Briankahn's Blog

08 Nov 2019

How I Got Started Coin Collecting

Coins | Briankahn

This is the very unique story about how I began my coin collection. About a year ago, in the fall of 2019 my dad was helping a very old client. My dad is a real estate lawyer in New York City and had a very old client who was getting evicted from his apartment and moving to Florida. The man was being evicted because he was a hoarder and the landlord had reason to believe that the man was creating unsafe living conditions (which he probably was). My dad had been dealing with this clients for months and at some point he asked me to come into New York City with him to the man's apartment to help move some things. I agreed not only to be helpful but also out of such curiosity. My dad said that this apartment was straight out of Hoarders the TV show. So my dad and I drove into the city from New Jersey and went to the clients apartment. Needless to say, my father was not kidding about the man being an extreme hoarder. The apartment was filled with stuff. I use the word stuff at a lose of words. There was one room with a massive mound and another with piles of tchotckes such as old razors and brushes. The mans room was filled with clothing and the bathroom was covered in dirt due to the disuse of it (my dad said he showers at the YMCA). The kitchen was also filfthy and no healthy food could be cooked in it. After introducing myself to the man, he and my father sat down to discuss legal issues. I sat there in utter amazement. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and was convinced that I should search throughout this apartment for a hidden gem of some sort because I knew that there MUST be something valuable (keep in mind, the man was moving to Florida and taking very little with him). After talk to my dad about legal issues for a while, he asked me to put some of his valuables that would be going with him to Florida in a box. After doing that for a while, we were getting ready to go to lunch. We went to lunch at a dinner and as the conversation moved from legal issues to fun and exciting things the man had planned in Florida, it was clear that the two of them were done discussing their legal issues for the day. We finished lunch and I was prepared to go home and do homework. However, the man said to me that he wanted to give me something for helping him out. This had not even crossed my mind for a second, so I was quite flabergasted. He asked me to come up to his apartment with him. My dad stayed outside in the car, speaking to another client. My dad could tell I was a little uncomfortable but he assured me that it was fine. So me and the man went back up to his apartment (PS: he is about 92 and in great shape. He walks, drives, and has a phone), On the way to the apartment he starts telling me about his 'story'. He said that his family was from Vienna, Austria. He and his family had to leave during WWII (being Jewish) and only brought things of high value with them. This basically means that they brought all of their silver and gold. This is what allowed them to move to NYC. Then in NYC, they entered the fur business. He said that the family was very successful in this business. He told me that often time people paid with silver coins. At this point, we are in the apartment. I am quite frankly bored and ready to leave, uninterested in whatever he planned on giving me. I assumed it would be some piece of garbage that he thought had such value (because he is a hoarder and thinks everything has value). He goes into his room and comes back with a wheely thingy. It is something I see people bring home produce form a farmer's market in. It was like a golf club bag on wheels. He wheeled it out, opened it and told me to look inside. Right on top there is an old coffee bean container full of coins. He told me that it was for me. I was first off flattered that he gave me something with the slightest bit of value because I was expecting literal garbage. I could tell there was other stuff in this bag and assumed it would be more coins. I thank him profusely and wheel it to the elevator and out to my dads car. We drive home and I am actually pretty excited to see what the heck is in this bag. My dad and I take it into the basement into my dad's 'office' full of bankers boxes and old legal documents. We start emptying the back. First was the coffee container full of coins. It was just regular coins from today, worth their normal worth. I was thinking it held maybe thirty dollars worth of coins and it would take me about an hour to sort out with my coin machine. But then, the next container comes out of the bag and it is an old shoe box. I open it and it is filled to the brim with big, old coins. I knew nothing about my coins but my dad started bulging his eyes and laughing. He told me that they are all dollar coins. I was so excited because I realized that the man had given me a somewhat significant amount of money. I was thinking "Wow! He gave me shoe box full of dollar coins! I now have $130 bucks!". Next, a little wooden jewelry box comes out and it is full of rolls of dollar coins. I was really in disbelief. Finally, another box comes out of present day coins. I was really excited to have all of this money and instantly began sorting it with my machine. I start with the regular coins but quickly discover that these are not regular coins. The dimes, nickels and quarters were very soft. Its at this point I realize that they could be special. I look up the coins the best I can, by simply describing them, and realize that they are silver. This goes on for hours as I look through ALL of the coins. To conclude, he had given me A LOT of silver quarters and silver dollar coins that I realized were worth much more than their government issued worth. My parents, also in shock, call one of their friends who they know is a collector. He comes over the next day very excited to teach me about coins. My parents told him that I was very exited to learn about them which I kinda was, but really just for the money. He brought a backpack full of proofs and limited editions and old coins and silver coins and gold coins and foreign coins and bills and print mistakes and the list goes on and on. He taught me about the mints and showed me a book that had information about the mintage and rating of coins and their value. Almost instantly I realized that this was something that interested me not for the money, but for the interst in the coin's history and value. The next day I purchase coin mounts and collecting books and a container to keep them all in and I have been collecting ever since. I have included pictures of the shoe and jewelry boxes.

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