Por Jesika Millano
ara AL DIA TODAY
WEST MELBOURNE —
Juan Montoya has a passion for Numismatics, collecting currency.
The Bogotá, Colombia na-
tive, who lives in Brevard, started out collecting pieces that date back to the year 1750.
Then, his collection became more extensive and sophisticated.
His hobby began when he was 16 years old and now, 20 years later, Montoya boasts a collection filled with coins from all over the world.
He fell in love with ancient coins after receiving a gift from his grandfather who had traveled to Medellin. The gift was a book to collect pennies, and it ended up sparking Montoya’s curiosity to find the most primitive money.
He became incredibly passionate about the hobby while working as a bank teller in Miami, a job he took to help pay for his college studies.
“One day, a lady deposited a single $1,000 bill. I thought that she was trying to make me look foolish, but it was, in fact, a single $1,000 bill,” he explained, referring to the rare currency.
“So, I took advantage of the situation and found $1,000 to make the deposit with my money and to keep the single $1,000 bill. Then, I sold it for $4,000,” he said.
Montoya said that experience in particular, and his entire stint working at the bank, showed him the value of old currency, especially silver.
“A 25-cent coin from 1964 used to be made up of pure silver, and when I found those kinds of old coins at the bank, it was amazing.”
The discovery fueled Montoya’s enthusiasm and he began to focus on collecting American and Colombian coins exclusively.
He has since broadened his interest.
“I have expanded to other Latin American, European, African and Asian currencies,” he said.
Montoya is currently the director of the Brevard Coin Club, a non-profit organization, where members meet every month to discuss their passion for coin collecting. The organization’s web address is www.southbrevardcoinclub.com
His hobby also pairs perfectly with his profession, as it is also one of his passions.
“I started as a bank teller to cover my expenses and eventually I fell in love with being able to help clients,” he said.
He chose the area of financial analysis because he thinks very strategically and likes to help people figure out how to reach their economic goals.
“I love being able to educate people because when you teach, you give people the power to make their own wise decisions,” Montoya added.