Florida coin dealer Demetri Cirillo was involved in a highway accident that sent his SUV rolling over several times. While Demetri did not suffer major injuries and has wife, Dawn, survived with a fractured arm, the coin dealer’s $1million collection went scattering across the highway.
Even while paramedics encouraged Cirillo to go to the hospital, the coin dealer continued to search for his lost collection. He called several of his friends to come out to assist in the search. Darryl Hawywood Jr., Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, said, “Eight to nine people came out with metal detectors. They tried to clean up the roadway and mess as much as possible."
Cirillo was reluctant to leave the scene of the accident. Haywood said, “He was in pain, but he was more worried about the money. The pain started setting in. I think his adrenaline kicked in when it first happened. I would too traveling with that kind of money."
Florida state troopers stayed at the scene in an attempt to recover Cirillo’s collection. In the meantime, a tow truck driver recovered bills worth $46,000 that he found in the trees along the highway.
Cirillo, a notable coin dealer in Boca Raton, received medical care at Halifax Health Medical Center and was found to only have minor injuries. So far, most of the rare coins in his collection have been found with the hope that the rest will be recovered soon.
In recent years, wealthy individuals have been amassing rare coins as reliable investment vehicles. Even mainstream investors have been purchasing bullion coins as financial safety nets in these times of economic instability. While coins have long been used as stores of wealth, it seems that a growing number of people around the world are catching on to their potential for significant profits.
Other investment vehicles that are heavily reliant on the value of the dollar are seen as riskier than ever while precious metal investments are used to provide stability to investment portfolios. The type of collecting that Cirillo is involved in takes an understanding of coin numismatics. Numismatic research involves an understanding of a coin’s value based on its historical significance, rarity, physical condition, mint marks, and other factors. Bullion coin collecting, on the other hand, involves knowledge of current precious metal prices and how they relate to the geopolitical factors of the day. Both types of investing can be financially rewarding if pursued with adequate knowledge of current trends.