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Numismatic fans gather at ICCC

Convention to continue today

October 27, 2012
By HANS MADSEN, , Messenger News

One of the few things a visitor to the Iowa Numismatic Association's 74th annual show and convention in the Career Education Building at Iowa Central Community College won't hear much of is the jingle jangle of loose change.

While there are plenty of coins that could make noise in someone's pocket, most are far too valuable, rare, unusual or in mint condition to be carried about and spent.

So what might you hear instead ?

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Jerry BoUrdeaux, of Fort Dodge, looks through a selection of coins Saturday morning at the Iowa Numismatic Association 74th annual coin show and convention in the Career Education Building at Iowa Central Community College. Bourdeaux prefers to collect foreign coins.

Quiet conversation between dealers and collectors who are looking for that special coin.

Don Heck, of Fort Dodge, was one of those.

His special coin ?

A rare Washington quarter to fill one of the few remaining empty slots in his collection.

"A 1932 D in mint condition," he said.

While there might be one available, he was holding back a bit.

"The one I want is about $1,500," Heck said.

"With the tougher ones it becomes a challenge to finish," he said.

While most of the common quarters are worth 25 cents to a dollar or two, when it comes to the rare ones, grading can get difficult especially for near mint coins.

"Oooh," he said while showing the price for two different grades in a catalog, "That's got one little scratch."

The lack of a scratch means potentially thousands of dollars.

Heck's son, Cayden Heck, 12, is also a collector.

"I"I've got my pennies and quarters started," he said.

He said he likes being able to participate with his dad, who said the hobby offers lessons on staying on task and patience. It also offers and option when being outside is not an option.

"It's a good thing to do on a rainy day, " Don Heck said.

Heck said he got started when he inherited a coin collection from his grandfather. He hopes to one day be able to pass it along to his own sons and grandsons.

"It becomes a family heirloom," he said.

Jerry Bourdeaux, of Fort Dodge, likes to collect foreign coins.

Like most collectors, he has a list of what he's looking for.

His game plan for the show ?

"I'm looking from dealer to dealer to see what they have," he said.

One of those, Tony Kuszak, made the trek from Kearney, Neb., to set up his coins.

"We thought it would be a good show," he said.

Kuszak made the transition from collector to dealer two years ago.

So how does he keep the business side of it separate from the collectors side and avoid the temptation to add to his personal collection rather than his inventory?

"It's tough," he said.

Kuszak's favorite coin is the Morgan dollar. Those were made from 1878 to 1904 and for one year in 1921.

"That's what I got started with," he said.

Theoretically, he said, a collector can collect them all.

"If you have deep enough pockets," he said.

A coin collection can also serve as an investment, Kuszak said.

"Gold and silver is always in demand," he said.

Sam Ashton, co-owner of Fort Dodge Coin and Stamp, is also the Iowa Numismatic Association's District 5 director.

He said he is seeing two types of customers.

"They're either really struggling and they're selling - or they're buying gold and silver as a hedge." he said.

He said that collecting can offer an education on history, an appreciation of the art involved in coin making a teach saving.

He would like to see more youths in the hobby.

"Without future collectors," he said. "It's just face value change."

The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.



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