Brad Karoleff

Numismatic Ramblings

Brad Karoleff

Brad Karoleff is a lifelong coin collector with a specialization in the early coins of the Philadelphia Mint. He is the proprietor of Coins Plus which operates four locations in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area.  

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My story in numismatics

Welcome to my initial rambling on my new blog. I am taking a leap of faith that someone may be interested in reading about my numismatic experiences, so here it goes.

A little background may be in order. I began collecting at age 5 with the present of a few Whitman folders for my birthday. I began filling Lincoln cent and Jefferson nickel collections. The Jefferson set was the first to be completed with the purchase of a 1950-D. I had acquired a copy of How to Detect Altered and Counterfeit Coins and Paper Money by Bert Harshe somewhere along the line. It warned me of the altered 1956-D and 1959-D nickels to look like the rare 1950-D. It saved me from purchasing one in an antique store in the small town near where I lived. That hooked me on the value of a numismatic library!

When I was 10 I began a grass cutting, yard work, snow shoveling business in the neighborhood. Many of my neighbors were elderly and were glad to contract the work out to me. I soon was cutting grass 7 days a week funneling the money into my coin collection.I began a saving program to purchase a 1909-S VDB cent. My father offered to match my savings and when I went to him with my half I think he was both proud and amazed that I was able to actually save that much money. We went shopping all around town and I finally settled on a piece. After purchase we went to other dealers I trusted to see if it was authentic. This was before ANACS began certifying coins. We ended up at Sol Kaplan's office in downtown Cincinnati.It was the only time I met Sol before his death. He came out to see who was bothering his secretary and when hearing of our plight went back into his office and returned with a handful of S-VDB's! He passed judgment that mine was good and dismissed us for more pressing business. My cent collection was now complete!

My interest in coins soon garnered me a job in the local coinshop. That was 1975 when I was in high school.I was introduced to the collecting of Capped Bust half dollars by die marriage in 1978. By 1981 I was a partner in the shop and I have been dealing in coins in Cincinnati ever since.

My specialty is silver coins from our first Mint in Philadelphia by die marriage. I deal in the gambit of American numismatics and to some degree in world coins and paper money. We also have fossils, jewelry and small antiques in our stores.I believe in a comprehensive numismatic library and have an extensive personal library as well as a working one in the store as well as numerous titles for sale. We are an "old fashioned" coin store with an actual inventory of collector coins. Anyone passing through Cincinnati is invited to visit us on their trip.

I have contributed to numerous numismatic books and have been writing articles for club publications for years. I have a quarterly column in Coin World titled Designs of the Times. This will be my first foray into cyber publishing. Hopefully you will find some entertainment in what I have to say in future columns.

Until then, best numismatic wishes to you all!

Brad Karoleff

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