Collect Call

A shared interest in rare coins between Adam and Avery McGee has strengthened the bond between father and son, all while building a bridge from one generation to the next.

by Michelle Floyd

The next time you get some change back at a store, you might want to pay closer attention to the coins in your hand. A valuable one may be among them.

Newton County teenager Avery McGee has seen coins at area shows sell for upwards of $1,000 and read about others that are worth even more. It serves as one of the reasons he started collecting coins a couple of years ago.

“They can increase in value,” the homeschooler said.

His father, Adam McGee, had a coin collection growing up, and even Avery’s grandmother had a few coins that retained some value over the years.

“You have to get the next generation into them or it will fade out,” Adam said.

Some children start collecting state quarters to fill up commemorative books, while others may be more interested in foreign money from other countries. Avery was drawn to rare items called error coins, which contain some type of mistake on them, such as a defected die or mint process issues.

“I mostly keep all of the ones I get,” Avery said.

Ever since he found some rare coins in a local antique store one day, Avery decided he wanted to start collecting them. His interest was piqued. Now, Avery reads about coins, watches videos on them and even travels to shows across the state with his father and friends. Plus, he attends the Rockdale Coin Club meeting each month. He also holds membership in the Georgia Numismatic Association and the American Numismatic Association.

“The good thing about coin collecting is that you can do it at any level, price range and however fast you want to do it.”

Lindsey L. Goff

“Avery has taught me more about coins in the last two years than I’ve learned any time before,” Adam said. “The best thing about coin collecting for me is that it is something that we can do together.”

The two have traveled to coin shows at convention centers in Marietta, Augusta, Dalton and Perry. They have even met fellow young coin collectors at First Baptist Church of Covington and others who have traveled to shows with them.

“The whole day you can look at coins,” Avery said. “Some of [the dealers] show me things or give me things.”

Adam—who helps Avery find magazines, books and other media on collecting—notes that the knowledge his son has gained in a few short years often impresses the dealers at coin shows.

“Avery just doesn’t collect coins; he can immerse himself in them to learn all he can,” Adam said. “Whatever he does, he goes all-in on.”

Avery, whose favorite subjects in school are math and history, revealed that only a few dealers carry error coins since they are so rare. Nevertheless, he still enjoys attending shows to see what else may be out there.

“We spend each trip as a time with just us two [where] we can talk about anything on the way and coins while we are there,” Adam said. “His excitement of seeing something new and the decisions he makes at shows is what keeps me driving to the next.”

In addition to traveling hundreds of miles to shows, the two also usually attend Rockdale Coin Club meetings the fourth Monday of every month at Rockdale Baptist Church in Conyers. There, upwards of 50 area residents meet to discuss various topics, trade and sell coins and enjoy a common interest in collecting.

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“We have a moderate number of young collectors, and they are usually very enthusiastic about it,” said Lindsey L. Goff, co-founder of the club and owner of Mr. Coin in Conyers. “The good thing about coin collecting is that you can do it at any level, price range and however fast you want to do it.”

Goff, who has now known the McGee family for a few years, sees some collectors weekly and others more sporadically. 

“In general, coin collecting is in decline,” said Goff, who has been a dealer since 1992 and previously ran the Silver Eagle Coins & Collectibles in Conyers. Coin collectors tend to be male and more advanced in age, but he still enjoys introducing new collectors, especially children, to the world. “There are all different levels of collecting,” Goff said, “and there are a number of different ways you can pursue it.” 

Goff suggests that kids or even adults who are interested in starting a collection should go to their local shop to browse around and let relatives know they are interested in coins.

“Coins are usually held on to and passed along to generations,” said Goff, who points to the art and special care involved with collecting. He recalls that most children start off interested in foreign coins but then move on to various avenues as they get older, just as Avery did with error coins. “With his intensity and interest and his growth curve, I really expect he is going to be one of the great budding numismatists of the younger generation,” Goff said. “He’s very involved and learning a lot, progressing rapidly. He’s a sharp young guy.” 

For more information, visit the Georgia Numismatic Association at or Mr. Coin at

Click here to read more stories by Michelle Floyd.

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