CHASSELL - A March 19th article published in The Daily Mining Gazette introduced the area's newest professional numismatist, Todd Van Kleeck, who opened U.P. Coins out of his Chassell home.
"It's been a satisfying experience the past four months," Van Kleeck said. "We've made some friends, bought a lot of stuff from people and made a lot of people smile."
Since business has been going so well for Van Kleeck, he said he wanted to do a follow-up article to let customers know he's still here, he's not planning on going anywhere and he's still paying top dollar for collectible coins, currency, precious metals and gems.
Todd Van Kleeck of U.P. Coins evaluates a collection of coins at his business in Chassell.
Van Kleeck has 35 years of experience in buying coins. What he's noticed since he's opened U.P. Coins is how surprised customers are when they learn the value of their goods. "People get very emotional," he said, noting he met one couple who brought their valuables to an appraiser from out of the area and the price they were given was substantially less than what Van Kleeck offered. "In nearly every single case, people who come to me have been very happy. I have yet to charge for an appraisal, as I wind up buying the collection or accumulation, and therefore, do not charge for an appraisal."
Van Kleeck takes pride in providing an honest and fair evaluation.
"I'm just an honest guy who loves to help people and play with coins," he said. "It just so happens that gold and silver go along with it."
While customers are welcome to make an appointment and visit him at his home for an appraisal, Van Kleeck will meet them on site, whether it be their home or the bank.
"I've been to Ontonagon, L'Anse, Houghton, Hancock, all over the area ..." he said. "Many people come here too. It's been a lot of fun. It gives me the opportunity to play with coins and it's really cool to watch the effect it has on people."
Van Kleeck has gained quite the reputation in the community. Walking down the street, passersby recognize him as the "coin guy."
"A lot of very rewarding things have happened from a personal standpoint," Van Kleeck said.
Depending on what and how much a person has, Van Kleeck said the return can make a real difference for customers financially.
"If you're broke and you find out what you've got is worth $4,000, it can be life changing," he said, adding he's made deals ranging from $15 up to $26,000. "You may find other folks who will purchase your items, but since I have no overhead, I am able to pay more. And will."
On July 24, Van Kleeck will kick off a three-day buying event at Miller's Jewelry, located on Quincy Street in Hancock. Customers are welcome to bring in coins, currency, scrap gold and silver, diamonds and anything else they want to know the value of.
Van Kleeck said that Mike Shanahan, the proprietor of Miller's, is particularly knowledgeable and interested in any WWII memorabilia, old toys, Zippo lighters and metal banks.
Van Kleeck will be handling the coins and currency and helping with the scrap gold.
"Anything that people have that's old, bring it in," he said. "Even if you don't want to get rid of it. We'll be doing free appraisals."
The hours for the buying event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 24 and 25, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 26.
"My mission is to appraise things, buy things or help people liquidate if that's what they want to do," Van Kleeck said. "What I'm doing here is helping people in an honest fashion and I'm having a ball doing it."
For more information, call U.P. Coins at 523-4206 or visit www.upcoins.com
"If you try to call me in the next couple of days and I'm not there, please leave a message as I might be tied up with events at the Strawberry Festival in Chassell," Van Kleeck said.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by U.P. Coins of Chassell. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.