Scouts enjoying merit badge activities.
Scouts enjoying merit badge activities.

The Willamette Coin Club (WCC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1986.

From the late 1930s until the 1980s  the only coin club in Portland was the Portland Coin Club, a well established and popular club on the East side of Portland. But some felt that club was too limited in their numismatic interests and felt Portland could support a new club with expanded collector interests.

So in the summer of  1986 a small group of collectors met to form a new club. Our first meeting was held on September 18, 1986 at Castle Coins, an eclectic coin shop in Garden Home, Portland, Oregon. It continues to meet every third Thursday of the month. Because of our location we named our new club the Westside Coin Club. The club still goes by the WCC for short.

As membership grew we needed more room for our club activities. We moved to the Garden Home Elks Club on Garden Home Blvd, an easy move as they kindly didn’t charge rent. And it was right across the street.

The Portland Coin Club disbanded in the early 1990s. As a result, we made a decision to change our club name to Willamette Coin Club, a much more inclusive name, to include the entire Portland Metropolitan and surrounding area.

Because of management changes at the Elks Club, the WCC moved its meeting location to the Garden Home Community Center, where we lived for several years until our room was displaced by a weight lifting venue. Once again the club was homeless.

Fortunately, we found new digs at the Multnomah Arts Center, where we were to meet for many years. Nothing is permanent; in December 2017 we moved to our current home, Portland Chess Club in Multnomah Village.

Since its inception our  goal has been to advance knowledge and enjoyment of coin collecting or numismatics, the study of money, in the Portland metro area. The scope of our club then and now has been to offer an environment for people with diverse numismatic interests to share their passion. Our members not only collect US coinage but also foreign coins, ancient coins, paper money, as well as specialized areas such as Colonial and pre-Federal Coinage, tokens, script, error coins, and much more. Our club motto: “This is my hobby …I do it for fun.”

Our mission has always been numismatic education. In November 2017 we became a 501c3 non-profit organization, incorporated in Oregon, to further our mission of sharing the enjoyment, knowledge, and history of money through its evolutionary journey over several millennia. Today, we have over fifty paid members, young and old.