Collector values coin hobby

What started out as a hobby in Boy Scouts has turned into a profession for Jim Everett. His passion is collecting, trading and selling coins and currency from confederate times to the present and he's hoping others will get a taste of it this weekend at Tiah's National Coin, Currency & Collectables Show.

"I'm trying to make it as big as the Orlando show or the Baltimore show," Everett said, adding that he expects people from across the country to come to the event. Eighteen dealers had confirmed by Wednesday morning. Everett said he hopes Craig residents who've never been to a show will come see what it's all about.

"People think they can't afford to be a collector; it's too expensive. That's not true. You can buy pieces from 5 cents to hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said. And occasionally, if you're paying attention, you might just come across a rare coin in town, he said.

He always glances through the take-a-penny, leave-a-penny jars on convenience store counters, because there might just be a treasure there, he said, offering an example of a local gentleman who did just that. He picked out a 1909 SVDB from one of those counter penny stashes and it turned out to be worth a few thousand dollars, Everett said. He has other examples of valuable coins he and others have found in circulation in Craig, such as a $20 bill worth $119.

Of course not every unusual piece of money is valuable.

"If you find Eisenhower dollars, spend 'em. People have hundreds of them," Everett said, adding that steel pennies also are not uncommon.

The rare coin market is on the rise, said Ron Mays of International Coin & Stamp in Grand Junction. He attempted a coin show in the early 1980s, but the show flopped. He predicts the Craig show will be a success based on the rise in popularity of rare money during the past several years.

Investing in rare coins is more profitable than putting money in a bank or buying stocks, Everett said. The more rare and the closer to mint condition, the more valuable a piece will be, he said. As an example he said the value of a 1994 silver proof set shot up 10-fold in five years.

Knowledge is the key to making the most of an investment Everett said, which is one reason he offers classes on coin collecting and one reason he wanted to host a show locally.

The show is Saturday and Sunday at the Fairgrounds Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the general public. Admission is $1 (children younger than 12 get in free with an adult). For more passionate collectors, a $25 ticket will grant access as early as 7 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday during the time dealers trade among themselves. Other collectables including baseball cards, Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards also will be available.

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