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Happy Holidays Shoppers…Be Sure to Visit Our Coin Department…Near the Candy Shoppe

RichRRichR Posts: 3,847 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited December 18, 2022 5:49PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Hi All:

I was just sitting here thinking of Christmases past…and I thought about holiday visits to the coin departments of big downtown department stores…in my case Macy’s, Gimbels, Strawbridges & Wananakers…

One year my parents gave me a clear plastic paperweight cube containing the 5 coins of a 1964 mint set…I thought it was the coolest thing ever! That cube sat on my nightstand right through college!

And another year, dad bought me a set of UNC WWII nickels in a flat blue holder with styrofoam inside. And those coins seemed so old then!

Meanwhile, at the time, the nickels were maybe 25 years old…AND THAT WAS NOW MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO!!! How time does fly!

Do you have any department store holiday coin memories?

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 8:06AM

    I recall the Five and Dime (J.J. Newberry's here) had a 'coin counter'. I used to spend time there looking at what was on display. Never purchased any.... Pay money for coins?? "Are you daft son?".... Oh well...Time goes by quickly.... Cheers, RickO

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    RichRRichR Posts: 3,847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 9:57AM

    <<J.J. Newberry's here) had a 'coin counter>>

    And I bet it had those rotating cases with the forward/back/stop buttons!

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    jfriedm56jfriedm56 Posts: 846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Remember going into downtown Rochester, N.Y. as a young teenager back in the early 70’s. Sibleys , a large, locally owned department store had an extensive coin department for many years. As I recall, there were as many as 4 or 5 major coin shops downtown. None exist today. One dealer who had mentored me from the beginning of my coin collecting adventures even trusted me enough to hand deliver a roll of 20 gold 1 ounce Krugerrands to another coin shop dealer about 5 blocks away down Main Street. I was nervous as all hell!

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    RichRRichR Posts: 3,847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 3:34PM

    Back in the day, did anyone ever encounter stand-alone coin stores in major malls? I grew up on Long Island and I never did…oddly enough.

    I would always run into coin stores in urban street settings…or as a coin department/counter in a larger department store…but never as a dedicated store within a mall.

    I’m guessing the mall rents may have been prohibitive…even back then?!?

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,819 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I had the same experience as a kid and for the life of me, I can't remember the stores name.

    I grow up on the Island as well. It was either in Hempstead or Levittown on Hempstead Tpke. It was like a Five and Dime like ricko mentioned. Like a woodworth's, J.C. Penny, WT Grants or maybe May's. There was a May's store, not Macy's. I just can't remember. There was a small glass coin counter in the back of the store. The store also had a lunch counter back there.

    I even bought a penny there once for 30¢ or 40¢ and showed my dad. I remember him saying: YOU PAID HOW MUCH FOR A PENNY?!?!?! 😂 🤣

    Nassau County colors!!

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,528 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it was around 1987 that I bought an 1880's (I don't remember the exact date) Carson City raw morgan dollar for about $35. It was at the Filene's Basement located in the downtown Boston. I had it up until about 10-12 years ago. I am actually a little upset with myself for giving it away to a friend of the family that collected coins. At the time I thought it was a good idea to give it to someone who was collecting coins and may appreciate it more than me. I was collecting Nolan Ryan and had little interest in it. I wish I had it back now as it is the first coin I actually bought.

    Donato

    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
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    pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,326 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RichR said:
    Back in the day, did anyone ever encounter stand-alone coin stores in major malls? I grew up on Long Island and I never did…oddly enough.

    I would always run into coin stores in urban street settings…or as a coin department/counter in a larger department store…but never as a dedicated store within a mall.

    I’m guessing the mall rents may have been prohibitive…even back then?!?

    Malls often have percentage rent, so I’ll bet coin shops don’t like that.

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    JWPJWP Posts: 17,700 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I grew up in a small town in Michigan with maybe 4 to 5,000 people in the town. We had no shopping centers to speak of two five and dimes but no
    big places to shop. However, there was this little Coin shop that was set up very close to an alley that I used to love to go to. My first real big substantial purchase I ever made as a coin collector was this 1913 quarter eagle. I don't think I'll ever get rid of it and it is in the same holder that I bought it inand I paid a whopping $35 in1968 as a teenager. I'll have to say this coin is where I really got the coin collecting bug and it's only gotten better and better each year. B)

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    PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 7:00PM

    I remember buying my very first 1000$ + coin at such a location. I was saving and saving and doing work weekends to save up. I was maybe 13-14 years old and purchased a 1921 5 cent aka prince of Canadian (only 400 are known) coins in VG condition was 1900$ Canadian at the time. Sold it 15 years later for almost triple that amount. It was in a chain called The Bay.

