Coin collectors deal in history as they barter

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Elliott Levy was a man on a mission Sept. 15.

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Bill Orne (from left), of Evans, Jerry Towler, of Guyton, Ga., and Amy Dupont, of Aiken, look at coins in Mr. Orne's collection.  Michael Snyder/Staff
Michael Snyder/Staff
Bill Orne (from left), of Evans, Jerry Towler, of Guyton, Ga., and Amy Dupont, of Aiken, look at coins in Mr. Orne's collection.

The executive director of the Aiken County Historical Museum stopped briefly at Stephen James CSRA Coin Club of Aiken's annual club show to purchase one item.

"This is going to be on display at the museum," Mr. Levy said after buying a $5 bank note.

The rare bank note was signed by Henry Schultz, who founded the town of Hamburg, near present-day North Augusta, in 1821. What made the bill particularly appealing was the drawing of the bridge that connected Augusta and Hamburg. Schultz charged a toll for use of the bridge.

Collectors from Georgia and South Carolina attended the coin club show at H. Odell Weeks Activity Center in Aiken.

Dr. Bill Myers was one of those collectors. A hand surgeon and Army reservist who spent almost a year in Iraq, Dr. Myers has two distinct areas of interest.

"I collect anything revolving around the military," he said as he thumbed through some military payment certificates. "I do hand surgery, so I have an interest in hands."

Dr. Myers said he has about 60 items with hands on them.

It's not just coins that interest him.

"It's more than a piece of paper or piece of metal," he said. "There's history behind it."

Vendors from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina brought a wide variety of items to the fifth annual show.

"There's paper money as well as gold and silver," said coin club President Willie Simon, who called the show a success.

Dick Smoot, a private collector, was selling items from his extensive inventory.

"I had been collecting coins for 20 years, and they were just starting to pile up," said Mr. Smoot, who at 70 decided to further his knowledge of coins by attending a numismatics school recently.

The Stephen James CSRA Coin Club meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Cedar Creek Community Center in Aiken. For more information on the club, visit

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at

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