Community Life

Coin Club Celebrates 35TH Annual Show and Sale on April 9

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The Watchung Hills Coin Club will be holding its 35th Annual Show and Sale on Sunday, April 9 at the Elks Lodge #1068.  The Lodge is located on 375 Union Ave. (Route 28) in Bridgewater, NJ – exactly one mile from the intersection of I-287 and Route 28.  The show is open to the public from 10AM-3PM with free admission. 

What’s a coin show you might ask?  Show Chairman and South Plainfield, NJ resident Greg Heim states “a coin show is an event where vendors purchase tables on what’s referred to in the trade as the bourse.  It’s on the bourse floor where vendors buy and sell money-related (numismatic) items such as United States/World coins, paper money, tokens, medals, and precious metals such as gold/silver (including unwanted gold jewelry).”

What about appraisals? Heim states “Appraisals are tricky.  Most dealers will offer a complimentary, verbal appraisal on a few items if the patron is not looking to sell the item(s) in question.  With that said, patrons are more than welcome and encouraged to bring in their items with the understanding that they also have the option of making future arrangements to meet with other vendor(s).

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But it’s not all commercial.  Our membership has a tremendous amount of expertise in a wide variety of collecting specialties, and youngsters are strongly encouraged to attend the show along with our monthly meetings to promote their interest in numismatics.

The club holds its monthly meetings on the First Tuesday of each month at the Chimney Rock Inn, 342 Valley Road, Gillette, NJ 07933 from 6PM to 9PM.  Our general meeting start at approximately 7:30PM, and we have a separate program for collectors under the age of 18 which starts at 6:30PM.

HOW DID THE CLUB AND SHOW ORIGINATE?

In June 1982, Greg met Peter Doelger. It was at that time when Pete and one of his good customers toyed around with the idea of forming a coin club with an educational and fraternal platform.  Greg was interested in assisting.  It was the very opportunity that he had been seeking.



In September 1982, we secured space to meet at the Warren Township Rescue Squad and had an organizational meeting with those interested in the idea of such a club in attendance.  At this meeting, we secured the help of someone who had experience in the governance of local, state, and regional coin clubs.  His input was vital.  We established an executive board, with Pete Doelger as the club’s first president and Greg Heim as the club’s first secretary.  Greg was only 16 years of age at the time, yet was already an “eight-year veteran” of the hobby!

Our first formal meeting was held the following month, and rest as they say – is history.  Besides Greg., there are only two members remaining who’ve retained continuous membership in the club since the beginning:  Our founder Pete Doelger whose shop is exactly where it was over 35 years ago, and a member who has lived out of state for quite some time and was awarded a lifetime membership by the club.  Greg states “it’s really cool, because we still correspond several times per year.”

The club decided that it needed a source to generate funds to promote its educational platform.  After much planning, we secured a hall at the Elks Lodge #1068, which at the time was located on Route 22 West near the Bridgewater Commons Mall.  Our first show was held in May 1983.  When the Elks moved almost a decade later to its much-larger and present location - we went with them and haven’t had the show anywhere else.

For more information about the show or our club, you can contact Greg Heim preferably by email at gsheim1@verizon.net, or on his cell at 908.405.6408. More information about our club is also located on Facebook at “Watchung Hills Coin Club.” 

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