Romanian

I frequently take cabs in Chicago.  I have found that the lion’s share of cab drivers are Pakistani, Indian, Nigerian, Ghanan and. . . . Romanian.   There seem to be quite a few young men – and a few young women – from Romania who are driving hacks.  And most of these, rather than coming from Bucharest, are from Transylvania. 

Romanian is one language on which I haven’t a clue.  So I inevitably ask questions of the drivers to pick up tidbits of information.  Romanian I have learned is a Romance and not a Slavic language.  It is derived from Latin and is most closely-related to Italian and Spanish.   It often causes a stir when I get in a taxi, do a quick diagnosis of the driver, and ask “What part of Transylvania are you from?”  Gets ’em every time. . . . .

1913 “V” Nickel

The Liberty Head five cent piece (the “V” Nickel – because of a Roman numeral “5” on the reverse) was made from 1883 to 1912 and was America’s second “nickel.”   In 1913, the United States Mint produced Liberty Head nickels but they were never intended for circulation.   Colonel E. H. R. Green (the son of the famous Hetty Green) owned 5 strikes of the 1913 nickel.  These five rarities have since been dispersed to collectors.   See  http://www.blanchardonline.com/aboutblanchard/liberty_head_nickel.php  

Around 1960, I was a Boy Scout and I worked on the Coin Collecting Merit Badge.  The merit badge counselor was a man named Herman Noll (he lived in Mt. Prospect, IL).  He had an amazing collection of coins (he actually gave me some for my collection).  I remember him telling me that his father was an employee of the U.S. Mint that produced the 1913 “V” Nickel.  His father took a few — apparently beyond those belonging to Mr. Green.  Mr. Noll never told me where the remaining 1913 nickels were or what had been done with them.  A recent posting suggests the value is $3,000,000 for one nickel . . .  I wish I’d asked a few more questions . . . .