Rare Coins Shop Celebrates 35 Years In Lawrence
Photographer: Lucas Cooley
Lost Dutchman Rare Coins (LDRC) is one of Indianapolis’ premier coin shops. It is a family business that was started by John Dinger, in 1984, for his son, Matt Dinger, who had a passion for coin collecting. Both John and Matt still work at the coin shop and are known as numismatists. John named the store because he is of Dutch descent and was inspired by the Lost Dutchman silver mine in Arizona.
Matt has been selling coins since he was 15 years old. Because of his coin knowledge, he has been featured in Coin World Magazine, The Numismatist Magazine, CoinAge Magazine, Wall Street Journal and many other publications. He has previously served as the President of the Indianapolis Coin Club and attends nearly every major coin convention that takes place in the United States.
It is truly a family affair at the Lost Dutchman, as Evan Munden, son in law of John Dinger, is a Senior Numismatist and manages the shop. There are a few other experienced employees, contributing to more than 125 years of combined experience in coins and currency.
Dealing rare coins is big business. The rarest coin the Lost Dutchman sold was an 1864-S, $10 gold piece, which was made in San Francisco. That coin sold for $99,000. Recently, they sold a 1795 $10 gold piece (which was the first year $10 gold pieces were made) for $43,000.
About 99 percent of the Lost Dutchman clients that walk through the door are locals. The coin shop purchases coins from the public or they buy inventory from other dealers. Many coins are sold throughout the country through a network of dealers or online through eBay.
The coin shop has been well received in the Lawrence community over the years. They have a good reputation, are known for being very knowledgeable and also buy scrap gold jewelry.
Often folks inherit a family estate and bring in a bag of old coins to sell.
“People bring in coins from a coil accumulator, as we like to call them,” Munden says. “There’s not a real rhyme or reason to the collection, just a bag of miscellaneous coins that somebody thought was cool.”
Silver and collectible coins are rarely found in circulation within the economy. That stopped happening about 10 to 15 years ago when the silver prices started to rise and everyone started looked more closely at the change they were given.
Munden says that his favorite part of being in this business is that every day is like a treasure hunt.
“I’ve certainly developed an appreciation of old coins through this work,” he says. “I appreciate the history and the story that goes with each coin.”
To learn more about collecting coins, Munden recommends joining the Indianapolis Coin Club or simply stop by the store located at 4983 N Franklin Rd in Lawrence. You can also learn more by visiting the Lost Dutchman Rare Coins online at ldrcoins.com or give them a call at 317-545-7650.