By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for CoinWeek….
Gainesville Coins near Tampa, Florida is one of the larger numismatic and bullion coin retailers in the Southeast United States. They’ve recently become popular for offering Guy Harvey coins and many other hard-to-find series. So I decided to call them up to find out about the latest Guy Harvey coin offerings and see what else may be around the corner.
I spoke with Dan Kedem, a senior account executive who’s worked at Gainesville Coins since 2008. “We’re featuring a new section we debuted recently offering clearance deals and specials,” he said.
Some of these offers include sales on Perth Mint Series II Lunar Year of the Rabbit coins, which are Australian legal tender. “Zodiac coins are very popular these days,” Kedem says, “making fantastic gifts, not to mention ideal collectibles. What helps make pieces like the Perth Mint Series II Lunar coins so appealing is that they offer distinctive designs, yet they’re government-issued coins.”
So while most zodiac coins are private-issued silver rounds, these are legal tender coinage.
Poland Mint coins have also “been keeping the customer engaged,” Kedem says.
“We also offer a wide selection of Poland Mint coins,” he adds. “For years we’ve been wanting to carry Poland Mint coins. The coins coming out of Poland are simply unique and definitely hearken to the modern coin collector.” Kedem points to the 2014 Pyramid three-ounce proof silver coins, which are struck in the shape of a three-dimensional pyramid.
“There’s also the 2014 First Communion silver coin set,” which has a diamond-shaped coin emblazoned with a colorful digital printing of Christ with a chalice; the set includes a .999 silver coin plated with 24-carat gold detailing. “Again, these are the types of pieces that not only speak to the modern collectors, but also make fantastic gifting ideas.”
Adding to the allure of Polish coins, he says, are the limited runs, colorized and bejeweled coinage, and quality of detail.
“The Polish Mint, along with mints from all around the world today, are using gemstones, painted features, and three-dimensional shapes more than ever,” he says. “Even the United States Mint is breaking the rather two-dimensional plane with the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame half dollar,” which became the first curved coins the U.S. Mint has ever struck.
“Coins like the Baseball Hall of Fame half dollar aren’t just unique looking, but because of their popular theme strike a chord with collectors and non-collectors alike.”
Guy Harvey Coins Make a Splash
Kedem, in explaining the diverse tastes of the modern coin collector, says that “anything goes” today.
“Today’s collectors go after what they want. A collection may be comprised of just about whatever strikes the fancy of the collector.” In other words, the collector (in Kedem’s opinion) is becoming very topical.
Which helps to explain why Guy Harvey coinage is becoming all the rage.
“We are truly excited to have Guy Harvey coins on hand,” Kedem notes. “These coins have had a huge following since we first brought them in a while ago, and have had a hard time keeping them in sometimes.
What makes the Guy Harvey coins so popular? For one, it’s name recognition, Kedem tells me.
“The name presence is something people identify with,” he says of Harvey, whose fish art and tropical themes can be seen on everything from murals to T-shirts to artwork in a reprint of Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel The Old Man and the Sea.
“I think they really speak to a broad market,” Kedem theorizes. “Anglers love [Harvey’s] art, and many of them are active silver collectors,” he says.
Right now, Gainesville Coins is featuring a series of copper and silver rounds and bars featuring a blue marlin. “We’re hoping to start carrying a biannual series with two different coins each year.”
If you’re after the colorized Harvey coins, be sure to keep a close eye on their availability, because they periodically sell out. “We may be restocking them when you look for the colorized pieces here, that’s just how popular the series has been.”
Last time I checked, the newest item added to the Guy Harvey inventory was a 10-ounce Old Man and the Sea bar.
“This piece pays homage to the illustrations Harvey provided for the reprint of Hemingway’s classic novel,” Kedem remarks. “Imagine having a coin illustrated by the person who did the artwork for a Hemingway masterpiece like Old Man and the Sea.
“Before Salt Life, there was Guy Harvey,” Kedem reminds us.
“I even carry one of the copper Guy Harvey rounds as a good luck charm when I go fishing,” says Kedem, who says he’s become quite the angler off the shores of Tampa Bay. I don’t know about you, but frankly I could use a little more of it when I go fishing. Maybe it’s time I pick up a Guy Harvey round myself…
But there’s another feel-good reason to drop cash on Guy Harvey coins besides the possible luck they may bring. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which supports research on environmentally-friendly initiatives and research.
What’s Coming Around the Bend at Gainesville Coins?
I asked Kedem what Gainesville Coins will be doing the rest of the year.
“We’re soon going to be finalizing release plans for the end of the year,” he informs me. “But we haven’t quite gotten to that point yet.”
For the time being, Kedem says Gainesville Coins will keep offering several types of world silver and gold coinage, and they’re also doing their best to keep supplies of Guy Harvey coins around, especially as summer comes around and fishermen, beachgoers, and tourists snap up more of the nautical-flavored rounds and bars.
Another area that Kedem is excited about seeing more of are Perth Mint coins, which he thinks offer a good balance between quality and affordability.
“Years ago, Canadian coins were an affordable alternative to United States coins, but today they have become relatively expensive for the average collector on a budget.”
He recommends Perth Mint and Polish Mint coins for those who love exquisite detail, nature-centric subject matter and well-struck coins that cater to those on a tighter collecting budget.
“Not only can you often buy Perth Mint coins for a lot lower of a price than you’ll pay for many Royal Canadian Mint coins, but in my opinion the coins from the Australian, Polish, and many other foreign mints offer an incredible richness in detail.” Having looked at many of these coins myself, I would agree with Kedem that Perth and Polish mint coinage definitely compete with British and American coins in overall strike and planchet quality.
One area that Kedem really hopes to see expand is with the Guy Harvey rounds programs.
“Harvey’s coins resonate with everyone, not just those who live near the water,” he says. “The Harvey coins are definitely very happy, sunny pieces – and shouldn’t coin collecting be fun?”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.