Tell Me About It: Coin-collecting passion

Interview with Bruce MaagRole: Owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles in Delphos

DELPHOS — Bruce Maag, owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles, was born and raised in Ottoville and began coin collecting when he was young.

Bruce Maag, Owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles, hold a 1864 one dollar Delphos large note.

“An elderly lady on one of my numerous paper routes was into coins and stamps and I collected avidly till about age 14 and then other interests got in the way and I set it aside,” he said.

After graduating from high school he went on to Ohio State and is still a big fan of the Buckeyes.

“We were able to go to Phoenix this year for the Fiesta Bowl and see the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame,” he said.

After college, Maag worked to help disadvantaged youth.

“I was [chief operating officer] of several national foster organizations and had a large involvement with that and in 2010 I sold my company and didn’t want to get too bored so I added antiques and moved the coin store over to its current location.

“I married a girl from Delphos,” Maag said of his first wife who died in 2000. “We had two daughters, Amy and Carrie, together,” he said. He married Teri two years ago.

Bruce Maag Holds an antique bowl from a display.

He enjoys spending time at his cottage in northern Michigan.

“We spend a lot of time there from May to October but I also like to drive a big truck around there and pick stuff up,” he said.

He and his staff work to make this a very different type of antique store.

“We’ve been told it’s more like a museum, it’s not the way antique stores normally are with a lot of old dusty stuff, we have quality stuff that is priced reasonable to sell,” he said. “Everything has a story.”

Bruce Maag holds a 1877 half dollar coin worth $2,800 from his collection.

Coins Currency and Collectibles is located at 238 N. Main St. in Delphos.

The 1,400-square-foot store includes numerous items froms coins and currency to iron skillets and LP’s.

“We have pinball machines, jukeboxes, vintage jewelry, player pianos, a room for Christmas, a religious room, a room just for kitchen items,” Maag said. “We have a lot of good items.”

1. How did you start the store?

Bruce Maag holds a $20 gold St. Gaudens Coin.

After I became an adult and was home visiting around the age of 30 and saw all my coin albums and it piqued my interest again. So I started collecting everything and had a lot of double and triple coins. About four years after I started collecting again an Elida gentleman suggested I go to one-day coin sale events. From there I went to one-, two-, and three-day regional sales and finally four-day nationals.

2. How long has the store been there?

Thirty-two years ago I opened a store. The current one is my fourth location that we moved to in 2010, the others were strictly coins and currency but this is antiques and collectibles too. Collecting was always a passion and a sideline business for me.

3. Do you still collect?

Bruce Maag, owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles, sits at his store work desk

Bruce Maag sits at his store work desk at Coins Currency and Collectibles

It’s hard to collect and deal at the same time because you want to keep everything. I still have a couple things but for the most part all my stuff is for sale. I have thousands and thousands both from the U.S. and worldwide.

4. What unique coins do you have?

A U.S. coin from 1792 is the oldest one we have. People like foreign coins and currency too like Australian and Cuban and coins from the Far East. We have coins from everywhere. Foreign currency is not our specialty but we do have a lot.

5. How many employees are at the store?

We have four employees and we do mostly Internet sales. We are the largest coin store in northwest Ohio and probably the largest coin and antiques combined. We do a great deal of business on the Internet mostly eBay and Craigslist and coin sites that sell just coins. I have a young person does Twitter and Facebook, the social media aspect.

6. What is a rare thing you have had?

A casket we just sold that dates back to the 1800s. I acquired it at an auction, its wicker and it was what they used to carry people out of the house and sometimes show their bodies, but they didn’t bury them in it. It sold to a guy who has a hearse and is going to put it in the back. You just never know what you are looking at to buy for the store you just have to have an eye for things that other people overlook, know what value is and be able to move it.

Janet Ferguson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Lima News. Share your story ideas for Tell Me About It at info@limanews.com.

 

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