A coin, like a family, has a history… fond fatherly memories.
Just like every family has a history, so do coins, which is why the passion for coin collecting is often passed down from father to son, like a love of baseball card collecting. Maurice Spivak is a “coin man” who has turned a love of coin collecting into his business and in the process stoked the interest for old coins in his son Seth. Seth Spivak, who grew up watching his dad at Clarkstown Coin, made it a family business by joining his father after graduating from college at St. Thomas Aquinas and earning his certification in gemology in 1987. Today, Clarkstown Coin & Jewelry specializes in not just rare coins and precious metals but diamonds and fine jewelry.
“My father took a shot at turning his hobby into a business,” said Mr. Spivak. Maurice Spivak who was originally an accountant by trade, made the life-changing decision to leave the corporate world behind. Maurice was always interested in the history of coins and years before opening his store, he would ask bank tellers to give him a portion of his paycheck back as silver dollar coins. “There is an allure to coins.” “It’s not like buying a TV,” noted Mr. Spivak, whose customers trust him and his staff to appraise their rare coins or advise them on their purchases.
Seth has seen generations of family members return as customers and will often educate men on their jewelry purchases. “It was always fun to hang out at the store when I was a kid. I was fascinated at all the different customers that came in and out with all different kinds of coins,” said Mr. Spivak. He recalled fondly how when he was about 10 or 11 in the 1970s, his dad would sense him getting restless at the store and give him money to go to the Nathan’s in front of the old Nanuet Mall. “What a place! Hot dogs and fries up front and a terrific game room in the back.” The classic childhood memory of a boy enjoying hot dogs with his dad is akin to Maurice showing his son a 100-year old coin and beginning a shared bond by stoking his imagination of where the coin had been.
When he was younger, Seth used to participate in competitive swim meets and more often than not he’d stick his head out of the water at the end of the race, surprised to see his dad applauding. He would ask him “aren’t you supposed to be at the store?” Maurice would smile and respond “I flipped the sign,” described Seth, meaning the open/close sign. Having four children of his own, Seth can clearly see his dad had his priorities in order.