By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Bill Youngerman remembers driving around with the ice cream truck man as a kid. His trips didn’t involving savoring ice cream sandwiches, but to swap coins kids paid with for their cones that he wanted for his coin collection.
Since he was 9, he said he has collected coins. By the time he was 13, he said he was running his own coin business and by the time he was 16, he was working for a major coin company in Miami and several years later he was running his own business out of his home.
Now, his Boca Raton company William Youngerman Inc., which deals with buying and selling of coins from around the world, is celebrating 50 years in the business.
“It is history in your hands,” he said of coins. “It gives us a tangible link to the world’s past. There is beauty in coins, history and a fascination of where they came from.”
He bought his first gold coin when he was 13. He said most kids had coin or stamp collections and gold was $35 for an ounce.
“It forever hooked me,” he said. “It became a passion. It is a hobby enjoyed by kings dating back to Nero.”
Name a coin and Youngerman has likely seen it or owned it. From gold coins of ancient times to modern times to paper bank notes, Youngerman either has it in his personal collection or has it up for sale.
He is known for paying a pretty penny for currency he is missing. About 10 years ago, he paid over $130,000 for a bank note that was missing from the city of Fort Meade. Winning the note at auction completed his collection of all 59 National Bank Towns in Florida.
“Every U.S. gold coin minted, we have handled,” he said.
That collection and other notes and coins can be found online at hometowncurrency.com The virtual museum shows the currency and history behind it. It also features gold coins of the Treasure Coast. These coins were found by salvagers along the coast and the collection contains Treasure Gold from shipwrecks.
It also showcases territorial notes. The Territory of Florida had two issues of Treasury notes. The first issue dates back to 1829.
Internationally, he owns a rare two-ounce gold Australian Port Phillip Kangaroo Coin minted in 1854. He said there are only two to three that are known to exist.
He said he has been able to grow his collection through growing his clients. Eventually he will buy their collections from them. He also works with banks, attorneys and estates to find coins he needs. He has traveled across the world to find coins.
For a list of coins available, visit http://www.williamyoungerman.com.