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New business for the treasure hunter opens in Cloverdale

Monday, August 23, 2010

A selection of antiques and coins, along with staff members, from left, John Gabbard, Libby Witt and Jim Witt, will greet visitors to JW's Buried Treasure at 15 North Main Street in Cloverdale. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN
CLOVERDALE -- For the owner of a new Cloverdale business, a longtime interest has turned into a chance to open his own store.

Jim Witt recently opened JW's Buried Treasure at 15 North Main Street in Cloverdale. The shop specializes in antiques, but especially in coins -- an interest Witt has had for some time.

"I've been collecting coins since I was 13," Witt said. "This is something I've wanted to do since I was 13, and I had the opportunity. When you get the opportunity and you don't grab it, it will pass you by."

Witt has had his share of experiences in the years of waiting for his opportunity. The Cascade High School graduate has been a member of the United States Marine Corps, a semi driver and graduated from college in IT as a network systems administrator.

While these things have taken him around the country and around the world, his heart has stayed in rural Indiana. He returned to the area to be close to his sick father.

"I love the town," he said of Cloverdale. "I've been all around the world, and when you've done that, it's time to settle down in the country."

Collectors of all kinds will feel at home in JW's Buried Treasure, with its rare and collectible coins and bills, sports cards, antique fishing lures, military memorabilia, jewelry, antique photos and antique toys.

With his experience in the Marines, Witt takes special interest in the military items. Items on sale include an autographed picture of World War I General John J. Pershing, a World War I campaign hat, discharge papers signed by Harry Truman and naval officer covers featuring silver and gold.

Of course, the coins are also a passion for the longtime collector. While the shop already features quite a selection, Witt is also able to get coins not in his store. Between coin shows and relationships with wholesalers, antique coins and new coins from the mint are available.

A nice, little oddity is that Witt can say he made his very first customer a trillionaire. Historically high inflation in Zimbabwe in recent years made the country's currency all but worthless. Rather than have people take wheel barrows full of money into stores to buy a loaf of bread, the country began issuing 1 trillion dollar bank notes.

The store had one of these curiosities, and the first customer through the door purchased it.

And while the money and military items may be Witt's areas of expertise, he said he is quickly learning about the rest.

Among the more valuable items in his store are some signed pieces of Native American jewelry made of silver, turquoise, bear claws and red coral. A relative of Witt's has had the items in storage since the Vietnam War.

Witt said word is slowly getting out about his store. He thinks once newspaper advertisements begin, things could really take off.

"Even without advertisement, it's been great," he said.

JW's Buried Treasure is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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To have a son like you makes a mom like me very proud. Follow your dreams and have the best of luck.

-- Posted by rfiesty51 on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 9:05 PM

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