    I had been there many times never saw a 1921 5 cent for sale then one day they had one and I made a deposit of 200$ I think it was to hold it for me till I could get the rest at my bank.

    Back then prior the internet coins like these were ''impossible'' to find and if you found one you counted yourself extremely lucky. Now you can find them in major auctions or on Ebay often enough.

    Collecting interests: Coins from Latin American (2020-present)

    Sports: NFL & NHL

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    JimWJimW Posts: 543 ✭✭✭✭

    @OAKSTAR said:
    Yes, I had the same experience as a kid and for the life of me, I can't remember the stores name.

    I grow up on the Island as well. It was either in Hempstead or Levittown on Hempstead Tpke. It was like a Five and Dime like ricko mentioned. Like a woodworth's, J.C. Penny, WT Grants or maybe May's. There was a May's store, not Macy's. I just can't remember. There was a small glass coin counter in the back of the store. The store also had a lunch counter back there.

    I even bought a penny there once for 30¢ or 40¢ and showed my dad. I remember him saying: YOU PAID HOW MUCH FOR A PENNY?!?!?! 😂 🤣

    Nassau County colors!!

    @OAKSTAR Sounds a lot like the Woolworth's in Ithaca NY in the 1970s - small coin counter in the vicinity of a lunch counter. Can't recall if I ever bought anything there.
    There was a nearby coin shop - Benson's - in what was technically a mall but surely not considered a major mall. It had pretty decent square footage as I recall and old man Benson seemed tolerant of us young kids sitting around for hours sifting through a large pile of random Wheaties. Last I knew the shop was still there, but in a much smaller space and obviously the original Mr. Benson was no longer running it.

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,819 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JWP- Yes, it could have very well been a Woolworth's.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,037 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My grandmother lived in Chicago in the 1950's and collected coins and stamps.
    She saved this envelope:

    image
    Marshall Field & Company Coin Store Envelope

    The back reads:
    Marshall Field & Company
    Collector's Stamps and Coins - Third Floor, North Wabash
    Phone: STate 1-1000, extension 2281
    Field's offers collectors these services:
    Want lists, approvals, new issues, U.S. First Day Covers,
    Complete accessory line, Stamp & Coin News, latest publications

    From the style of the telephone number this envelope dates to the 1950's.

    :)

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    RichRRichR Posts: 3,847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 8:58PM

    Hi Oakstar...

    Blue & Orange...both Nassau County's AND NYC's official colors...

    I grew up on the other side of Flushing Meadows Park from Shea Stadium...blue and orange...also Mets colors!!!

    Re Mays...my failing memory remembers them having Long Island stores in Jamaica, Glen Oaks, Woodmere & Massapequa.

    They also had a huge Manhattan location in Union Square.

    I haven't thought of them in decades!

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    RichRRichR Posts: 3,847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 19, 2022 8:56PM

    Hey JWP...I love $2.50 eagles...that's a nice clean coin.

    Too bad you didn't land the 1911D!

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,819 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RichR said:
    Hi Oakstar...

    Blue & Orange...both Nassau County's AND NYC's official colors...

    I grew up on the other side of Flushing Meadows Park from Shea Stadium...blue and orange...also Mets colors!!!

    Re Mays...my failing memory remember them having Long Island stores in Jamaica, Glen Oaks, Woodmere & Massapequa.

    They also had a huge Manhattan store in Union Square.

    Yes, plus the Nassau county buses, police cars and Islanders colors. I didn't know it was the city's official colors as well. I would have thought they would have been the Rangers colors but they are Red, White & Blue.

    I ran cross country at Flushing Meadows.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,819 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry not Flushing Meadows, Sunken Meadows.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RichR said:
    Back in the day, did anyone ever encounter stand-alone coin stores in major malls? I grew up on Long Island and I never did…oddly enough.

    I would always run into coin stores in urban street settings…or as a coin department/counter in a larger department store…but never as a dedicated store within a mall.

    I’m guessing the mall rents may have been prohibitive…even back then?!?

    I went here

    once before they moved. . . to a different mall! I think that was 1982.

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