Coin collectors frequently look for old coins for their collections. Several members of the Sumter Coin Club do just that, and some of them have especially old coins. On Saturday, Oct. 21, during the the club's 14th annual coin show, some of them will be showing off their collections of ancient coins, this year's focus.
David Durham is one whose collection includes many ancient coins. A collector since about the age of 5, he said he's always been interested in the history associated with coins, and there is more history in the ancient ones.
While ancient coins are a focal point of Saturday's show, Durham said that most of the club members are generalists, interested in all types of coins.
"I specialize in proof-type coins," he said.
Among the ancient coins in his collection, Durham said, is a "widow's mite," a Roman coin from the time of Pontius Pilate. This is the coin Jesus tells about in his parable in Mark 12:41-44. The mite was the lowest in value of any of the coins at that time, yet the widow gave all she had to the temple, whereas rich donors gave much more. Jesus said, "this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury."
Durham said he will also show a proof set from 1861, "the first year of the Civil War. It was made for special collectors during that period."
Admission is free, and visitors to the show can buy, sell or trade coins, as well as get appraisals by experts on up to 10 coins.
"We'll have a door prize every 30 minutes," Durham said, "and a grand prize drawing for gold coins."
In addition, supplies for coin collectors, also known as numismatists, will be available.
The club "encourages young people to take up the hobby," Durham said. "The value of coins has held up well, so it's a good investment, too. They've really provided a good return on the investment."
Several clubs and collectors from out of town will join Sumter Coin Club members for the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sumter Coin Show at Bethesda Church of God, 2730 Broad St. Admission is free, and visitors to the show can buy, sell or trade coins, as well as get appraisals.