The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 31, July 30, 2017, Article 12


Dealer Leon Hendrickson of Silver Towne has passed. Donn Pearlman forwarded this note on behalf of PNG. Thanks. -Editor

PNG Statement on Passing of Leon Hendrickson
“The Professional Numismatists Guild ( was saddened to learn of the passing of long-time member Leon Hendrickson of Winchester, Indiana. Hendrickson joined the PNG in 1970, served as the organization’s president from 1985 to 1989 and received the PNG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He was one of the first members approved as a PNG Accredited Precious Metals Dealer when the PNG-APMD program ( was created in 2015,” explained PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.

“Leon was a giant in the profession and hobby. He was a good friend to so many collectors and dealers across the country. Our condolences to his family and friends,” said PNG President Dana Samuelson.

Pete Smith forwarded the CoinWeek article by Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker. Thanks. Here's a short excerpt. Be sure to read the complete article online. -Editor

Rare Coins, Rare People Leon’s success led to a raised public profile. This proved good for business, but it also came at a cost. On July 25, 1973, two men drove a grey Cadillac from Chicago to Winchester with the aim of robbing SilverTowne and killing the owners. The murderous plot failed spectacularly, leaving one of the plotters dead from his injuries. Jan Chalfant’s biography of the Hendricksons, Rare Coins, Rare People (2011), describes the incident in great detail.

As the Hendrickson family recouped from the incident, Leon’s attention returned to the acquisition and marketing of silver dollars. The LaVere Redfield and Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago Hoards of Morgan dollars kept public enthusiasm for the large cartwheel silver coin at a fever pitch, and SilverTowne remained one of the leading market makers.

When the Hunt Brothers drove up the cost of silver in 1979 and 1980, SilverTowne cashed in and used the capital to expand the business, building a new company building dubbed the “Mighty Fortress” in 1982. In 1985, they expanded operations by installing a smelting and custom minting operation into a second building.

Leon’s love for dollars culminated with his purchase of the “Dexter” 1804 dollar. He purchased the coin, which recently sold in the fifth session of the Pogue Sale, for $500,000 USD. He would sell it four years later for $990,000.

But while he owned the coin, Leon would take it to shows and share it with anyone who asked. He was a great ambassador for the hobby and its coins.

To read the complete article, see:
In Memoriam: Industry Icon Leon Hendrickson Passes Away at 90 (

I was unaware of the Rare Coins, Rare People book. it's available for sale on Amazon. I added the cover image for illustration. Here's an excerpt from Hendrickson's obituary in the local Palladium-Item newspaper. -Editor

Leon E. Hendrickson Leon E. Hendrickson (Lonnie), 90, passed away on Sunday, July 23, 2017, at the Summers Pointe Senior Living in Winchester, IN. Leon was born on October 5, 1926, in nearby Union City, IN, the son of Charles and Mary Hendrickson. He was a 1944 graduate of McKinley High School.

He was a dedicated father, grandfather and husband. He loved the Main Street Christian Church where he served as a Deacon and Elder over the years and he was named Elder Emeritus.. And he loved Silver Towne, the business he founded with his loving wife Ruhama (Hamie) and he treated all of his employees like family.

From humble beginnings as a farmer, Leon first joined the US navy at the age of 17 to fight in World War II aboard the USS Caldwell in the South Pacific. ON his first leave home he married Ruhama and quickly rejoined his ship to finish out the war.

After the ware he came home to Winchester and worked hard to raise his family. He was a farmer and substitute rural mail carrier. He also started several businesses such as a skating rink while working on the farm. He opened the famous Rainbow Restaurant in downtown Winchester which he ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 20 years (while still farming). He also found time to serve on the local school board for 16 years and the board of directors of a local bank (which he later became the majority stockholder of).

Operating the Rainbow restaurant for 20 years he became fascinated with the hobby of coin collecting. He started a small coin shop above the Rainbow and then began showing his coins at local coin shows around the area. His hobby soon became a full-time profession. He moved the "Winchester Coin Shop" into the basement of his home and began doing business at some of the largest coin shows in the country. The Winchester Coin Shop soon became known as 'Silver Towne' as the business expanded into not only rare coins but also silver and gold bullions coins and bars. Leon became known as one of the leading experts in the hobby and profession of coin collecting as well as investing in silver and gold bullion. Silver Towne soon began manufacturing its own brand of pure silver bars which even today are widely sought after by investors nationwide.

Of course Leon's Silver Towne soon became too large for his basement. It now operates out of the beautiful 2 story building that he built next to his home and employs over 100 people.

"Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver the other gold."

To read the complete article, see:
Leon E. Hendrickson (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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