Pocket change can result in "Big Bucks" for some coin collectors - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bobby's Bama

Pocket change can result in "Big Bucks" for some coin collectors

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Coin collecting is a hobby that many people who partook in over the years, and sometimes that hobby can pay off with some big bucks.

When Stan Minkinow was in the military, he began collecting coins.  He remembers a buddy drawing him into the hobby with one coin.  

"There was one coin that I never could find. It was a 1955 - S penny.  So my buddy, gave me one."

Minkinow was hooked and so began a lifetime of collecting and trading.   

"You know the value of coins is based primarily on mintage, how many were minted, condition of the coin.", says Minkinow.

 He owns an 1800 silver dollar which looks like a rare find.  But that look can be deceiving. 

Minkinow says, "That was unfortunately copied in China. In this condition this coin would be worth probably about $30-thousand.  In this condition it's worth nothing."  He says these "fakes" are nothing new.  "And you would be surprised how many people come in here with counterfeit coins."

Minkinow advises that if you think you have something that may be valuable make sure you take it to a reputable dealer.   

"Make sure it's graded by a third party grading system.", Minkinow says.

He showed us several coins that were counterfeit but look real.  He says while this is a great hobby, you can also get scammed.

Minkinow showed us several old coins and talked about the various old mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver and more.  

"There used to be a mint in Carson City and they would have a mint mark on the back, on silver dollars right below the tail. Most of the Carson City coins are a little more than average coins." says Minkinow.

He says they are collected more than any other mint.  But again, he urges caution.  

"You have to take it to a dealer who is knowledgeable. If you want to sell it, go to two different dealers to make sure that you are getting a reasonable return." And, he says if you want to start collecting do your homework.  

"Learn about coins.  Learn about coins. Otherwise you gonna be paying! "

A good and sometimes profitable hobby in Bobby's Bama.

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