Louie Rivera, a local coin collector and jewelry shop owner, thinks if you’re going to have a hobby collecting something it might as well be money.
“I’m constantly collecting coins, it’s a daily process,” Rivera said. “The hunt is the best part, travelling around searching sites like eBay, that’s a good one for buying coins.”
The study or collection of currency is called numismatics, which includes coins, paper money, commemorative pieces. Numismatics is a hobby shared across communities in the form of clubs or shows, such as the Jacksonville - Camp Lejeune Coin Club, which has between 30 and 40 members ranging in age from 10 to 70.
The club has been meeting since the 1960s to exchange information, buy, sell and trade coins or to show off a new piece.
“The club is a fellowship to exchange information between the older members to the younger, to buy, sell or trade,” said Rivera, who is the club’s treasurer. “There are members from the Cape Fear club in Wilmington that come every month to our club and a couple from New Bern … everyone likes showing off parts of their collection.”
The Jacksonville - Camp Lejeune Coin Club meets the second Thursday of each month at the USO of North Carolina Jacksonville Center, 9 Tallman St., at 6 p.m.
The club, in partnership with regional coin dealers and Rivera’s store The Corner Jeweler, is hosting the 5th annual Coin Show at Econo Lodge Conference Hall on March 18 and 19.
The show will be open March 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 19.
“At the coin show, dealers will be on hand to buy, sell and appraise coins, paper money and bullion items,” Coin dealer Calvin Lindsey said. “There will also be a kid’s corner where young numismatics can play games and we’ll have prizes for them.”
Admission is free to the community and there will also be a raffle with coin prizes, door prizes and a kid’s corner to keep children entertained.
Onslow County residents James and Tori McAuliff will be attending the coin show with their daughter Harper, 3, to possibly expand their personal coin collection.
“I like collecting U.S. silver currency like old Buffalo nickels,” James McAuliff said.
He began collecting at the age of 11 after he went to his first coin show in Annapolis, Maryland with his grandfather in 1996.
The experience showed him how involved history was in coin collecting, allowing him to learn about United States history, which he plans to share with his daughter one day.
“Coin collecting is about more than how many coins I have or how much my collection is worth,” McAuliff said. “It’s about finding the history in the piece and understanding the event around that time and why the piece was minted.”
For more information about the coin show, call 910-548-3963 or 910-219-4653.