We had the good fortune of connecting with Isaiah Hageman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Isaiah, how do you think about risk?
I think about risk as a factor of potential growth. When I take risks, I go in knowing that I’ll come out of the situation one of two ways: either it’ll be a success and I’ll know what works, or something will go wrong and I’ll learn from my mistake. I always look at a risk and evaluate the successful benefits and the consequences if the risk taking goes south and something bad happens.

Within my business as a self-started coin dealer, I see risk as buying coins that I don’t have a specific customer in mind that will buy the coin right away. If I take that risk and buy a coin to hopefully find a customer for, I see it as either not selling and keeping the piece, or I’ll find someone quickly that wants it.

Taking risks is a daily part of my career in numismatics. I’ve lost money, and I’ve made money, but at the end of the day I will continue to enjoy the hobby regardless of the money I may make or lose.

What should our readers know about your business?
I am a professional numismatist, that is, coin dealer. For the nuts out there like me that do coins, I specialize in errors, varieties, and slabs. I’ve been selling on Instagram for 5 years now, under the username “@vamsplus”, which has been a blast getting to know many other people which have been great people to know. What am I most proud of? I’d have to say I am most proud of all the writing and research I’ve done on counterfeit coins and slabs. I love sharing my knowledge with other people, and I’ve helped advance the hobby in a few different ways.
I got to where I am today by building a solid reputation and learning all I could about coins. I’ve always said knowledge is power, and that is something I will continue to repeat forever. Lessons I’ve learned along my journey from just starting in coins to where I am now range from simple ignorance of knowledge to major mistakes in taking risks on buying something I couldn’t find a market for.
What do I want the world to know about me, or my brand and story? There’s not much to be said about me, I’m very much a behind-the-scenes kind of guy, but you can find my presentations and interviews on YouTube about counterfeit slabs. My story? Never give up. Just keep trying and fighting for what you love, and you’ll never grow tired of it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Grand Rapids is a very exciting city to visit. There’s a lot to do and see… I’m fortunate that my best friend lives here in GR with me! With that said, we visit a lot of local restaurants. There’s an amazing taco place here that I go to a couple times a month. Great BBQ as well, one place is in my top 5 best BBQs in the nation. As a photographer, I love going on nature hikes to get photos that I can print on canvases to hang on the walls of my dorm room at college (which conveniently is also right here in GR!). Downtown Grand Rapids is something anyone visiting should experience, simply too much to do and see for me to describe here!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have a lot of people to thank for where I am today:

First off, I want to thank my Dad for initiating my jump into numismatic writing. Had he not dragged the Central States editor over to me five years ago, I never would’ve started writing articles. My entire family has been very supportive of this hobby and I’m incredibly grateful to them.
I’d also like to thank my numismatic mentor, the late John Chirco. Up until his passing earlier this year, he taught me many things about numismatics – grading, dealing in coins professionally, and many other things.
Finally I’d like to thank all of my close friends for being so supportive of me through the years. So, this thank you goes to Leah, Matthew, Jace, Maddie, Seth, Jonathon, and Susie.

Website: http://vams.godaddysites.com

Instagram: @vamsplus

Facebook: Isaiah Hageman

Other: Feel free to email me! My email is vamsplus@gmail.com.

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