Show proves popularity of coin collecting

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More than a million dollars worth of coin and currency memorabilia was on display at Centennial Mall over the weekend.

Tiah's second annual Coin & Currency Show brought dealers from all over the state, Utah and Nebraska who convened to buy and sell coins, offer customers advice and to spread the word about coin collecting.

Jim Everett, owner of Tiah's, has collected coins since he was a Boy Scout. He started a shop in Craig because he found a remarkable number of people in the area who have an interest in collecting.

It has been something Everett has gotten in and out of since his childhood, and he said the coin collecting market has really started to intensify.

Everett credits the rise in popularity to the uneasiness in the stock market and the rough times the U.S. economy has gone through. He said coin collecting is a great way to invest your money.

Mike Kidd, a dealer from Almont, agreed.

"I've looked at all the collectible coins since 1949," Kidd said. "They've appreciated every year at an average of 15 to 20 percent."

Dan Samer, a Craig resident and collector for more than 20 years, expects his coin collection to help him with his retirement. He said his displeasure with the economy led him to start collecting again and to try to find more and more rare coins.

"I don't feel confident with stocks," he said. "I found coins today in this show that I've been looking for."

The advent of the Statehood Quarter collections also has brought a lot of people into coin collecting, many dealers said. Everett cautions people who want to get into the coin- collecting business to do their homework before they start.

"We encourage people to learn first," he said.

He said he has had people come into his shop who just bought a set of coins from television and want to know how much they are worth. Unfortunately, he said, these coins are worth much less than what people originally paid for them.

Everett said the best way to get into coin collecting is to go to shows and talk with dealers.

"We encourage people to ask questions," he said.

Coin collectors have to know what to look for and how to take care of the coins, Everett said. "In our business, handling a coin is like handling porcelain."

Jim Doolin, a first timer to the coin show, wanted to come by and check out the coins, and possibly learn how to get into the business.

"I think it's a good way to invest your money," he said. "It's interesting."

Tiah's, at 500 Yampa Ave., is open Monday through Saturday, and Everett is always available to answer questions and help interested coin collectors.

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