The Bronze Look located in Princeton’s Historic District at 311 Mercer Street is probably the best-known spot in the region to buy and sell coins. Starting as a collector over five decades ago, owner and entrepreneur, Randolph Evans, did not foresee that he would be slowly building a well-diversified company over the next few years from pennies, nickels, dimes and dollars Collection and appreciation of coins and currency has led to the diversification of the company in which he is heavily invested. The Bronze Companies have diversified into several different ventures, and even maintains three, brick and mortar store locations in Mercer County. Besides coins and currency, the Bronze Family of companies is also a buyer and distributor of Fine Art, Unique Gifts, Silver and Gold—in form of jewelry and coins/bullion and estate purchasing. With this varied inventory, items are constantly revolving, and the store reinvents itself, even on a daily basis. The Bronze Companies are also the parent company, for the record, of this media outlet, WVTNews.
Donald Michaels of Princeton appreciates the time that the Bronze Look takes with each customer, and,“we went through my collection coin by coin and he (Evans) was patient and understood the time, effort and the value of my collection.” Michaels began collecting coins when he was 9 years old and never looked back. “The variety of the coins, the artwork and the value of coins have always amazed me, and I look at every coin that I run across, even from change at the grocery store to pennies found on the sidewalk.”
Coin collecting can ultimately be a bountiful hobby. Some coins may increase value over time, and those that do not, can usually be cashed in. It is rare that a hobbyist can find such ease in changing the materials that build the collection. Some collectors will spend a lifetime collecting the missing pieces of a coin collection. If Evans, “had a nickel for every coin that passed through his hands, well you get the idea…” interjects Michaels.
Coin collections can start with a low budget startup. It is easy to start surveying your pocket change and searching through jars, buckets and bowls of change lying around the house. It is common to find a Buffalo Nickel or a Mercury Dime buried with the masses. This pocket-sized scavenger hunt can teach innumerable lessons about our past. Coin collecting can be also be a venture into the historical aspects of currency. Not only are the designs work of art, older coins may be composed of silver or gold.
Silver and Gold are key components of the Bronze Family of Companies as well. Silver and Gold are currently seeing a resurgence in purchasing with clients attempting to hedge their estates against inflation. And, with the State of West Virginia’s elimination of sales taxes on coins and precious metals, buyers now can purchase their precious metals and monies locally.
“While the Bronze Family is heavily invested in technology and is a leader in online sales, we still have three stores serving the greater region” says Evans. The anchor store, The Bronze Look is located at 311 Mercer Street and serves as the hub of all activity. The store has a broad selection of coins and precious metals and serves as the primary spot for those who are interested in selling their lots. “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the community and how many people are taking advantage in the removal of the taxes,” says Evans. The Bronze Companies has an emphasis on developing relationships with their clients. “Regardless of our investment in technology and the heavy emphasis on technology, the Bronze Stores will always appreciate developing a business relationship with every customer that walks in the door,” says Evans.” “While the Bronze Family is heavily invested in technology and is a leader in online sales, we still have three stores serving the greater region” adds Evans. The anchor store, The Bronze Look is located at 311 Mercer Street and serves as the hub of all activity. The store has a broad selection of coins and precious metals, and also serves as the primary spot for those who are interested in selling their lots. “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the community and how many people are taking advantage in the removal of the taxes,” says Evans. A handshake still accompanies the end of each transaction at the Bronze Stores.
The next article in the series will examine the evolution of the Bronze Family of Companies from coins to the “cyber-frontier.”