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His & Hers Coins in Great Falls is closing after 52 years of bus - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

His & Hers Coins in Great Falls is closing after 52 years of business

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"I've played with money all my life, basically," said Debbe Harris. "I've played with money all my life, basically," said Debbe Harris.
For 52 years the Harris family has earned a living selling coins in the Electric City. For 52 years the Harris family has earned a living selling coins in the Electric City.
GREAT FALLS -

After half a century of business selling gold, silver, collector and commemorative coins, coin supplies, and much more on Central Avenue in Great Falls, His & Hers Coins is closing its doors.

For 52 years the Harris family has earned a living selling coins in the Electric City.

Debbe's father, Don Harris, made the store his full-time career after working for the Air National Guard.

"He came home one night and told my mom, 'I quit my job today.' She was not happy. And from there it's kind of snow-balled," explained Debbe.

The store started at Liberty Square on Central Avenue and has moved four times, all while staying on Central. Debbe grew up at the store.

'It was just a tiny little store [at first] and we had a tiny back room, and we had a stool roll tub desk and another chair and then a little bathroom and we had a TV set back there it was black and white back in the day and my brother and I, we used to watch cartoons on Saturday morning," said Debbe.

Debbe said her father was primarily running the business at that time, and her mother was working at Mountain Belt. Ron's business partner, who was stationed at Malmstrom, and got re-based and Don took over the business on his own.

"[Then] we moved to 524 [Central]," said Debbe. "We learned a little more as we were growing up," said Debbe, talking about her and he brother, David. "We learned a few things, and so we kind of waited on people on Saturday mornings when we were there. We had kind of a routine - we were at school during the week and then came there on the weekends. At that point we were just there on Saturdays, but not on Sundays which most businesses were not open on Sundays at that point in time."

Next up, another move as the business expanded.

"They moved to the D.A. Davidson building, and I wasn't here in town," said Debbe. "That was when the big silver and gold market hit for the very first time around and they were busy. My mom and my dad and my brother and my uncle were there at the time and it was a mad house for like a couple of years."

Finally, they moved into their current building at 622 Central Ave. Debbe moved back home after working as a bank teller in St. Ignatius. She never imagined she'd end up working at the store.

 "I told [my father] that straight-up, 'I'm not coming to work for you, dad.'"

But, as fate would have it, that's exactly what ended up happening.

"It just worked out they needed some help, and because the business was thriving more and more. And a gentleman was leaving that they had here as an employee. [And] I've been here for 30 years," said Debbe.

Debbe and her brother David eventually inherited the business from their father.

"It's come full-circle," said Debbe.

Her favorite coin that she's come across in her career is the Walking-Liberty Half Dollar, which was made from 1916-1947.

"That's just a striking coin to me," said said. "The older coins have so much more pizzazz, detail, the history behind them. Oh, the stories they could tell. I would love to hear some of them. How they got to where they were."

Customers from all over the world have visited the shop.

"A couple of years ago, I had one from England. And I'm not sure if hes passed on - he was an elderly - and he was interested in Lewis and Clark and he had come here. We had a rapport with him [by] mail and he would phone, too."

Her parents, who have both passed away (Don in 1999, and her mother Doris last August), are also still there in spirit.

"They've been here with me everyday. I sit at my dads desk, I sit where my mom used to sit, and their presence is always here," said said.

She says they are now closing His and Her Coins for health reasons for her brother, "and one person cannot operate this on their own," she said.

 And, because of the times.

"People are no longer into hobbies like they once used to be," she explained.

And what she'll miss most is working with the people who walked through the door.

"I will miss that. I will miss the rapport. And it will be really bittersweet when I have to hand the keys over to somebody else."

She adds, "We've had a good run and I'm grateful."

She says she's not sure what she'll do next.

"I can't go there yet," she said. "Until the building is sold."

Debbe says their inventory will be going elsewhere - that there was enough left to sell that a dealer was interested.

The shop will close on Friday, June 30th.

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