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Historic coins on display at bank
By Felicia Frazar

SEGUIN — Though once a major commodity, many of the silver coins used by Spanish, Mexican and Texan governments have been lost over the decades.

A few of those historic coins have been recovered, however, and will be on display throughout the week at The First National Bank in Seguin.

The bank, located at 125 S. Hwy 46 will officially opened its doors Monday and will hold a weeklong grand opening — featuring a peek into banking’s past.

The First National Bank administrative assistant Michelle Martin said that the bank wanted to bring something that would interest hopefully everybody.

“We had wanted to initially get a different kind of show or some special money from the Federal Reserve, but the Federal Reserve does not do that program any more,” she said. “We started looking on the internet and found this club and contacted them. I don’t know that anybody has brought something like this into the community and this may give people an opportunity to see something that they otherwise might not be able to do.”

The bank chose a local charter, Martin said, adding that customers would likely find the collectors’ display of antique coins interesting.

“This is from the Alamo Coin Club in San Antonio,” she said. “One of the things they have is an exhibit of Texas currency. Basically what they have is photographs of money that date back to the period of Texas that is the Spanish Colonial period, the Mexican Republic Period, and then when Texas became a republic and then they have some things from the late 1800s that would have been after the Civil War.”

For the exhibit, Fernando Razo, Alamo Coin Club vice president, brought four display cases tracking the timelines of the coins from Spanish Colonial Period, The Insurgent Period — War of Independence from Spain, The Republic of Mexico and the State of Coahuila y Tejas, and The Republic and State of Texas.

With an collection based around Texas and Mexican origins, Razo said his interest was pretty broad when he started almost 34 years ago.

“I am about to turn 40 and I have collected since I was about 6,” he said. “I stared doing a little bit of everything and it gets frustrating because you don’t feel like you are accomplishing anything. The reason I like collecting the Mexican (currency), is there is a lot less material out there to be collected and it is a lot less expensive on the pocket book for the avid collector, compared to the U.S. coins.”

The challenge and not the money, Razo said is what makes the search desirable to him.

“Some coins (Mexican) that are seen with a mintage of only 1,000 can be bought for $25, compare that to U.S. coins it will cost you about $50,000,” he said. “I collect them because there is a lot more history and they are much harder to find.”

The bank will display the exhibit starting Monday until Friday during lobby hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

The coin exhibit will not be the only happenings at the new bank next week, Martin said.

“Thursday we have our ribbon cutting and that’s going to be at 11 a.m. and everyone is welcome to attend that,” she said. “There is going to be a little something going on every day and it gives people the opportunity if they want to come in and look around the bank and see it.”

Even though the week is all about showing customers gratitude, the financial institution is wanting to give more to the community.

“The whole week we are doing a food drive for the Christian Cupboard,” she said. “We are asking people to drop off a non-perishable item, they can either bring to the lobby or if it is more convenient to them they can drop it off through our commercial drive through. For every pound of food we collect, we are going to donate $1 to the Christian Cupboard.”


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