Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Logout, Visit, and Support your Local Coin Shops

Harlan White's Old Con Shop

Does anybody remember gumball machines stocked with collectible coins? I remember “winning” a Liberty Nickel at Harlan White’s Old Coin Shop. I spent a good amount of time in that shop as a kid in the 1970’s. I recall lines out the door in 1979 when silver was approaching $50 an ounce. I bought a 1973-S Brown Box Eisenhower Proof Dollar there and more than a couple proof sets. Unfortunately none of them are the no-s variety.

In those days the May Company department store in San Diego’s Mission Valley had a coin department, really just a couple of jewelry glass counters. I know I considered a 1955 doubled die that I probably should have bought but silver was hot and I ended up with a set of circulated 1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes which has long since been sold.

A city the size of San Diego in the 1970’s could support several coin shops. I was limited only by how far I could ride my bike. I don’t remember the name, maybe the La Mesa Coin Shop, but I bought what turned out to be an NGC MS65 1982cc Morgan Dollar there. That helps make up for the silver bullion I bought high and sold low. Part of an education I suppose as I’m still leery of bullion.

I learned a lot from just looking and listening. Looking back I find that I associate specific coins with specific shops. I'm sure it took time and help and I appreciate the patience the staff must have had for us kids. Share your own memories, then log out, visit, and support your local coin shops. Get to know the dealers and customers. Stay and chat, you already have something in common. If you don’t find what you are looking for, ask the dealer, chances are he or she can find it at a good price. One more thing, when you buy something, use cash. You might be surprised at the coins you get back in change at a coin shop.


  1. I live in LA and I've been looking for a very good coin buyer. Since you're in that business, do you happen to know where can I bring my old coins? Thanks!

    1. Try I'm sure there are many others in that area. Anybody else have recommendations?

  2. I am always so fascinated by the collection of coins at our local coin shop and its customers when I was young. I learned a lot from both the coin dealer and customers who were very patient in describing the details and informing me of the history of the coins they owned. This eventually developed my interest in collecting coins as well. There are times when I am also able to sell some of my collection and get a good amount of cash for them.

    Lorita Littleton