The Stephen James CSRA Coin Club held its 17th Annual CSRA Coin Show on Saturday, Sept. 7, in the auditorium of South Aiken Presbyterian Church.
The setup was simple yet organized. About two dozen collectors had their collections set up over multiple tables in the church auditorium where they could be marveled at, sold and discussed.
The crowd present was small but enthusiastic and eager to share everything they knew about their coin-collecting passion.
“A coin show is a place where history is on display," said former club president Steve Kuhl. "You get an opportunity to hold and look at and talk about the history of America and the history of the world … Coins are obviously used for currency or for commerce but they also record history or moments in time. For me, it’s about the history and learning about the coins.”
Every exhibitor had something interesting to offer. The newest coins present were rare quarters made in 2019. The oldest coins were a few silver shekels dating back to 126 BC Phoenicia and Tyre.
The latter belonged to Steve Damron, the “world-renowned” coin historian in charge of Clein’s Rare Coins and Damron Numismatics, Inc., a business originally bought by his father. His collection was the most diverse featuring coins from all over the world, from ancient Rome to the Shogun period of Japan to the colonial United States.
For other coin enthusiasts, it is also about the market value of the coins themselves. If the coin is in the right condition, it can be worth a significant amount of money.
According to Kuhl, three factors determine a coin’s value. There’s the face value, what the coin is worth on its own. For instance, a quarter is worth 25 cents. There’s the intrinsic value, the value of the precious metals in the coin, i.e. the metals in the quarter. Then there’s the collector’s value, the rarity of the coin in question.
The value of these coins can range depending on age, condition, rarity and demand with the coins in best condition at large shows being worth millions of dollars. The most expensive coins at the CSRA Coin Show in Aiken were worth thousands of dollars.
For the coin collectors of the CSRA Coin Show, earning money is nice, but for Damron and the others, it is the history that matters the most.
“I just like history,” Damron said. “Now, I can hold history in my hand.”