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Home >> Exclusive Interview With River City Coins & Jewelry - Mike Sprouse

Author: River City Coins (Answers) & Gold Why Webmaster (Questions)
Date: October, 2010
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River City Coins and Jewelry (Copyright)  
© River City Coins –  
Hello Gold Why fans! Today is a very exciting day. I'm going to interview Mike Sprouse, owner of River City Coins & Jewelry! What's River City Coins & Jewelry, you ask? Easy: It's one of my all time favorite gold and silver coin shops. I have been a customer of River City Coins for years now and have made a multitude of purchases. A few examples: The vast majority of my silver art bar and round collection, my 1986 Mexican silver coin, my brand new tenth ounce Isle of Man gold coin, a multitude of casino silver strikes, my Engelhard silver rounds (article coming soon), my Monex silver coin, and my Pan American silver coin from Northwest Territorial Mint. You can actually see all the way at the end of this article an awesome picture of my most recent coin order from River City (I just received it about a week ago and couldn't be more happy). When you're done reading this interview, I recommend checking out my new silver art bar video. I showcase my silver art bars and rounds purchased from River City Coins in this video. I'm always overly happy with Mike's selection of coins (and silver art bars), not to mention the top notch customer service. In short, I give River City Coins and Jewelry my top recommendation and recommend buying coins from them. While I have never met Mike in person (I have made all of my purchases online), I'm excited to call him a friend. So, without further ado, let's get into the awesome interview!

Gold Why: Mike, thanks so much for interviewing with me! I sincerely appreciate it. I know all the Gold Why readers out there are going to really enjoy this interview.

River City Coins: It is my pleasure and thank you for the opportunity.

Gold Why: As you know, I've been an avid fan of River City Coins for years. In fact, it's probably my favorite coin shop! For those Gold Why readers new to River City Coins, could you please give some background on your store?

River City Coins:I opened my shop in 1986 and have sought to fulfill the needs of both beginning and advanced collectors. I have been a coin collector for over 40 years and began collecting silver artbars in 1977. Before becoming a professional coin dealer, I was a commercial banker in Memphis. I have a degree in management and economics and am a graduate of the School of Banking of the South at LSU and the Memphis School of Banking at Memphis State. I have strived to educate my customers as much as possible about the hobby so that they may have a more rewarding experience with it. I have operated my website since 1999 and have concentrated on silver artbars, silver rounds and world gold coins in addition to US coins and sets.

Gold Why: That's great! How about yourself? I know when it comes to coins, there are few individuals with your level of experience. Could you tell the readers about your story and how you got involved in this great industry?

River City Coins Store Front (Copyright)
© River City Coins –
River City Coins: I have been a coin collector since 1962 when I was given a neat Iranian silver 10 rials coin by my neighbor who was home on leave from the Navy. I began to pay attention to the different coins we had in circulation back then and sought to complete as many US coin series as I could. My favorites are buffalo nickels, mercury dimes and walking liberty halves. I started dealing in coins part-time in 1980 and left my banking career to become a professional coin dealer in 1984. I have built a large numismatic library and have given considerable time to studying the literature. I joined the Memphis Coin Club in 1981 and served the club as both its treasurer and President. I have been a member of the American Numismatic Association since 1983 and have attended the ANA Counterfeit Detection and Grading course to better prepare me in becoming a professional coin dealer. I feel blessed that I could turn a hobby into a successful career and wish everyone could enjoy their work as much as I do.

Gold Why: Now, that's an amazing story! The price of gold has been skyrocketing lately. Has this impacted your business at all? Do you find more people buying gold coins for their bullion value? Are you seeing more transactions than ever?

River City Coins: You bet! I am having the best year ever in this business. I have long been an advocate of owning silver and gold to preserve wealth and as a means to keep the money you have earned. With a degree in Economics and my experience and knowledge in the banking industry, I have a better understanding than most about the current economic situation. My knowledge of gold and silver fundamentals is most helpful in discussing this subject with newcomers and makes them more comfortable investing in gold and silver. Sales of both metals is at an all time high in my shop.

Gold Why: Mike, I'm really glad to hear that, congratulations! It's important in these economic times to have reliable and trustworthy coin shops such as your own to meet the rising demand. I know traffic to my website is at an all time high (big thanks to everyone reading) and I'm just glad I'm able to help provide valuable information to everyone. I really got interested in River City Coins because of your extensive inventory of silver art bars and silver art rounds. In fact, I think you have the best silver art bar store I've ever seen. Are silver art bars a popular choice among your shoppers? What are your thoughts on silver art bars?

