A new business specializing in selling coins and collectibles has opened at 1555 Hertel Avenue. Co-owner Mike Harmon decided that he needed to keep busy after retirement, which was how he came up with the idea for My Two Cents Coins & Collectibles.
Mike told me that he collected coins when he was younger, but eventually sold that collection. Five years ago, while living overseas, Mike embarked upon a goal to start collecting again, seriously this time. Every time he had some extra funds, he strictly invested in coins. “I knew at that time that the business was achievable – it was within my grasp,” Mike told me. “My goal was to build a great collection. At this time I am only selling, not buying. Although my business partner Becky Elliott is a gemologist, so fairly soon I will have the scales that that are required to legally purchase gold. I sell gold, silver, and copper coins – I specialize in rare American coins.”
Just yesterday, I read in DailyMail that “The ‘most famous’ coin made in error: A penny accidentally made of copper by US Mint in 1943 and found by a teen in his school lunch change in 1947 is expected to fetch $1.65 million at auction.” Then, this morning I learned that Mike and Becky had opened their new business. So of course I had to ask Mike about the exciting rare penny auction.
“You never know,” said Mike. “Every once in a while you read about a coin of this nature that was found in a chair that was being upholstered, for example. It’s great to see this sort of publicity, because it gets more people collecting. The younger generation has a different outlook – they are more into video games… but a sensational auction like this gets people interested in collecting that might not otherwise be interested.”
When I asked Mike about a couple of coins that he gets excited about finding, and could still be possible to come across, albeit super rare, he said, “I have a silver dollar when George Washington was president in 1795. The coin is called “The Flowing Silver Dollar.’ It’s one of my personal favorites.” Mike also specializes in currency (paper), and has some Confederate and Continental bills in his shop.
Most people have a canister, or ever a drawer, filled with coins. In that pile, one never knows… there could be a special coin in the mix. Other people might have been handed down some coins by parents or grandparents. Anyone who thinks that they might have some unique finds, including collectors, are welcome to bring the coins in, for Mike to appraise. He says that everyone is welcome to do so, and people should not feel intimidated because they don’t know what they have. Obviously the value of the coins is also dependent on their rarity and their condition, but heck, you will never know if you don’t try.
At this point, there are only a couple of other places around town that specialize in dealing in coins and currency. That’s why it’s so great to see another coin and collectible shop open in North Buffalo.
As for Mike’s partner, Becky, she specializes in 50s and 60s jewelry and collectibles – anywhere from toys to glassware. Becky’s items help to round out the shop. It’s just an added incentive to stop on in to check the place out.
Oh, and don’t forget to bring some of your old coins along with you. Maybe you will be the next person to come across a rare copper penny and walk away with millions. Even walking in with a penny and walking out knowing that it’s worth $20 is a pretty good feeling.
My Two Cents Coins & Collectibles | 1555 Hertel Avenue | Buffalo, New York 14217 | Facebook
Photos courtesy My Two Cents