Michael Sanders of Beaverton, OR submitted this recollection of the heady days of
the 1980s silver boom. Thanks! -Editor
You asked for recollections from those dealers who experienced the Hunt Bros. Silver rush. Here
In 1980 I worked for Gary Young who had a coin store in Oakland, CA. As silver prices rose and
the media started to cover the story, people began to come into the store to sell. This soon turned
into a flood of customers lined up outside the store. It was just the two of us and we had to lock
the door, letting only a few people in at a time. I don't think we sold many numismatic items
at the time because our regular collectors didn't want to fight the crowd.
I was busy cutting up 1959 to 1964 Mint and Proof sets to send the silver coins to a refiner.
Metal buckets of coins, jewelry etc. segregated by fineness were picked up regularly for shipment.
I remember running a quantity of Quarters just purchased from a vest pocket dealer through a coin
counter. For some reason I picked out a 1932 coin and turned it over, only to see an S mintmark. I
told Gary this would take longer than usual as I wanted to look at all of the coins. I pulled out
ten 1932-S coins. At this time no one was looking at dates, just take the scrap value and run!
Later that year Gary sold his long established store along with a good deal of the inventory to
another dealer. To this day I don't know if this was just sheer luck or calculated market
timing, but soon after his sale precious metals prices crashed and the value of numismatic coins
tanked. The store was later closed. Gary bought a ranch in Northern California and basically
retired from the coin business.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
ARTICLE PROFILES SILVER BARON NELSON
BUNKER HUNT (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n44a19.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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