Mike Sprouse (Copyright)  
© River City Coins –  
River City Coins: Thanks for the complement. I am happy to say that my sales of silver artbars and rounds is a large part of my internet business while the sale of bullion silver and gold accounts for more of my instore sales. I began collecting silver artbars and rounds to satisfy both my collecting urge and my desire to invest in silver. There are so many beautiful bars and rounds out there and I would rather pay an extra dollar or two per ounce and build a neat collection of small silver pieces rather than purchase 100 ounce silver bars or rolls of silver bullion rounds and bars. Thankfully, many others have the same urge and their purchases have encouraged me to build the most extensive inventory of silver art available anywhere. I have hundreds of pieces yet to be put online and am doing so as quickly as time permits. When I first started my website, I was selling common bars and rounds for less than $10 and those who started collecting back then have been rewarded with both a great pastime and a great investment. I believe silver is going to continue to increase in value and that silver art collecting is going to experience a continuing surge in popularity. Those who buy now are not going to regret it in the future. Unfortunately, thousands of silver artbars and rounds are being melted and turned into bullion silver to meet investment demand. Neat bars and rounds are going to become scarcer and scarcer as this continues resulting in higher and higher values for those remaining.

Gold Why: Mike, I couldn't agree more, well said! I can't wait until you get all those silver art bars on your website, please let me know when they're live, you know I'll be buying some! Other than silver art bars, what are some of your best selling coins? Which ones seem to go the quickest?

River City Coins: My best selling coins would be the Isle of Man cat gold coins, China gold pandas and Australian and Singapore lunar gold coins. The cat gold coins and China pandas are the most popular and fastest selling. I also sell a lot of silver eagles and US commemorative coins and sets.

Gold Why: I really enjoy browsing your website. It seems like there are new coins all the time! Do you do a lot of business online? What are some of the advantages of buying coins online from River City Coins?

River City Coins: My online sales have increased from less than 10% of my total sales to over 30%. I live in a small city of only 40,000 people so my website lets me reach out and serve customers all over the US. Many of these people do not have a coin shop nearby, but are able to build a nice collection from the comfort of their home. The advantages of buying from River City Coins are that I maintain a large inventory of collectibles at fair and competitive prices with quick delivery. All items are guaranteed genuine and I am happy to repurchase any and all items that I sell.

River City Coins (Copyright)
© River City Coins –
Gold Why: What are some of your personal favorite coins and why? I'd especially be interested in the numismatics side of things. I'm mostly a bullion investor but am looking to get into numismatics because I think the long term upside could be tremendous. Are there any specific numismatic investments that you feel are particularly well suited for someone newer to the space like myself?

River City Coins: I love buffalo nickels because they are a truly American coin depicting a Native American and an American bison found nowhere else. These and Indian head cents are two series that I feel will continue to attract collectors resulting in higher values in the future. I suggest to my beginning collectors that they choose a coin series that they really like and collect them in the best condition they can afford. I also strongly recommend collecting type coins in as high a grade as one can afford because a collection of type coins is of interest to even non-collectors and have excellent potential for price appreciation. In gold, I suggest obsolete US gold coins as their value will continue to rise with higher gold prices and provide great numismatic potential for even higher price appreciation in the future.

Gold Why: The price of gold sure has skyrocketed in recent months (and years). Do you have any personal predictions on the market?

River City Coins: I feel that both gold and silver are going to continue to rise in value because our government seems hellbent on destroying the US dollar. I hope this situation can be reversed but am not very confident that it will. Gold and silver are likely to rise to unprecedented levels as our government continues to borrow and spend and create money out of thin air when they can't borrow enough. This is going to result in higher and higher inflation in the future and intelligent individuals the world over are going to flock to precious metals as a store of value. There is no limit to how high the gold and silver price could rise in dollar terms.

Gold Why: I'm always finding really great coins on your website that I simply can't find anywhere else. One perfect example are the amazing silver strike casino tokens! As you know, I've been accumulating these for quite some because I find them fascinating (and I love Las Vegas casinos). Where do you find all these amazing rare coins?

River City Coins: I purchase most of my inventory at coin shows and over the counter, but am also buying more and more from people all over the country who find me through my website and offer both single items and large collections. As an example, I recently purchased almost $15,000 worth of gold and silver coins from a dentist in Mississippi. Because I enjoy an excellent reputation for honesty and fairness and have been in business for over 25 years, I get to purchase large estates through bankers, lawyers and trustees. Also, most communities have a known collector in their midst and I get referrals from them for the same reasons stated above. Many of my collectors have told me that they have instructed their heirs to bring their collection to me if they wish to sell. I have bought and sold the same coins several times as a result of this.

Gold Why: Mike, that makes a lot of sense! If I were ever to sell, I'd definitely be knocking on your door. Well Mike, I sincerely appreciate your time. What an amazing and exciting interview! As we close out, I want to sincerely thank you on behalf of my readers. Could you please provide some information on how my readers can purchase coins from you, either online or in person?

River City Coins: My website is at where my online selection may be instantly purchased through Paypal with any major credit card. This is a very safe way to purchase. I also accept phone orders with major credit cards and personal and company checks as well as money orders and cashier's checks. One can call me at 573-334-1108 for phone orders. I also accept orders through snail mail but recommend one call and reserve an item before sending payment. My address is 713 Broadway Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701.

Gold Why: Mike, thanks so much again! Gold Why readers, I can't say enough great stuff about Mike Sprouse and his store, River City Coins and Jewelry. I am an avid fan and loyal customer. I highly recommend checking them out and buying some great coins!

>> Check Out The River City Coins & Jewelry Website <<

Picture of My Most Recent Coin Order From River City Coins & Jewelry

My Recent Coin Order From River City Coins

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