William Bushong is a smart kid. Give him any number between one and 45 and he can name the corresponding president and years served. His love for presidents is what got him interested in collecting coins.
As one of three youth in the Owensboro Coin Club, the freshly-turned six-year-old is the youngest member of the group.
During Easter earlier this year Bushong opened an egg that contained what he thought was two quarters — it was actually two Kennedy half dollars.
“That’s how I got interested in coins and started collecting,” he said. “I have a lot of U.S. coins so those are my favorite.”
For his birthday last month, Bushong got coins from friends and family to add to his collection. He now has more than 200 coins in his collection. He has three different safes with different levels of security that he keeps his coins in.
He is looking for an Indian head coin to add to his collection now. To look for coins he goes to shops around town and exchanges rolls of coins at the bank for new ones to search through.
His favorite coin is an American coin from 1888 and his oldest coin was minted in 1812.
Ben, William’s father, said he thinks this a good hobby for his son to have because not only is it educational, but it keeps him busy.
“It keeps his mind stimulated,” he said. “Every night before he goes to bed he watches YouTube videos about coins. He loves it.”
Kevin Bruner, president of the Owensboro Coin Club, said he first met Bushong in his dad’s coin shop — Bruner’s Collectibles. He said the youngster impressed him with his knowledge of presidents and interest in coin collecting.
He encouraged Bushong to join the coin club and now they meet monthly with approximately 30 other members.
“I’ve been collecting coins for 50 years and it’s a great hobby for learning the history of our country and the world,” he said. “I think it’s something great for all ages. William seems interested in the history of the coins and I like them for the art features. They are like little round pieces of art. Some people collect for future investment.”
During meetings, they discuss new products from the U.S. Mint, coin rarities and have a member present an educational program. They end every meeting with a coin auction.
The Owensboro Coin Club meets the third Tuesday of the month at the Republic Bank on Frederica Street. For more information check out their Facebook page.