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Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Wayne Damron, owner of Clein's Rare Coins on Telfair Street, holds a silver Shekel worth about $900. The coin, used during biblical times, has a featured icon of Melquarth, who would have been considered a Phoenician ruler at the time.

When Wayne Damron is not at his shop buying and selling rare coins, he's likely at a local church or group speaking about and showing coins that are more than 2,000 years old.

 

In his free time, the 69-year-old owner of Clein's Rare Coins on Telfair Street travels around the area to both enlighten and entertain people about a little known niche of numismatics.


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Mr. Damron presents coins that were in use during biblical times and mentioned in the Bible.

During presentations, he lets attendees pass around authentic Shekels, Half Shekels, Widow's Mites and Tribute Pennies; all coins that were in circulation during that time period.

"Most people are totally shocked that these coins survived this long," he said. "They are in awe."

He also shows a coin with an icon of Jesus on it called a Solidus from 700 A.D. Although not from biblical times, he still believes it has significance.

"I have yet to meet any clergyman who knew it existed," he said.

Mr. Damron says he tries to do two to four presentations a month, mostly at area churches and Kiwanis clubs. He said most hear about his presentation through word-of-mouth.

Involved in the coin business in some form or fashion for the past 49 years, Mr. Damron began making coins of the Bible presentations at the urging of friends who wanted him to speak to the seniors group at their church about 16 years ago.

Mr. Damron taught an adult Sunday school class for 18 years and during that time, he found many references to coins in the Bible.

"It was a no-brainer for me to combine the two," he said. "This is something I do, this is my money and time, but I've been blessed with a lot of knowledge so it's my way of giving back."