History, currency collide at Vicksburg Coin Show

Published 7:39 pm Saturday, August 26, 2017

History and currency converged during the Vicksburg Coin Show Saturday at Riverwalk Casino.

More than 20 vendors came from all parts of the state and country to offer up collectible coins and flat money.

Ken Byrd traveled all the way from Colorado Springs, Colo., to participate in the show.

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Byrd and his friend, Phil Darby, who is from Birmingham, Ala., use coin shows as a means to reconnect, Byrd said.

“This is an opportunity for us to do a show and spend the weekend together.”

Byrd said he began collecting coins when he was four years old, which was in 1962.

“My grandfather started me collecting. I did some chores for him and he gave me a 1917 Standing Liberty Quarter,” Byrd said.

The coin was first minted in 1916 and it features a goddess of Liberty on one side and an eagle in flight on the other. The coin had a bit of controversy surrounding it after people noticed that Liberty had an unclothed bosom.

“When my grandfather gave it to me, he told me not to tell my mother,’ Byrd said, and added the coin was still in his collection.

Mark Richter, a local who was serving as the contact person for the coin show had his collection on site, too.

Richter said his favorite coins to collect were the Carson City dollars, and he also collects obsolete notes.

Forty-five banks in Mississippi issued obsolete notes, some of which were located in the River City.

“Vicksburg used to be a money center,” Richter said.

The Vicksburg resident said he became interested in this type of currency after his wife became active in a local garden club.

Collectively, the Vicksburg Garden Clubs were involved in preserving Planters Hall, Richter said, which is a two-story brick building that was built in 1834.

Located at 822 Main St., the facility housed a bank on its first floor and the second floor served as the bank president’s home.

Richter said he has two obsolete notes that were issued by this bank.

Royce Williams, who is from Brandon, was also a vendor at the coin show. He said he has been a collector for about 30 years and was always interested in pennies.

“I’ve always hoarded pennies,” Williams said, which started back in the days when he said he played penny poker in college.

And after winning, Williams said he would store the pennies in five-gallon jugs.

Currently, Williams is the owner of a re-released 2017-P Lincoln cent.

The coin is the first-ever U. S. one-cent coin to bear Philadelphia’s “P” mintmark, which was minted in recognition of the mint’s 225th anniversary, Williams said.

According to coinweek.com, “the coin was intentionally released without a fanfare to gauge how long it would take before the public questioned the mint about the authenticity of the novel 2017-P pennies. The mint-marked Philadelphia one-cent coins were shipped to Federal Reserve Banks in early January for distribution into general circulation.”

Larry and Dianne Lashley, who are collectors from Rayville, La., made the trek to the Vicksburg Coin Show with their grandsons, Thomas and William.

Dianne Lashley said she and her husband were hoping the coin show would encourage their grandsons to become collectors, and by the interest six-year-old William Lashley was showing as he looked at ancient coins, it was apparent the trip was successful.

The Vicksburg Coin Show, which is sponsored by the Vicksburg Coin Club, will continue until 4 p.m. today at 1046 Warrenton Road. The show includes free admission and appraisals.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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