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An investment, not just a hobby: Las Cruces Coins and Collectibles nears first anniversary


By Mike Cook

Las Cruces Bulletin

Editor’s note: The prices quoted for coins in this story reflect precious metals markets for mid-May 2022 and are subject to change.

Buying silver and gold coins is not only 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 nearly a year.

The store also sells walking sticks handmade by Joe McClarin, framed butterflies, original artwork by Laurie Smith and coin-collecting supplies. Be sure to check out the two giant quartz crystals, which are both for sale. They come from the Ron Coleman mine in Jessieville, Arkansas.

Coins & Collectibles also has

  • Coins and silver bars from the United States as well as coins from Mexico (including Mexican Olympics coins), Canada, Great Britain and China (pandas);
  • Half dimes, which are silver 5-cent coins minted in the United States 1792-1873;
  • 3-cent pieces, minted in the U.S. 1851-73;
  • 2-cent coins, minted 1864-73;
  • Silver dollars, including Morgan dollars and Peace dollars. Morgan dollar coins are priced at $38 each, depending on condition and rarity. Peace dollars are $30 each;
  • 1-pound silver Eagle coins;
  • Complete proof sets of U.S. coins for almost every year since 1950. (This might make a great birthday gift for someone, matching the proof set to his or her birth year.);
  • U.S. and foreign gold coins;
  • 1-ounce platinum coins, valued at $950 each, or more if in mint/proof condition;
  • Pennies and other one-cent coins, including the 1852 large one-cent coin and the 1800 large liberty 1-cent coin, and Indian-head pennies;
  • 1850s-90s silver quarters, 1860s half-dollars and 1916-45 Mercury dimes;
  • “Junk” coins, which include silver (pre-1964) dimes, quarters and half-dollars that have been in regular circulation. Silver half-dollars, including Walking Liberty, Franklin and Kennedy halves, are $11.50 each; quarters are $5.50 each; and dimes are $2.20 each;
  • A one-half price box with a variety of coins for sale at reduced prices. It might be the place for a child to begin a coin collection.

“We enjoy having kids come into the store,” Henderson said, as he and Santana help “start a new generation in the hobby” of coin collecting.

It was pennies that got Henderson interested in coin collecting as a child living in Iowa. Henderson and his father would travel to Omaha, Nebraska, where they would buy $10 worth of pennies from a bank and then sort through them at their kitchen table for any collectibles. Henderson still has some of those pennies.

“It’s been a very fun hobby,” he said.

Henderson is also an avid collector of trade tokens. He has them from more than 40 states and even wrote a book “Iowa Trade Tokens,” about the hobby.

For investors, gold and silver coins hold their value “if U.S. currency goes kaput,” Henderson said.

They are an especially good investment now, he said, because “a lot of people are afraid our dollar is going to lose a whole 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 began meeting with SCORE mentor Peter Krebs six months before opening Coins & Collectibles. Krebs helped Henderson and Santana develop a business plan; comply with city, state and federal regulations; develop a marketing strategy; find a location; and get the necessary security in place.

Krebs and SCORE “gave us a lot of help in getting started,” 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 lascrucescoins@gmail.com.

Visit www.lascrucescoins.com.