DeKALB – Before you throw away the clutter piling up in your junk drawer, run it past Dan Nierhoff – it might earn you hundreds of dollars.
Nierhoff and his fiance, Lorri Marshall, are the owners of JP Coins and Collectibles, 806 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, where one man’s junk often becomes the same man’s treasure.
“We had a lady that brought in her junk drawer. She thought it was just junk,” Nierhoff said. “She ended up having a solid gold pocket watch from 1892 that still works and it was pretty cool.”
Nierhoff specializes in numismatics, or the study of coins, unlike other coin shops, which tend to be run by jewelers, he said.
“With coins and stuff, there’s a historical factor to it. Every coin has a story,” Nierhoff said. “The coins that you hear about that are really expensive, it’s the rarity that they’re after. It’s kind of a neat piece of history to be able to see one of those when it does come around.”
And they do come around.
One of Nierhoff’s customers approached him with a bag of coins she planned on taking to the bank, only to learn what would have amounted to roughly $25, was now worth closer to $400, he said.
“Younger people are like, ‘Oh my gosh it’s a silver quarter,’ but to her it’s just a quarter,” he said. “We have a lot of people bringing in jewelry just not knowing how much it’s worth.”
In an effort to become an integrated part of the Sycamore community, JP Coins and Collectibles offers free appraisals and will serve as a Toys for Tots drop-off location this holiday season, he said.
“We’ll tell them what they have, what it’s worth; we tell them what we’d be willing to pay for it. There’s no pressure to sell. ... We have a whole bunch of people looking for stuff,” he said.
As the fourth shop in Nierhoff’s family, he opened the business June 2 in Sycamore with hopes to keep the community’s money circulating throughout the town he was raised, he said.
“Bring it here before you take it to the bank because it might be valuable,” he said. “Our business operates more off us buying stuff than selling stuff, necessarily.”