|Jerry Tobish, president of the Verde Valley Coin and Currency Club, holds two of the coins in his collection. VVN/Bill Helm|
|Jerry Tobish, Tom Money, Steve Vashon, 9-year-old Collin Vashon and 12-year-old Marshall Vashon, clockwise from bottom left, are members of the Verde Valley Coin and Currency Club. VVN/Bill Helm|
VERDE VALLEY - Until last December, when Jerry Tobish formed the Verde Valley Coin and Currency Club, he had nobody to share his vast love of coinage.
"My wife is not interested in coins," said Tobish, a Camp Verde resident. "Forming the club was a way to share my years of knowledge, and my collection. I formed the club to meet people with the same interest and to have fun."
In six months, the numismatic club has grown to 14 members, ranging from Camp Verde to Cottonwood. According to Tobish, the club is actively looking for new members of any age who are interested in learning more about the hobby.
Two of the club's youngest members, 9-year-old Collin Vashon and his 12-year-old brother Marshall Vashon, of Cottonwood, joined the club with their father Steve Vashon. Both Collin and Marshall are big fans of U.S. currency.
"They're kind of neat, how they started," Marshall said of American coinage.
"When we go to the grocery store, Marshall's the first one to look at the change," Steve said. "Marshall watches the silver and gold markets regularly."
"I've always liked old coins," Steve said. "And I like paper currency."
According to Marshall, he first became interested in coin collecting in a gas station parking lot in Carter Lake, Iowa, where the family once lived. Marshall found a silver quarter in the lot, pocketed the quarter-dollar piece, and eventually found that it was worth about $4.
"Me and Marshall started giving each other silver as gifts," Steve said. "We get them engraved. I like that."
For his 13th birthday, Tobish's father bought him a coin collector's starter kit.
"My dad would bring home rolls of coins and we would go through them," Tobish said. "My collection started with Lincoln pennies. To this day, I have been a collector of Lincoln pennies."
Tobish's collection contains more than Lincoln pennies. He remembers a time when washing machines did not require quarters.
"My dad was about to put a dime in a washing machine," Tobish said. "Turns out that the dime was a 1916-D. At that time, it was worth about $750."
Tobish says he still has that coin.
"Every week, my father would bring home a roll of coins," Tobish said. "He would get silver dollars for me. I was lucky. I lived in Las Vegas for 35 years. There were silver dollars everywhere."
Another club member, who goes by the name of Tom Money, said his father also gave him a coin collector starter kit. As an adult, Money was able to feed his coin-collecting fix by operating a vending machine business.
"At the time, I had to count all my revenue," Money said. "I would notice the silver coins and would pick those out. As I collected them, I chose to keep them. I send my daughter coins from time to time."
"There is a lot of history in coins."
For more information, or to join the Verde Valley Coin and Currency Club, call Jerry Tobish at (928) 254-7000.