HAMMONTON - A treasure trove of knowledge awaited the eager attendees of the new three-part workshop “Coins: A Thousand Wishes” at Stockton University Kramer Hall on March 8.
The workshop is designed to teach attendees how to collect, invest and profit from coin collecting, while at the same time teaching about the history of coins and showing collectors how to make wise choices regarding purchases and sales.
“There are a lot of benefits to collecting in this industry,” said Michael Kuhlman, presenter of the workshop and designer of the SELFIE (Self-Empowering Learning for Innovative Enlightenment) Program that the workshop is part of.
“I’m not necessarily in it for the profit,” said Kuhlman about his own coin collecting hobby, which he has been doing since 1964. While Kuhlman is not in it for the profit, he acknowledges that it can be quite a lucrative hobby, as long as you know what to look for that is.
“You should have a variety of coins,” said Kuhlman.
According to Kuhlman, coin collectors often focus on collecting one type of coin, such as only American coins or European coins. While Kuhlman says there is there is nothing wrong with that, if you are looking to make more of a profit or to diversify your investment, a variety of coins is the way to go.
Coin prices can vary dramatically, depending on the market and the condition of the coin. Because of this, Kuhlman encouraged his attendees to bring in some of their coins for him to give them a better idea of what their coins may be worth.
However, Kuhlman encouraged the attendees to be careful about the coins they brought in because coin collecting is not without its risks.
“Security is really key,” said Kuhlman, who kept the coins he brought out of sight until it was time to examine them. Kuhlman learned that lesson when a coin collector he was familiar with was followed home from a coin collecting show and was robbed of his entire collection.
Peggy Bucceri, one of the attendees of the workshop, said she was diligently taking notes for her husband who is a coin collector but he was not able to make it to the first workshop.
“I find it very interesting. I am very interested in ancient coins,” said Bucceri. She was able to indulge that interest when Kuhlman brought out one of his own coins from Ancient Greece, which featured a young Hercules on the back.
According to Kuhlman, up until coins were invented, things such as shells were used as currency, along with animals and any other items that could be bartered.
Well, this was slightly inconvenient to say the least, so to make carrying currency easier, the Lydians created the first coinage around 600 B.C.E. From there, it spread to other parts of the ancient world, with the Roman Empire being the first to eventually use coins as the standard method of currency.
When coins began to be made in the United States, there was only one mint and that was in Philadelphia; the mint is the place where coins are made. Sadly, the original building, which was called Ye Olde Mint, is lost to history. Eventually though, the increase in population and westward expansion led to the creation of numerous other mints throughout the country, leading to a variety of mint marks, which are essentially markings to show where the coin was made. Certain mint marks may be worth more, so budding collectors may what to research which ones those are.
The next workshops for the “Coins: A Thousand Wishes” will cover coin grading and trends, with the next one being held today from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Kramer Hall. The last workshop will be on March 22, also from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Kramer Hall in Hammonton.