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February 11, 2010

A penny saved is a penny earned

America was built on investments. And over the years those investments have caused the rise and fall of this same country. From the Great Depression to the modern recession, it all revolves around the almighty dollar.

Yet, it takes plenty of cents to create that dollar and for that, coin collector J.T. Whatley has a hobby that he has never grown tired of in his 20 years of pursuit.

Coin collecting or “numismatics” for Whatley is more about the history then it is the value and this weekend he, along with other collectors, will gather to share, trade and invest their interests.

“The nation’s history is reflected in its coins,” he said. “The old coins have intrinsic value and always increase in that value.”

It’s the 41st annual Stephens County Coin Show, which is Saturday and Sunday, at the county fairgrounds.

Whatley expects there to be fewer exhibitors this year for many reasons. Much of that is because of the weather, he said. Yet, he’s not too worried as the Texas exhibitors who were planning on coming, notified him Thursday afternoon that they left a day early when the snowfall began.

Whatley also wonders if the recession might attribute to the low exhibitor registration.

But he doesn’t wonder for long because whether there are 20 or 200 exhibitors, Whatley finds the coin show to be fascinating for everything it offers.

“Coins are a powerful reminder of what the nation has become.”

He outlines the time period from 1832 to 1913 as that of free banking and discovers coins produced in that time to be extremely interesting.

Whatley has several interesting coin stories to share, which many times, revolve around the financial aspect.

“One year there was a banker who had some counterfeit coins and those would be hard pressed to tell they weren’t real,” Whatley said. The banker specialized in collecting the fake coins.

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