At Archie’s Coin Shop in Wilmington, Leland native Archie Spell shares his passion for coin collecting.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of discovering you might be holding a hidden gem from the past in your hand. It’s a feeling Archie Spell first had at age 3 when his aunt introduced him to coin collecting. More than five decades later, that same feeling inspired him to open his own coin dealership in Downtown Wilmington. As the owner of Archie’s Coin Shop, Spell now hopes to share his passion for collecting coins with others and help them discover what rare treasures they might be holding.
A Marine veteran, Spell grew up in Leland and spent much of his career traveling out of state as a mechanical estimator. In 2021 he suddenly found himself out of work and realized it was the perfect opportunity to open the coin shop he’d been envisioning for decades.
“I’d been buying and selling a lot of coins over the years and had been to local shops around Wilmington, but I never felt I got a fair deal on my stuff,” Spell says. “Either they’d sell their coins too high, or when I wanted to sell my stuff to trade, they didn’t want to give me anything, so I just decided to open my own business.”
Having spent years attending local coin club meetings and connecting with other coin enthusiasts, Spell already had about 20 contracts who quickly became his first customers when he opened his storefront a little less than a year ago. Since then, he’s been busy buying, selling and trading, and he says he’s now up to nearly 400 regular customers.
“My business is a more personal one,” Spell says. “With my repeat customers, I always keep their name, their number and what they’re wanting, so if I get those coins in, I can call and say ‘I’ve got this coin here that you were looking for, do you still want it?’”
Spell believes what sets him apart from other coin dealers is his commitment to giving people a fair price for their collections.
He offers free appraisals and says he generally pays double what his competitors pay.
“People go to these other places here in town and get two or three different quotes, and I still end up paying them twice as much as anybody else,” Spell says. “I’m just looking to make myself available to help people so they don’t get taken advantage of.”
Spell says most people don’t even know the value of what they have. He often sees younger generations who have collections passed down to them from parents or grandparents, coins that are now just sitting in a closet or on a shelf collecting dust. He invites anyone with old coins to visit his shop to discover what they’re worth, and he hopes in the process they’ll share his excitement in learning about the pieces of the past they’re holding.
“What I love about coin collecting is it’s such a big part of history,” Spell says. “We can learn so much about the past in the older coins, like buffalo nickels and Indian pennies, and really appreciate our history, something we don’t do much of these days.”
Want to go?
Archie’s Coin Shop
411 Chestnut Street, Wilmington
Facebook: The Coin Guy
Photography by Matt McGraw