By COINage Staff
Marijo Lantier, principal of PMJ Coins, was born and raised in Queens, New York, and has lived in Manhasset, Long Island, for almost 25 years. She attended St. John’s University, where she received a B.S. degree in accounting and an M.B.A. in finance. She worked as a controller in the construction industry before entering professional numismatics. She was married for over 30 years and has three children.
How did you become interested in numismatics?
My dad was an avid coin collector. He introduced me to Whitman Albums when I was 12 years old. He was responsible for starting my collection with nickels, dimes, and quarters. And then it was on to Morgan dollars. At that time, here in New York, department stores such as Macy’s had coin departments. This was before the advent of third-party grading services. My dad took me shopping, and he would pick up the best available examples of Indian Head cents, Buffalo nickels, and Morgan and Peace dollars. He also loved coin jewelry: he owned a Morgan dollar watch and gold quarter eagle cufflinks. For my 16th birthday, he had a pendant made for me featuring a 1924 (his birth year) Saint-Gaudens double eagle with emeralds (my birthstone). It’s a very special piece.
What is the transformational process that caused you to deal professionally in numismatics?
My educational background is in accounting and finance. I always took care of the record books for the family business. PMJ Coins, when it was established in 1998, was named by me for my three children: Paul, Marianne, and Josette. In June 2020, I became the sole owner of PMJ Coins. My son, Paul, is also a professional numismatist and is the owner of Flower Hill Coin & Collectibles.
What area of collecting is your specialty?
For my own collecting, I especially love the classics, but not just the Morgan dollar or the Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece. I appreciate the artistic beauty of coins such as the Trade dollar, the Walking Liberty half dollar, and the $3 Princess gold coins. I also enjoy collecting 19th century American tokens of all sorts and foreign coins. There are lots of fun finds there.
What coins do you like to buy for inventory on a sight-unseen basis and why?
For sight-unseen purchases, I like specific Morgan dollars, such as the 1895 Proof. This “King of Morgan Dollars,” because of its rarity, is usually a good find in any condition. And then, for this year as a centennial, there’s also the 1921 Peace dollar. With that particular coin, you have the first year of issue for Peace dollars, with a new design for the 20th century. Both are always favorites with collectors.
What are your three secrets to making money in numismatics?
Integrity is first and foremost, in any business, and most surely in numismatics. It is essential to build the trust of your customers with integrity and honesty in your dealings. Knowledge is another necessity. And that means continuing education, whether following trends in new coin issues, the market in general, or keeping up with new technology relevant to the coin industry. Lastly, I believe that you can never be successful doing anything unless you truly enjoy doing it.
Does the graying of the industry impact your area of numismatics?
Yes, it appears as if the industry is graying, but I also see through my son and his peers the next generation. This group will bring ideas and 21st century technology such as social media into the business but will also still have an appreciation for the old-time historic value of coins. And I have found that many of my generation and older have readily adapted to the role the Internet and social media play in the coin business and modern commerce in general.
If you were giving a gift to a special person, what would your numismatic gift be and why?
Any time I have given a numismatic gift to someone special, it was not a generic gold or silver coin. I would look for something that would be meaningful to the recipient. For example, my soon-to-be daughter-in-law is of Filipino descent. So I would think of coins or currency from the Philippines for her. If a friend is a fan of “The Crown,” I would be thinking of a British coin bearing the likeness of Queen Elizabeth as a gift. Similarly, my son honored my birthday with gifts of Hard Times tokens from the 1830s bearing the legend “May Tenth.” It was a sentiment similar to that of my own father when he gave me the Saint-Gaudens double eagle.
For more information about PMJ Coins, LLC, visit www.pmjcoins.com, email MALantier.firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 516-588-9190.