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May 22, 2012

Rare Coins and Home Security

Dear Client and Fellow Numismatist,

The collecting of money has been around since money was invented. Some of us collect more than others and we all have varied interests however one thing we all share in common whether we are dealers, collectors, or investors is ideas on how we can be more secure with our investments.

Col. Steven Butternut has produced a series of observations, opinions on security, home security for the collector, self-defense measures all related to how we as Coin Dealers, Coin Collectors, Coin Investors protect ourselves from the scourge of society, thieves and worse , that would not hesitate to relieve you, me, our families of our valuables in whatever way possible to do so. I have always taken this subject seriously and have always made sure that my home and Family are secure. It shocks me to hear collectors loudly talking about the days score at the coin show while having a few drinks over dinner at a local restaurant and sometimes there's a big mouth coin dealer sitting at the table loudly bragging about his exploits and believe me, I'm not the only one that overhears these things. PLEASE DON'T DO THAT. Think about some of the posters from a different era and apply them to yourself when you are talking about your coins.

And please substitute the word Jewelry, Diamonds, Money, Art, Gold, or any asset of value for rare coins and start taking steps today to create a safer environment for you and your Family to enjoy the fruits of your labors. After all you're supposed to have fun with coins. This ain't the stock market or the golf course!

This is the first in the series, I'll be posting them every week for a few weeks. If you have any questions, opinions, suggestions please contact me

And don't forget that while US Rare Coin Investments generally displays a 7 figure online inventory this does NOT represent all our coins. We have coins that may never see the website that we may be brokering, own in partnership with others who do not wish their coins displayed on the internet, specific inventory we generally reserve for specific clients sometimes don't see the website until they are placed in the archives. So please email me or call me with what you want to pursue and I'll do my best to offer to you, or help you confidentially hunt it/those coins down.

Happy Collecting !

Tom Pilitowski
Toll Free:
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com

Coins and Home Security
Col. Steven Ellsworth - The Butternut Company

“DEALER ROBBED” “COLLECTOR BURGLARIZED” These are headlines that appear almost weekly in the major numismatic publications. It has been previously said that one out of three collections will eventually be stolen. Many are never reported. The impact is not only financial, but emotional as well. A sense of violation occurs that is difficult to describe. The loss has a negative impact to the victim in particular and to our hobby in general. Simply put, it’s bad for business.

The age-old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could never be truer than with coin security. The easiest way to prevent crime is to avoid it by not giving criminals the opportunity to perpetrate their crimes against you.

In hopes of keeping the "joys of collecting" enjoyable and the dreams alive, these guidelines should help reduce the risks of theft to collectors and dealers. After studying hundreds of thefts, it is my belief that nearly always, one or more of these guidelines have been ignored. Security risks can never be eliminated, but they can be managed to a tolerable level. Security is a constant. Vigilance must always be maintained. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Criminals avoid vigilant persons.

Some of these suggestions you may already know about and practice. Some may be new that you could put into practice. Few people can do all that I suggest, but the more suggestions you implement, you lower your risk of being a target and eventually a victim. Hopefully, my recommendations and suggestions will be useful and helpful to most collectors and dealers...if they continually practice and use them.

Most security can be developed and divided into four parts: operational- perimeter-external and interior-security.

Operational security is how you operate or refers to as "your mode of operation” You need to ask yourself; “What kind of target am I"?

Perimeter security is considered in the immediate area near the target...your coins and collection. As an example, in home security your property line to your home would be the perimeter.

External security is considered the outside shell or walls of your home or car.

Internal security is inside your car, home or anywhere you can physically touch your coins. Your objective should be to try to think of ways you can protect and improve on each of these four areas.


Sanitize your home address by using a post office box on any coin publications and mailings. If you are a professional collector or dealer, your home address should be removed from the phone book, listing only your name and town. Don't forget about your stationary, envelopes, business cards and checks. I recently gave a personal check with my street address to another dealer, who unfortunately suffered a theft, which included my check. Will the thief assume that the address on my check is another potential target? Also, insure that your trash does not give away that you are a dealer or collector of rare coins.

Insurance is an excellent idea for both collectors and dealers. The normal costs are approximately 1% a year. For professional collectors and dealers, this cost is a deductible expense. Most policies have a number of restrictions and exceptions including coins left in unattended vehicles.