The changing of the guard is proceeding apace on the dealing sides as well as on the making and collecting sides of numismatics.
Matthew Tavory at a Palm Beach Coin Club meeting.
Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, was the first known coin collector. Contemporary coin collecting began during the Renaissance with Italian scholar Petrarch. It quickly became known as the hobby of kings — as only the very wealthy could afford it.
Nowadays, the collectible coin market has gained popularity during the pandemic. A number of young hobbyists are turning the recent coin boom into a business.
Matthew Tavory, 21, has been collecting coins since he was 9 years old.
My first coin was a 1936 Wheat penny that I found in my dad's van and I just went down the rabbit hole from there, Tavory said.
When he was in middle school, his parents took him to a Palm Beach Coin Club show at the Polish American Club in Greenacres.
I got $50 from my parents and they let me loose in this room when they had a big show. I think they figured I was going to come back with some magic beans and it would be the last they ever hear of my coin hobby. I came back with some coins and $100! Tavory said.
Tavory started selling coins on Instagram in high school. After he graduated, he attended Palm Beach State College for a while. Then, he got a job as a coin grader for the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, the world's largest and most trusted third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals. Collectors and dealers tend to pay more for coins graded by NGC.
But when the pandemic hit, Tavory was laid off. He decided to go back to college and finish his degree. Meanwhile, the coin market started to skyrocket.
The popularity and value of coins have shot up exponentially partially due to the pandemic, partially due to factors not related to it entirely," Tavory explained.
His hobby started to turn into a full-time business. Tavory's travel schedule is intense — one week he's in California, a couple weeks after that in Maryland, and then he's off to Colorado Springs. Tavory said he loves the excitement, but admits the constant traveling isn't for everyone.
It's totally worth it! It's helping me pay for college. Tavory is now a student at Florida Atlantic University majoring in Revolutionary European History. He receives scholarships — including the Florida Bright Futures — but his coin business is paying for the remaining amount that isn't covered.
Tavory lives with his parents and works out of his home office. While his knowledge is extensive in the U.S. coin market, his passion is world coins.
World coins require a lot of research — something a lot of people just getting into the market don't have the patience for, Tavory said.
He spends hours going through auction records to determine the value of some rare coins.
To read the complete article, see:
A new generation of coin enthusiasts is bringing life to an ancient hobby
Wayne Homren, Editor
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