11:41 AM

Professor Showcases Apollo Coin Collection in Library Display


Dr. David Byers, professor in the College of Business, has collected coins since childhood.

“I've loved coins since my dad gave me half-dollars and one-dollar (silver) coins as a child,” Byers said. “They were big and solid and made cool sounds when dropped on the table or floor, much to my mother's chagrin, I'm sure!”

On display in Bellevue University’s Freeman/Lozier Library is a set of coins Byers has been collecting for roughly five years. The collection features numerous coins focusing on the Apollo 11 mission, but it also has coins focusing on the other Apollo missions, as well as some of the Mercury and Gemini missions.

“I always had a fascination with the Apollo missions having grown up during that time period,” Byers said. “I remember being in class and watching some of the launches and recoveries on a very small, black and white TV that sat at the front of the classroom filled with 30-40 students who all remained in their seats.”

The coins represent different metals, including solid bronze, copper, pewter, nickel, aluminum, and composites. Some of the coins are less than one inch in diameter while the biggest coins in the collection range between 2.5-3 inches across.

Byers said he’s purchased all his coins from other collectors and from coin dealers throughout the world on eBay. The coin collection isn't particularly valuable because they aren't high-end coins made of silver, gold, or platinum, he said.

“All of the coins represent tremendous artistic talents. While a few coins are more modern, most of the coins are like me, vintage, going back as far as the 1950s and 1960s,” Byers said.

The collection will stay on exhibit at BU’s library until the end of the month. The display case is located at the front of the library and is used to showcase anything from the library collection, library staff personal collections, monthly themes and holidays.

“We have also showcased different university departments including the international department, the science labs and the psychology department,” Jessica Omer, Senior Circulation Assistant, said. The library is open to suggestions for our display case and have had displays from library staff, university staff and faculty and students.”

Byers said he has many other coins about other topics, including the U.S. Bicentennial, various military coins, early U.S. currency coins and coins relative to WW2 topics, which will be on display in November in BU’s library, along with some other stuff that Byers hope people find cool.

“I like to share my collection for people's enjoyment and edification,” Byers said. And, I especially enjoy being able to showcase yet another valuable resource provided by the BU Library staff with the display cases and the really interesting items put on display each month.”

For more information on the library’s display cases, email library@bellevue.edu.