like this.
  14. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Supporter! Supporter

    I enjoyed your backstory and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed spending time with my step grandfather - But he was teaching me every type of poker hand, how to deal em, call em and play em! Also, he taught me how to make a kite from next to nothing. :-D
    -jeffB, Inspector43 and Chris B like this.
  15. JBOCON

    JBOCON Well-Known Member

    Great story
    Chris B likes this.
  16. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Yeah, I really wish I could sit down with my Mom's dad (who got my brother and me into the hobby), and show him what I've found and what I've learned. About 45 years too late for that, unfortunately.
  17. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

  18. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    I have a similar story with my Grandfather and I also grew up with my family when money was scarce. I appreciate the sharing of your story as it shows the true meaning of a family heirloom. thumbsup.gif
    Cheech9712 and Chris B like this.
  19. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    This was a nice thread. I like the necklace deal
    Chris B likes this.
  20. Mainebill

    Mainebill Bethany Danielle

    Absolutely wonderful story and to me worth far more in the necklace with the story than a details grade common date gold coin. God forbid someone scrap and melt it. The story and it’s history priceless. Hope the history and story and it continues on for generations
    Hookman and Chris B like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page