Philadelphia's rich coinage history shines at Center City showroom

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Philadelphia's rich coinage history shines at Center City showroom
The staff at Stack's Bowers Galleries are thrilled to be working in a city with as rich a history in mint as Philadelphia's.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I, like many of my colleagues, was a coin collector from a very young age," said Mark Schimel.

Schimel's curiosity about coins led him to Stack's Bowers Galleries in New York, a business whose history dates back to 1933. After many years as a customer, he turned the tables and became the store's manager.

"That was really thrilling for me because of my long connection with the store and the history that I had with the store," he said.

The next thrilling part of his journey started about three years ago when Stack's Bowers Galleries opened a branch store in Philadelphia. Schimel is now the Director of East Coast Retail.

The small shop sits about a dozen blocks away from the location of the largest and oldest United States Mint in the nation.

"This was really the birthplace of coinage in America," said Schimel about Philadelphia. "The first coins were minted in Philadelphia. Our first mint was in Philadelphia. The biggest mint in the country still remains in Philadelphia."

And over the course of a couple centuries, some of those coins have bounced around and landed back in their hometown. Now, they sit comfortably on the shelves of Stack's Bowers Galleries and can be purchased for the right price. Those prices range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, or perhaps even more depending on the grading of the product.

While certain coins can be sold over the counter, others are part of an auction block. Schimel says that, over the years, the industry has moved more towards auction-based transactions that occur both in-person and online.

And with the current success seen by the coin market, Schimel is hopeful that his favorite hobby will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.

"We have so many people who came back into the hobby who have been dormant for so many years," said Schimel. "At the same time. We do have a lot of young people who are interested in the market."

Stack's Bowers Galleries in Philadelphia is located on the corner of 18th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard. To learn more, visit their website.

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