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February 23 , 2008

Keep the Change

A Collector's Tales of Lucky Pennies, Counterfeit C-Notes, and Other Curious Currency


Harley J. Spiller began collecting money at the age of five when, home sick from school, his father tossed him a sack of pennies and a Whitman coin folder. In the five decades since, author Spiller has amassed one of America's most extensive collections of unusual financial artifacts as well as a wealth of anecdotes and quirky historical details about U.S. currency. In Keep the Change, Spiller takes an irreverent look at our most uncommon coins and bills.
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Mathias Menrath immigrated to the US in 1972 from Hungary. He lived in Cleveland, Ohio, Davenport, Iowa and Los Angeles, California. He worked as a computer service technician for thirty years and retired in 2008. He is an Amateur Radio operator, a motorcycle enthusiast and he also enjoys fishing and boating.

Readers learn why greenbacks are green; what happens to worn-out bills (compost is involved); how artists navigate the fine line between art and mutilation; whether it's ever acceptable to burn money (short answer: maybe); and how coin clippers and counterfeiters through the ages have profited by manipulating money. This highly selective tour through currency legends and lore will inspire readers to look with a new sense of wonder at the bills that pass through our hands every day.

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