By Richard Whetlor


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Tags: Coin shop. Second hand store. Bribie Island

When a new business opens on the island it’s always interesting to see what they have to offer and will they be a success? But what if this business had never been tried on Bribie? Surely every type of retail shop has had a go over the past few decades or so? Wrong… Welcome to The Teenie Weenie Coin Shop where local owner Ray Wharton has a mind, full of information on all manner of coins and banknotes whether buying or selling. Ray has over 30 years’ experience and knowledge in this industry.

Featured Image(above): Ray in The Teenie Weenie Coin Shop

Now His tiny shop in between Allen and Louise at Serenity Cafe (and by the way a bacon/egg muffin & small coffee is only $7! My breakfast hot spot!) and the barbershop run by local Ian Davies situated on the corner of Welsby Parade and Kangaroo Avenue at Bongaree. I would reckon the coin shop is the smallest shop on Bribie Island, I don’t recall seeing anything smaller but I could be wrong. I had a good old yarn to Ray and he said. “Being in the industry for 30 years, I had coin shops in Brisbane, I’ve attended the Bribie markets for 10 years building up a clientele base and I still have them, customers, today. The markets were too much work, packing, and unpacking.

I’ve been in this shop now for 2 months, it’s going alright, between this and eBay I’m selling a fair bit, I use the shop as an office too. I’m buying a lot locally and selling well on the island with hundreds of local collectors, new ones walk in every day.” I asked what value do the coins and notes increase with age? “Coins and notes go up around 8% per year, people buy these for investment too, it’s silver and gold, the 1966 ‘Rounda’ (50c silver round coin) are a good investment, I have a bloke who comes to the shop every morning looking for silver, interesting.

I get a lot of old crap too, there’s a lot of 1800 stuff here as well” When Ray was 18, he found a job on the railway and then worked his way up to station master out at Cloncurry in North-West Queensland, he came back and joined the company Rambles in Townsville as the branch manager, working there for many years. Ray left Townsville and headed back to Brisbane and opened a coin shop where his local journey began. I wondered what made him open up a coin shop and asked the question?

“Because I was a collector, 30 years ago, and I know it all off the top of my head with the Australian stuff, I research anything else. There are the 25 and 46 penny, the 33 shilling, the 23 ha’penny, the 30 penny. I had a one-pound star note I paid $500 for its now worth about $3000.” Ray said. “Really? What is a star note?” I asked and Ray explained. “In the old days they used to send them out in bundles of 100 and if they stuffed one up the last digit on the numbers was a star”.

“So that made it a rare one then?” I asked. “Yes, they start at $800 but uncirculated notes are worth up to $32,000 for a Dollar note, 10 shillings” “what’s the most expensive item here in the shop?” I asked. “$600, it’s a gold sovereign from 1893, I had 2 of them, sold one the other day, there’s $666 worth of gold in that, 3 of them to the ounce, golds over $2000 an ounce at the moment” “That’s amazing, isn’t it? Do you take the big value items home?” “Yep…all the expensive items are taken home each night. With these banknotes, they go on signatures, crumpled or ‘scrubbers.”

Which Ray described “That are rough as guts, a cheap one $8, one there for $60 or a couple of hundred dollars” “Can you iron them out?” “No, you can’t iron them if that one wasn’t creased it’ll be worth a couple of hundred dollars.” Coin Jewellery given to Ray from a colleague who is no longer able to make coin Jewellery rang him up about 6 months ago and said. “Ray you’ve been dealing with me for 30 years, you’re the only one I want to have them, the Jewellery I’ve got leftover” Ray explained he was quite generous and what was included.

“He gave me 24 boxes of jewellery. First, he gold plates them, then under a big magnifying glass he handpaints them then finishes with a clear gloss resin” “The 1927 Canberra comes up a million dollars, this is a 2 bob, I haven’t got a 27, this one here with Parliament house on it 1934, 1935 is worth big dollars” Ray shows me his paperback book of notes and coins with dollar values depending on rarity and condition.

Ray has been a Queenslander all his life and was born in Rockhampton, he has been a resident of Bribie Island for 12 years now. He told me that everybody he has dealt with he has always given them a fair deal and tells me his price is the lowest. “If you were to buy off me it will be cheaper than anywhere else.” And Ray guarantees that. If you never knew Ray was there at The Teenie Weenie Coin Shop, pop in and say G’Day, he’s a really nice bloke and it’s well worth a look.

I thought what a great present these notes and coins would make, sorry to say this, but Christmas is coming! (Way too quickly) I might add. Buy Local. Shop Local. Support Local Business.

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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.