Buyers, sellers and traders of stamps and coins sat tucked away in the Mohave County Library Lake Havasu City program room on a sunny Saturday indulging a hobby that most younger residents aren’t picking up.
Saturday’s show was one of the four Lake Havasu Stamp and Coin Club events that the group holds every year at the 1770 N. McCulloch Blvd. branch library. Five club members spread out their collection of coins, stamps and related items for all peruse.
It wasn’t like a fast-paced auction, rather a backyard barbecue where everybody knows one another and takes their time browsing and chatting about the items.
“Most of us have been involved (in stamp and coin collecting) for years,” said Harold Whitt, president of the club. His primary interest is collecting, he added.
But there was Whitt Saturday, showing his complete set collections of Peace Dollar coins from 1921 to 1935, Liberty Nickels 1883 to 1912 and Buffalo Nickels 1913 to 1938.
Many collectors attempt to complete a set by buying and trading individual pieces (coins, stamps or whatever), similarly to when baseball card collecting was more popular.
“If they want to get rid of the extras, they’ll trade them (with the goal of trying to complete a set),” Whitt said.
Ernest Darling, who purchased a 2013 roll of silver eagle coins and a quarter ounce gold panda coin, said he started collecting coins in 1984 as an “inflation hedge” – a backup to help support him in retirement.
“I fell in love with the coins,” Darling said of the hobby.
Fred Roennebeck got the itch to start collecting when he was a young boy in 1946 and a neighbor of his in Union, Utah had died. Roennebeck said he received a bunch of Indianhead pennies that the deceased neighbor had owned. From there, Roennebeck started his first coin shop in 1964 and at one point was running 13 coin shops at once, his wife Myrna said.
Darling purchased coins from the Roennebecks.
Tom Miller has participated in the stamp and coin shows at the library for the past five years, but he’s attended the swap meet even longer – 26 years – to buy and sell for his collection.
“I buy and sell old money,” Miller said. “I primarily have silver. I don’t do much in gold.”
Robert Lee started collecting coins after his wife collected pennies about 10 to 12 years ago.
His wife has 21 sets of Lincoln pennies, Lee said.
“They call her the penny lady,” Lee said referring to what Miller calls his wife.
The stamp and coin club has about 65 members. It holds shows at the library in November, January, February and March.
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