PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 11, March 12, 2006, Article 20

ARTICLE ON CALIFORNIA COIN BUSINESS AND ANDREA DORIA CASH

The Orange County Register of Santa Ana, CA published a nice
article March 9th about the coin business in southern California.
The article features Steve Contursi of Rare Coin Wholesalers, Jeff
Howard of PCGS, Michael Haynes, CEO of Collectors Universe, and
Steve Deeds, president of Bowers and Merena, and Dwight Manley.
Here are a few excerpts.  Be sure to go to the newspaper's site
and check out the sixteen photos accompanying the article.

DWIGHT MANLEY
"Manley, a rare-coin collector, sports agent and real estate
developer. Manley, 40, declined to say how much his collection
is worth.  Unlike most collectors, who prefer coins in mint
condition, he prefers coins that have been circulated. His
favorites include his first coin, a 1909 penny found in a coffee
can, and the first coin he bought, a 1794 penny that cost $400
in 1982.

"Coins are a history you can hold in your hands," he said.
"They tell a story. They changed in size and metallic content
because of recessions and wars. To me, they're like a time
capsule."

Manley considers coin collecting an educational hobby."

STEVE CONTURSI
"Contursi turned his hobby into a profession. His personal
collection is his privately held company's $30 million inventory,
which he trades to support himself and 16 employees. He began
collecting at age 7, scrounging for pennies to fill a blue Whitman
coin album. The son of a taxi driver and a meter maid living in
the Bronx, Contursi said he was too poor to collect nickels or
dimes. He picked through rolls of pennies for rarities, devoured
coin newsletters, haunted coin shows and prowled coin shops.

"I learned I could buy at one shop and go across town and sell
what I bought for a profit," he said. "Here I am as a kid, selling
to crusty old veterans, and I realized that not everyone sees the
same value in the same thing. What I was doing was arbitraging."

Contursi enrolled in a Ph.D. program in physics at the University
of Minnesota, moonlighting in a coin shop to pay for graduate
school. But instead of earning his doctorate, he bought the coin
shop. In 1988, he moved to Orange County, Calif., to escape the
cold.

"I thought, `What am I doing in this tundra?'" he said. "All I
needed was a phone and a good airport."

THE ANDREA DORIA CASH STASH
"His newest deal is selling a stash of rare cash: 3,600 U.S.
$1 bills and Italian 1,000-lire notes salvaged from the safe
in the Andrea Doria, a cruise ship that sank in the Atlantic 50
years ago."

"I fell in love with the story," he said.

On the night of July 25, 1956, as the cruise ship steamed
toward New York, it rammed into another liner and sank. Contursi
was only 4 when the ship went down, but the event lived in his
imagination, fueled by his Italian-American relatives' concerns
that they could have been on the doomed vessel.

In 1981, divers recovered the Andrea Doria's safe, anticipating
a treasure of jewels. Instead, they found only the bursar's cash,
tattered and faded after decades underwater. "I haven't decided
on the price yet," he said, "These are the last remaining mementos
of a historic event. Once they're gone, they're gone."

To read the full article (registration required) see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster