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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Have you ever wondered what counterfeit money looks like? The difference between counterfeit coins and their counterparts is a lot less than you might think, according to Brad Lisembee, the current secretary of the Evansville Coin Club. Lisembee and the rest of the Evansville Coin Club spent nearly five years amassing a collection of nearly 50 counterfeit coins which they purchased primarily through eBay before the site started cracking down on counterfeit sales. This collection is now displayed for educational purposes at the club’s annual Coin Show held at Tropicana every year on the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday. This year’s show will be on Nov. 28.

Founded in 1955 by a group of prominent Evansville business leaders including Robert Malcolm Koch, John Schroeder, and Charles F. Leich, the Evansville Coin Club initially held meetings at members’ homes. As the club grew, the meetings moved first to the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science and then the C.K. Newsome Community Center. The club also had grown to the point that it needed funds to support the club’s activities. Out of this need sprang the idea for the “Golden Flea Markets,” which began in the late 1960s. Held at the “Gold Room” of the Evansville Civic Center, these flea markets allowed for members to deal from their own collections as well as a number of other participants to sell their own collectibles. By renting out tables, the club was able to make money.

Nowadays, the monthly coin club meeting is held at the Ohio Township Public Library in Newburgh, Ind.

“The purpose of the Evansville Coin Club is to educate current and future coin collectors in the history, grading, and collecting of numismatic items,” Robert Zimmermann Sr. says of the term used to describe coins, paper money, and tokens. A former president of the club, he joined the club in 1968.

The club is open to anyone with an interest and each meeting has an attendance drawing for a prize collectible as well as food, made possible by each member’s annual $10 dues. The meetings also are marked by an informative session which can range from a talk about the solvency of local Evansville banks in the time period leading up to the Civil War to a more contemporary topic such as the existence of $1 bills, which Zimmermann says will be done away with in the near future and replaced by dollar coins as we are one of the last countries to still have paper dollar bills.

“Meshing history with business was the perfect fit for me,” Zimmermann says of his reason for remaining with the club. “I think the details and facts presented at the monthly meetings are my favorite part, the educational experiences. The camaraderie, too — there are a bunch of great people.”

For more information about the Evansville Coin Club, call Robert Zimmermann Sr. at 812-425-6251.

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