By Mike Cook
By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Newsletter
Editor’s Note: Prices shown for coins in this story reflect precious metals markets as of mid-May 2022 and are subject to change.
Buying silver and gold coins isn’t just a fun hobby, it’s a great investment.
Just ask Las Cruces Coins & Collectibles co-owners Gary Henderson and his son-in-law, Joseph Santana.
They opened Coins & Collectibles at 2615 Missouri Ave. last July and have been buying and selling gold, silver and platinum coins and bars and appraising coins and coin collections for almost a year.
The store also sells handmade walking sticks by Joe McClarin, framed butterflies, original art by Laurie Smith, and coin collecting supplies. Be sure to check out the two giant quartz crystals, both of which are for sale. They come from the Ron Coleman Mine in Jessieville, Arkansas.
Coins and collectibles also
- Silver coins and bullion from the United States as well as coins from Mexico (including Mexican Olympic coins), Canada, Great Britain and China (pandas);
- Half-dimes, which are silver 5-cent coins minted in the United States between 1792 and 1873;
- 3-cent coins, minted in the United States from 1851 to 1873;
- 2 cent coins, minted from 1864 to 1873;
- Silver dollars, including Morgan dollars and Peace dollars. Morgan dollar coins are priced at $38 each, depending on their condition and rarity. Peace dollars are $30 each;
- 1 pound silver Eagle coins;
- Complete proof sets of US coins for almost every year since 1950. (Might make a great birthday present for someone, matching the proof set to their year of birth.);
- American and foreign gold coins;
- 1 ounce platinum coins, valued at $950 each, or more if mint/proof;
- Pennies and other pennies, including the 1852 Great One Cent and the 1800 Great Liberty 1 Cent, and Indian Head one cents;
- Silver coins from the 1850s-90s, half dollars from the 1860s and mercury cents from the years 1916-45;
- “Undesirable” coins, which include silver dimes, quarters and half dollars (pre-1964) that have been in regular circulation. Silver half dollars, including the Walking Liberty, Franklin, and Kennedy halves, are $11.50 each; quarters are $5.50 each; and the dimes cost $2.20 each;
- A half price box with a variety of parts for sale at reduced prices. This could be where a child can start a coin collection.
“We love having kids come into the store,” Henderson said, as he and Santana help “create a new generation in the hobby” of coin collecting.
It was pennies that got Henderson interested in numismatics as a child living in Iowa. Henderson and his father would travel to Omaha, Nebraska, where they would buy $10 worth of coins from a bank and then sort them at their kitchen table for all collectibles. Henderson still has a few pennies left.
“It’s a very fun hobby,” he says.
Henderson is also an avid collector of trade tokens. He has them in over 40 states and even wrote an “Iowa Trade Tokens” book about the hobby.
For investors, gold and silver coins retain their value “if US currency goes kaput,” Henderson said.
They’re a particularly good investment now, he said, because “a lot of people are worried that our dollar will lose a lot of its value.”
Henderson said he and Santana received a lot of help and support from SCORE of Las Cruces in opening their business. SCORE provides volunteer mentors to help businesses thrive.
Henderson said he started meeting with SCORE mentor Peter Krebs six months before he opened Coins & Collectibles. Krebs helped Henderson and Santana develop a business plan; comply with municipal, state and federal regulations; develop a marketing strategy; find a location; and get the necessary security in place.
Krebs and SCORE “helped us get started a lot,” Henderson said.
Las Cruces Coins & Collectibles is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and closed Sunday and Monday.
Call 575-571-7526 and email [email protected]