I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
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Coin shop leaves Sycamore
By Barry Schrader.................................November
After graduating from DeKalb High in 1964 he found employment
with Wurlitzer and stayed for 15 years. In the mid-1970s, he
decided to try opening a small coin shop part-time on State Street
in Sycamore. After being laid off by Wurlitzer, he expanded it
into a full-time business and now owns the building where he
has been located for 25 years. His wife, Sue, also a DeKalb High
grad (Class of 1962) worked in the phone business, lastly for
ConTel, some 25 years, then joined her husband in the store and
has been there ever since.
A mom-and-pop coin shop that has operated on Sycamores
main street for 35 years is closing for good and the owners Bob
and Sue Rozycki are moving to Arizona for some time in the sun.
The Sycamore Coin Gallery came about as an extension
of a coin collecting (numismatists, they call them) hobby that
began for Bob as a child. His grandparents gave him a small box
of coins which intrigued him. As a teenager in DeKalb, he used
to frequent Secors Drug Store and one time noticed a special
display case commemorating National Coin Collecting Week. Included
in the display was a rare nickel worth a dollar and
that got Bob excited so he bought a blue coin folder, which started
him on the path to more serious numismatic endeavors.
Bob and Sue Rozycki closed their Sycamore Coin Gallery
for good on Oct. 31
They have sold the
building, plus the store fixtures, but a large inventory of coins
will go with them to Arizona since they also have a longtime
coin show and convention side to their business which takes them
all over the country. They have traveled as far as Hong Kong
and Mexico for major shows. Bob said he will maintain his sales
Web site but doesnt plan to pursue that aspect very aggressively.
They also have a place at Lake Geneva where Bob thinks he will
finally find time to buy a boat and try some fishing.
advice for newcomers to the hobby: Start out with something
you like go through a catalog and pick out coins that
look interesting. When you cant find any more in that category
go on to other coins that look good to you. But dont try
to collect everything at once. Right now the most popular
coins are the new Lincoln pennies, presidential dollars, and
His own collecting interests
have changed over time. Just a couple years ago he decided to
seek out coins from the American colonies minted before the country
gained independence from England. He found that many colonies
coined their own money and a number of those pieces are still
available. Asked about Confederate Civil War currency he said
there is a lot out there but beware of bills that arent
signed in ink, as there are many reproductions of Confederate
money and much of it is just printed, not hand signed. He added
that no American currency was ever printed on parchment but a
lot of reproductions are.
In addition to his coins
and stamps inventory he also has sort of a State Street
Museum as he calls it, inside the store. Over the years
he acquired considerable local area collectibles and memorabilia
that came from business and industries, some now defunct, and
purchased numerous things. Among the hundreds of items are ashtrays,
logos, company signs and printed material. The Joiner History
Room and Sycamore History Museum will be the beneficiaries of
much of that collection, he said.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115