LEBANON, Ohio — A young Ohio entrepreneur is turning a hobby into a successful online business. Blake Alma’s passion for coin collecting has spawned Coin Hub, a booming business that’s getting noticed all over the country, especially on social media.
What You Need To Know
- Blake Alma, 22, founded CoinHub in 2020 to help collectors learn about coins
- His how-to videos have more than a million views on TikTok
- Alma recently published, "The CoinHub: an ultimate guide to coin errors"
- He and his brother fill mail orders in the house he rents in Lebanon
Alma, 22, got inspired to collect coins when he was 9-years-old. It happened in a most unlikely place: Sunday church. Alma sang in the children’s choir and he would sit next to an older gentleman in the front row.
“His name was Tom Estes,” Alma said. “He opened up his Bible. and I saw he was using a one dollar bill known as a silver certificate. I thought it was neat and a month later, he said, ‘I want you to have this, but you have to promise you’re going to keep it until you’re really old like me.’ And there it is now. I still have it, and that’s what got me into coins.”
He pointed to the bill which is framed behind his desk.
Alma said he realized he could turn his hobby into a business during the COVID crisis.
“When COVID happened, everyone was looking for something to do,” Alma said. “I saw an opportunity to make videos about coin errors and how people can just get coins from the bank and look for errors that could be worth more than face value.”
He says that some new pennies have marks from production errors that make them worth a dollar a piece.
“That’s not bad — a new penny worth 100 times its value,” Alma said.
He recommends beginning a coin-collecting hobby with a box of pennies, that can be purchased for $25.
“Any penny before 1982 is copper so you want to hold onto that it’s worth about three cents right now,” Alma said. “Wheat pennies that were made from 1909 to 1958 are worth about five to 10 cents each which is cool.” He said when you’re a coin collector, it all adds up.
“It’s not a huge fortune but if you go through a box of pennies and find $5 worth of copper pennies, you just made yourself 15 bucks,” Alma said.
He takes online orders and sells coin protectors, magnifying eyepieces, and other things used by collectors and he’s just published a book, “The Coin Hub: An Ultimate Guide to Coin Errors.
Alma and his brother, Jakob, fulfill orders out of the home Alma’s renting in Lebanon.
His brother, Caleb, helps with TikTok live streams. Some videos get more than a million views, scoring Alma a plaque from TikTok and some sponsorship deals.
“I think the future of coins rests in the hands of social media,” Alma said. “I think things are changing. It’s not your boring closed auction house anymore. It’s not limited to dusty old books. It’s now all on the internet where you get to be a part with other coin collectors and see what they’re doing and you get to share your experiences all online.”
With the help of a young entrepreneur from Ohio who’s cashing in with CoinHub.