‘Coin Man’ has your money’s worth

He’s part of second Hanapepe celebration


TGI Staff


HANAPEPE—When attending the second annual Ua Mau Na Po`e O Hanapepe

(The Steadfast People of Hanapepe) cultural celebration, bring along your spare


Tomorrow, beginning with the rest of the event at 4 p.m. at

Hanapepe Town Park, Stan “the Coin Man” Yates will appraise peoples’ coins that

they think (or hope) may be worth more than face value.

Yates, 53, a state

health department employee who moved to Kaua`i in 1978, has been avidly

interested in coins since he was 12 years old.

The step-father of twin

daughters said his own collection, housed on the mainland now, really got

rolling because of a birthday present.

“In 1960, my parents bought me a

proof set of coins the U.S. Mint issues. A proof set are handmade, perfect

coins, and I was fascinated with them,” Yates remembered.

Yates said his

“pop” was an important reason coin-collecting became a big avocation throughout

his adult life.

“My father was significant in this. He was a paper boy in

Okanogan, Wash. in the 1930s. He used to save Indian head pennies (last minted

in 1908 and succeeded by Lincoln head pennies, still in use today, 92 years

later). He had 40 or 50 Indian head pennies he gave to me,” Yates


Yates is a modest man. After talking passionately about coins, he

threw in a disclaimer.

“I never did collect with what I call a vengeance. I

never spent any money at all” on the collection, he said.

Instead, while

living in his parents’ Seattle home and attending the University of Washington,

he’d go through his father’s change every evening. And he paid close attention

to his own pockets, too, of course.

Sometimes this low-keyed approach bore

coined fruit. Once, going through his father’s change, he discovered a VDB

penny—so called because in 1909, to kick off the Lincoln head penny, designer

Victor D. Brenner was utilized.

There were four versions in 1909, and two

were initialed by Brenner, Yates said.

And although the VDB pennies are

worth quite a bit more than their face value (estimates vary), Yates said it

wasn’t the monetary profit that most excited him.

“To an amateur coin

collector, it’s like bumping into Madonna at the grocery store if you’re a big

Madonna fan,” he said.

Yates’ turn at the coin table during the Hanapepe

cultural celebration is a first.

“I’ve never done this before. I have

arranged to borrow a couple of reference books from the library that give

comparison prices for coins. And I’m trying to get a pair of white gloves, a

light and a magnifying glass, and I’ll be there,” he said.

“I’m no expert,”

he said. “But I can use the reference books to help people see what coins are


Yates, a member of the Hanapepe Church of Christ, has volunteered

his time for the Hanapepe celebration.

Staff writer Dennis Wilken can be

reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) and dwilken@pulitzer.net



n Ua Mau Na Po’e O Hanapepe (The Steadfast People of Hanapepe)

cultural celebration is set for tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Hanapepe Town


The event will feature a ukulele contest, with the winner receiving a

KoAloha Koa ukulele donated by Roy Sakuma. Other live music and a silent tent

auction also are planned.

Funds raised will go for the restoration of

Sparky’s Place, Children’s Media center and home of Russell the Rooster.

Donations and contributions are tax-deductible.

Additional information is

available at 335-0712.

Stan Yates will bring his special expertise to

the second annual Hanapepe cultural celebration tomorrow. Coin collectors are

invited to stop by to have Yates take a look at their coins and attempt to

determine how much they are worth.

(Photo by Dennis Fujimoto)


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