Randy Chadwick will be starting high school in September, but the 14-year-old is already a licensed businessman: the youngest coin dealer in the Northwest.
Randy, a member of the American Numismatic Association, turned pro a year ago when he opened the Hillsboro Coin Company. In his first year he rang up a $2,500 profit after meeting all expenses. The profit went immediately to pay for additional inventory, more coins of value.
Hillsboro Coin Company is licensed by the city of Hillsboro and is registered with the State of Oregon.
The teen-age businessman explained that he buys coins ''at a discount and sells them for a higher price.'' Now, after just a year in business, he finds that ''younger kids are coming in for advice'' but that most of his customers are older collectors.
Randy became interested in coin collecting when an older brother gave him a bunch of pennies when he was 5. The gift gave him a special interest in pennies, and today Randy's business card identifies him as ''specializing in Lincoln pennies.''
The young coin dealer, assured for his age, explained that ''about two years ago I began going to coin shows and buying and trading.'' Then he decided to become a dealer, ''because there was no money to be made if I kept on collecting.''
Mrs. Connie Chadwick, Randy's mother, operates a jewelry business here, and Randy now has half the space and pays half the operating expenses.
Randy says that whenever he's away from his showcase of gold and silver coins , ''I can't wait to get back.'' And while most of his school companions are enjoying summer fun, or just loafing, Randy spends at least seven hours a day at his shop.
''When you've got a business,'' he says, ''you have to keep to certain hours, and that's what I do.
''I gave up collecting so I could be a dealer, and right now I hope to be able to expand and have maybe two or three showcases.''
To develop local interest in coin collecting, Randy wants to start a coin club here like those he belongs to in Cowlitz County, Wash., and in McMinnville, Ore.
He admits he misses ''just running around and having fun, and the chance to play basketball,'' but adds: ''I've got a big responsibility and I want to succeed.''