By Marti GaciochCoin collecting is the largest hobby in the world, according to Jeffrey Martin, co-owner of La Jolla Coin Shop, but it’s come under a lot of pressure lately competing for folks’ attentions with all the technological distractions around today.
“Coin collecting has been going on for thousands of years, now we’re trying to get people back into coin collecting by showing them the value, fun and historical significance there is in collecting,” Martin said.
La Jolla Coin (and its partner store San Diego Coin and Bullion) are among San Diego’s leading buyers of coins, rare currency, collections and precious metals. The shops are also known for their historical coin collections, including a Byzantine gold coin collection that dates from 300-400 A.D. and some first and second century Greek silver coins that come with certification of authenticity, stating time period, ruler of the time and geographical origin.
“It’s like holding a piece of history in your hand,” Martin said. “We have Roman bronze and copper coins that date from 1800 years ago that you can purchase for $40, and we also have extremely rare coins.”
According to Martin, his brother, Chad Martin, who co-owns San Diego Coin and Bullion with Michael McConnell, is one of the foremost experts in Egyptian, Roman and Greek coins in Southern California. Jeffrey Martin’s expertise lies in U.S. coins and currency.
La Jolla Coin wants to provide an environment that a younger generation can come into and get excited about coin collecting again. “It’s fun and they’re going to learn something about it, and if they do it correctly, they’ll have something of value, ” Martin said.
Martin also wants his shop to be relevant to the Generation X-ers when they are deciding where to put their money.
“We don’t recommend that people dump their stock portfolio and put all their money into gold,” Martin said. “We are rooted in integrity and want to educate people before they buy; we want them to be fully confident knowing what they’re doing.”
San Diego Coin and Bullion was established more than 25 years ago, and two years ago they acquired La Jolla Coin, which opened in 1964.
“Between the three of us, we have nearly 100 years experience in numismatics and rare coins,” Martin said.•
La Jolla Coin Shop7746 Girard Ave., La Jolla
San Diego Coin & Bullion7420 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 113, San Diego