Marble collector will share his expertise


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Randy Coker will bring his collection of marbles to Cocoa Village.

courtesy of Randy Coker

 

Randy Coker has lost his marbles.

But only the ones he owned as a child. At the age of 71, his collection surpasses 20,000.

Known around his home state of Oklahoma as “The Old Marble Collector,” Coker will soon bring his expertise (and his marbles) to Cocoa Village for a showcase offering locals the opportunity to look, buy, sell — or simply ask questions.

During the 1800s, Germany manufactured the first marbles. Soon after, the popularity of marbles moved to another level when American companies mass produced toy marbles that quickly were collected by children everywhere.

Coker played with them as a kid, too. But, none of those marbles still are around because, he said, “most got lost or used as slingshot ammo.”

In fact, it wasn’t until the mid 1990s that Coker began collecting and researching marbles after finding a large box of them in an attic.

During his showcase, Coker will offer free evaluations for people who want to know what kind of marbles they have and how much they’re worth. He’ll also have many from his own collection on display — with some for sale ranging from 50 cents to $200.

“If grandma left a jar of marbles behind and you’re curious to find out more, bring them by,” he said.

Coker’s sister, L.A. Davis of Cocoa, is herself a third-generation antique dealer. She owns and operates Highlands Estate Sales. She said the response was amazing the last time her brother came to town.

“Randy came out and did a marble show and had all sorts of people come with bags of marbles for him to identify and find out their worth,” Davis said. “Everyone loved it.”

Randy Coker, “The Old Marble Collector,” will conduct his showcase from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 28 and again on Jan. 4 at Stone Street Apothecary and Antique Marketplace. It is located at 17 Stone St. in Cocoa. For more information, call 321-631-4959.

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