As the 2012 presidential race heats up, a reminder of campaigns past has popped up in an unexpected place.
Rob and Christine Winter, owners of Antique Warehouse in Mankato, Minnesota, recently found a coin dating back to 1860 featuring the image of a beardless Abraham Lincoln on one side and his first Vice President Hannibal Hamlin on the other, KARE 11 reports. The coin is believed to have been handed out by Lincoln along the campaign trail in the same way modern-day politicos hand out buttons. But the coin is likely worth way more than that Romney 2012 pin; the treasure forgotten at the bottom of an old box of costume jewelry could be worth up to several thousand dollars.
"When people actually can touch that kind of piece of history," Rob Winter told KARE 11. "It just sends tingles up your spine, Abe Lincoln could have actually passed this thing out."
The Winters are surely happy to show the coin to interested parties, but when it comes to checking out some presidential campaign swag, Washington D.C's Newseum has a little more bang for your buck. The museum is currently running a new exhibit called “Every Four Years: Presidential Campaigns and the Press,” where visitors can view a variety of items ranging from Dwight Eisenhower's "I Like Ike" campaign ads, to a beer mug Hillary Clinton drank out during a campaign stop in Indiana. There's even the costume worn by comedian Tina Fey during her impersonation of then vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live.
But for those really passionate coin collectors, the next stop may have to be the UK. The most expensive gold coin ever sold at auction, the 1933 Double Eagle, will be displayed in London next month. The 20-dollar coin, which sold for $7.6 million at auction in 2002, is the only one of its kind in legal private ownership, as most were melted down before ever leaving the U.S. mint.
News for coin collectors only gets better. This year the New Hampshire-based, Littleton Coin Company is set to offer a run of rare dollar coins made between 1971 to 1978 featuring the face of President Dwight Eisenhower. The company discovered a stash of over 220,000 "Ike" dollar coins in a Montana bank vault and now plans to offer them for sale later this year at prices up to several hundred dollars per coin.
The United States could soon see metallic composition of two of its most iconic coins altered in an attempt to lower costs. Inside President Obama's budget proposal is a request to alter the makeup of the penny and nickel.