Paul Runze: The Man Behind Grove Coin

Paul Runze is Woodbury’s own coin connoisseur…and a really cool guy.

Let’s just start out by saying that I want to be Paul Runze when I grow up. Okay, I’m fully grown; but a girl can dream, can’t she?

Paul Runze, owner of Grove Coin, has been collecting coins for most of his life – and with one of the most extensive collections in the Midwest that includes coins from as far back as Julius Caesar and Charlemegne (Charlemegne!), it appears he’s really onto something.

Turns out, he’s just as fascinating as the coins he collects.

Besides his really fabulous coins that he keeps in neat boxes and in nifty plastic sleeves that are all catalogued and numbered and everywhere in his office (I wish my office could be that full and cool at the same time), he can tell you what they were made from, and the history of what was going on during the time they were created.

As if he had memorized the myriad of reference books that are lining the bookshelves, he can rattle off the succession of the English throne since the time before the Norman Conquest. (I was slightly impressed with myself that I knew the exact date: 1066 – thanks to Dr. Keen my British Lit Professor.)

Even cooler? He traced his ancestry back to England to around the 17th century and has made it his mission to collect coins from every English ruler on the throne for the last 2,000 years – what a commitment! He has more books filled with large coins, small coins, silver coins, gold coins, and coins from when the “Virgin Queen” was making a fashion statement by shaving her eyebrows.

And, he gets to go to really great places; for example, he rents a farm in England every year, which happens to sit near an ancient shipping port, and he brings in a team of folks and his metal detectors and looks for coins during the low tide – one of his Elizabethan coins was found on this slip of land.

He also goes on safaris, climbs mountains, treks the Middle East, and is heading to Papua, New Guinea to “take in the natural beauty.”

Oh, in addition to buying and selling rare coins, Runze also offers bars in gold and silver, tokens, medals, and will happily give you a fair price for your other treasures.

Now that’s a cool guy.