Building a Legacy: 30th Anniversary of the SilverTowne Showroom

Celebrating 30 Years of Hard-work

In 1967, Leon and Ruhama (affectionately known as Hamie) Hendrickson moved their small Winchester, Indiana coin shop from The Rainbow Restaurant, where it had begun in 1949, to the basement of their home. By late 1970, the coin shop (which had been renamed SilverTowne from The Winchester Coin Shop in 1961), had grown so much that more space was needed. So in 1972 the house was raised on floor jacks and a larger full-size basement was dug, along with a new vault. An elevator and a ‘slide ramp’ were also installed to handle heavy bags and boxes of coins more easily. It only took a few years before the SilverTowne business had outgrown this new space as well. By 1978, there were bags of coins, office equipment and employees filling every bit of available space. It was soon apparent to Leon and Hamie that the only way they could keep up with the explosive growth of their business was to build a new building.

In 1980, plans were underway for the new building. Not only would the new facility be larger, but the Hendricksons also wanted it to be more stylish and inviting. The building plans were finalized near the end of 1980, and the couple was anxious to get started on construction. So the general contractor had a giant plastic bubble erected on the property in November of 1980 so the work on the new building could begin, while at the same time protecting it from the elements. The project was completed sixteen months later. The Hendrickson’s new “coin shop” was very large, as coin shops go, and yet conveyed a sense of beauty and dignity. Since opening in 1982, four expansion projects have added even more space to the building. Needless to say, SilverTowne has grown beyond anything that Leon could have imagined when he first started his coin business from a cigar box under a lunch counter in a local restaurant.

April 4, 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the official grand opening of the current SilverTowne showroom. Following is a ‘mini-tour’ of this impressive building. The first thing you notice as you pull into the parking lot of the two-story colonial red brick building are the six white circular pillars surrounding the front concrete porch. Visitors pass by the massive 26-feet tall columns as they approach the main double doors, which are inlaid with beautiful heavy stained glass windows. The roof is crowned with two copper-topped cupolas, the larger of which is fifteen feet high and six feet square. This larger cupola is home to a 150-pound gold plated eagle with a wingspan of 5-1/2 feet, which sets high above the main entrance.

Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted with the warm glow illuminating from the candle-shaped bulbs of the Czechoslovakian chandelier suspended from the open second floor ceiling above the showroom. The light glitters and sparkles as it bounces off of the 7,775 cut crystals of the chandelier. To the left of the coin counters is a light oak spiral staircase rising in a graceful curve to the second floor offices. Beyond the coin and bullion showroom lie three additional shopping opportunities. There is a numismatics supply department, a large fully-stocked jewelry department and a gift department. In addition to the retail and office space, several vaults are located throughout, as well as shipping and receiving areas, warehouse space, IT operations, and more.

The grand opening for the SilverTowne building was held on Sunday afternoon, April 4, 1982. Leon and Hamie believed the event may draw a few hundred friends and customers that would be interested in seeing the new facility. They were not prepared for what actually happened on that day. A line of people formed down the street and around the block for about half a mile. Thousands of guests stood in line for hours to walk through the building. In all, over 10,000 people visited on that opening weekend. In addition to the on-site excitement, hundreds of letters and cards were received congratulating the Hendricksons on their success and the opening of the new SilverTowne building, which was unprecedented in the numismatic community at the time.

The legacy of SilverTowne was built from the ground up by Leon, Hamie, their son David, and everyone who helped them along the way – especially the great friends and customers of SilverTowne. We thank you for allowing us to share our love of numismatics with you, and for your help in keeping SilverTowne going strong!

Additional resources…

View photos of the SilverTowne Showroom at our Flickr page:

See the SilverTowne Showroom featured in some of our videos:

Guided tours of the SilverTowne building are available upon request - see our contact page for more information.

Learn more about the SilverTowne showroom:

Learn more about SilverTowne’s history:

For an in-depth history of SilverTowne and its founders, Leon and Hamie Hendrickson, pick up a copy of ‘Rare Coins, Rare People’, by Jan Chalfant.