Hi there, my name is Tiago Silva and I was born in Barroselas, a small town in the north of Portugal in the district of Viana do Castelo. My home place now is at Doha, the beautiful capital of the State of Qatar.
How did you became a coin dealer?
When I moved to Qatar, I sought out other numismatic collectors, went to antiques shops and visited museums, always to “feed” the collector bug, but something was missing. Finally I meet some friends that shared the same passions for history, culture and the artistry of coinage. Qatar is not a mature numismatic collector’s country and there are just a few numismatic collectors. Most are expats living here, so we have created a community of numismatic friends, to educate the public, new collectors, ranging from both the Expat Community along with Qatari collectors who also share our passion. We meet monthly to discuss, debate, find, analyze, explore coins and finally try to bring people to the numismatic world.
The idea of starting my hobby business came from the demand of that group that requested me if I could bring coins from Europe for them, because they trust my judgment and my choice. At the time I had a help of one of my friends in Portugal and fellow numismatic professional Mr. Jose Almeida. Most of my success is a part of his dedication to myself and to my project.
What came first? The passion for the hobby or the business?
That is a great question. I never really thought of it as a business, more of a way of sharing what I love with other like-minded collectors among the citizens and residents in The State of Qatar. The response has been so positive, that I have continued to expand into this realm. They have always said you should find a way to work in the field that you love, so Engineering, and Numismatics are my shared passions.
Sometimes I struggle while parting with beautiful coins, but to see the joy and happiness of others after I help them find the coin they love, well that is priceless. Becoming a numismatic seller, one must first learn how to “let it go”. All my customer are my friends also, and I want to provide the same pleasure that I have when I analyze and share one coin, for others. I have enjoyed passing my knowledge on to others, and helping them find the coins they want, so it is a fantastic experience from that perspective.
Where does the passion for the hobby comes from?
My passion started when I was a young boy. My first coin was the famous commemorative portuguese 200 escudos coin. I remember going out to go buy something with my parents and in the exchange they gave us a 200$00 Escudos coin. When I got home my father told me to keep the coin with me. So after that I was always looking for different 200$00 escudos coins. And saved it. Over the years, the coins sat in my drawer as I embarked on my career. Then in 2001 just before the Euro was initiated, I began collecting again in earnest. Since that time, my passion has increased with every coin I have found.
And what still compels you to the hobby?
While in Qatar, I have also become extremely interested in the beautiful coinage of the Islamic world. The Caliphate dynasties provide an avenue for exploration into this rich history. I have fallen in love with the gold and silver dinars and dirhams of the Arab world.
Qatari private collectors have been so generous in teaching our expat collector community about the Ottoman, caliphate, and other Islamic coins of the region and this has provided a unique perspective into the rich and dynamic culture of the Arab world that we otherwise may not have been exposed to.
What tools/platforms do you use in your trade?
Right now since my business site is still under construction, I’m able to give all the news of my coins incomers using kollectbox plus the shout out’s in the Google+ profile. For that I’m very proud to use kollectbox because it provides a starting point for any collectors business platform. I will never stop using it.
Any special coin in your store?
All the coins are special to me, they all have their own story. Imagine the people who held the coin over the centuries. The history, culture, engraver, year, or simply about the different patina that each coin has its fascinating to observe. If I could combine some Portuguese background with some Islamic culture, these coins they are always my favorite. For example: Al-Andalus - Ali ibn Yusuf, (1106-1143 AD) minted in Ishbiliya (Seville) in 1122AD
Although Spain enjoyed a period of relative tranquility throughout most of these years, by the end of ‘Ali’s reign the Almoravids found themselves threatened both by the growing power of the Almohads in North Africa and by the Christian Reconquista in Spain. The al-Muwahhids (known in the west as Almohads), whose name means “Those who profess God’s unity”, had started out as a puritanical religious sect in Morocco, but they gained strength through their guerrilla tactics.
In 1139, they lost the Battle of Ourique against the Portuguese forces leaded by the count Afonso Henriques, which allowed Afonso to proclaim himself an independent King. FIRST KING OF PORTUGAL
This would have to be one of my favorite coins.
Do you have any coins that you wouldn't sell for any money?
Yes, those I call “the special ones”. For different reasons I have several coins that I can never sell. I have coins passed to me by my grandfather, they arecurrent coins without any significant numismatic value, but sentimental... and that is priceless. I would never sell it.
Do you have any advice for newcomers?
Absolutely! First, collect what you like. When you first start out, you can have a wide focus, collecting coins from different countries or regions. Many start out trying to obtain a coin from each country. This is particularly fun in Qatar, with so many people from different countries to trade with. As you gain knowledge, you can then specialize as your heart leads you. Perhaps the coins from your home country, Islamic coins, or coins from a certain time period. Some collectors also begin to focus on Copper or Silver coins. Others may only be interested in gold coins. There are also even Proofs and Commemorations coins for collectors to pursue. There are difference coins for everybody, regardless of financial status or county of origin. Just be happy collecting.
Regards to all...and a special thanks to Kollectbox
http://space4coins.com/ - “Smart Numismatic Investments”