Inside Business: Bismarck Gold and Silver Exchange - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Inside Business: Bismarck Gold and Silver Exchange

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Through good times and bad, people like to put their money in an investment they can see and touch, and some might like to touch precious metals.

Larry Schneider began collecting coins nearly 50 years ago at the encouragement of his father, who was also a collector. The hobby soon grew into a full time business that became Bismarck Gold and Silver Exchange.

"I've been a collector since 1965," says Schneider. "Coins have always fascinated me. In 1979 we opened up the store here in Bismarck." 

Schneider says recent budget decisions by Congress, and the western North Dakota oil boom, have impacted the gold and silver business.

"I think the biggest thing that's affected our market in the last two weeks was when Congress, they passed the unlimited debt ceiling. That seemed to create quite a stir with the public. And the oil activity has been a game changer for our business, no question about it, the oil has made a tremendous difference for us." says Schneider.

One of the fun aspects of the coin business is having customers bring in something they may have discovered in the attic.

"Hardly a day goes by that we're not surprised by something new that we see in our business," says Schneider. "Its a lot of fun because people bring in things that have probably been stored in homes for probably 50 to a 100 years. It's pretty impressive what you run into."

Schneider's been collecting coins now for more than 50 years, and his collection includes some pretty interesting pieces, such as this 1901 Lewis and Clark commemorative $10 bill. Another prized part of Schneider's collection is this sheet of consecutively numbered $10 bill that were printed by Dakota National Bank and Trust of Bismarck back in 1929, when banks could still issue their own currency.

The minting process may have changed since then, but people still like to be able to see and touch their investments.

"I think people want a little more security," says Schneider. "They want to have 10 to 15 percent of their assets in gold or silver, and that's kind of accelerated in the last few years because they kind of sense that the American dollar may decline some more in value," he says.

And Schneider says, the Internet has expanded their market and helped educate buyers.

"It made people more conscious of value. So, we have a lot of people who will come in with an IPad and check the prices we have versus another firm in another state.  The more people are informed, usually the better buyers they become."

The coin collecting legacy will continue, as Schneider's son and grandson both work with him in the store. 

Bismarck Gold and Silver Exchange is located on 4th Street in downtown Bismarck. You can learn more about them on Facebook.

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