PARKERSBURG - Coin expert John Comstock opened up a coin shop in Parkersburg about four years ago.
Comstock said he is originally from California, but has been living in Parkersburg for about the last six years. He opened up "The Coin Guy" where he says he is CEO, manager, an employee and the janitor.
"I've been collecting coins since I was a kid," he said. "My dad and I did coins."
John Comstock opens the display case in his shop containing most of his favorite silver dollar pieces, minted in Carson City and part of the Comstock Lode. (Photo by Mandi Cardosi)
He and his dad went into a lot of the same ventures, according to Comstock. Both retired as truck drivers and share a tremendous passion and knowledge for coins.
Comstock said his love for the Morgan silver dollar minted in Carson City, Nev., stems from his last name. He said he can't be sure he is related to the discoverer of the Comstock Lode of silver that led to the creation of all silver mines, towns, cities and United States Mint facility in Carson City.
Comstock is from the Los Angeles, Calif., area. He said his first official shop opened up in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in 1987.
To Comstock, coins mean more than what they are worth on paper.
"Eye appeal in coins is everything," he said. "Some people don't have that stance, but eye appeal means a lot to me."
He estimated the most valuable coins in his collection are worth about $2,000, individually. The largest dollar amount coin he owns is a $20 gold piece estimated to be worth about $2,700.
A few coins the coin guy owns are not for sale, but all of them have a story to tell. Comstock said he is fascinated with the history behind each coin.
"Take an 1881 Morgan silver dollar," he said. "That's the same time the gun fight at the OK Corral was going on."
It's one of the few shops in the entire area where coins are on display, he said. He loves to give away some of the smaller pieces in his coin collection. Comstock said if a young kid comes to his store they will leave with something.
"I like to help people learn about coins," he said. "It gives me something to do."
Visitors of all age are welcome to stop by The Coin Guy at 1909 Seventh St., Parkersburg, next to Sheppard's Auto Service.
Hours of operation vary but he is open Tuesday through Friday, and closed Sunday and Monday.