By day – At Rare Coin & Jewelry shop, stories are part of the magic

In a picturesque corner of Franklin Street is a true Norwich gem. It sits there peacefully with its pretty teal doors and a nice wooden sign that says Norwich Rare Coin & Jewelry.

The adorable building and sign even have roses engraved to represent Norwich being the rose of New England. They have been in this area for 34 years.

Owner Jackie Quercia says they’ve been in business for 39 years; the first five, they were located in Groton. They have always been residents of Norwich, so when they saw that the Norwich building was up for grabs they wasted no time getting this storefront.

The rest, as they say, is history because they have been there ever since. Jackie loves to collect treasures, especially those of real historical value. They buy and sell coins and coin collections, of course large and small. They buy scrap gold and silver, buy and sell jewelry, repair jewelry, engrave and reassemble.

As she says, “You name it, we do it!” “

She even sells small collectibles. It is a place that constantly sees so much history and rare relics.

Jackie has been a great asset and supporter of the Norwich community, working on the boards of WinterFest, Light Up Town Hall and the Design Committee, to name a few.

She recently had to stop getting involved in so many projects when her husband’s health deteriorated. She plans to come back soon because she loves the city and volunteering.

Quercia in its 39 years has seen so many rare and unique pieces face to face in the shop. Gems, jewelry, nostalgia, these are all beauties who make their big appearances there. The most unusual room she had ever seen was a shoebox full of letters between a family during the Civil War.

“It was a shoebox full of Civil War letters. It was a local family. It was the two sons writing to their father, and the shoebox was completely full, I mean FULL. And the last letter was (that) one of the sons was dead, and it was a letter the father wrote to his dead son. It was really moving.

Quercia said she ended up donating the letters to a museum so that all could see such an intense first-hand view of the period. She of course made copies for herself before she did, a way to preserve the memories on her own.

“It was definitely the most interesting thing to walk through our doors because it was so personal. To be able to touch those letters and see those feelings. Wow.”

Quercia has seen such a large amount of unique pieces over the years. Stories about rare coins, gems and more Civil War nostalgia.

Another piece Quercia remembered was a Civil War medal from Cold Harbor, Virginia.

“It was from a battle fought over there. It was a large, large, ornate medal. We ended up selling it to a doctor in Guilford and he ended up donating it to the Smithsonian Museum.

Cold Harbor, just 10 miles north of Richmond, became the focal point of a series of bloody battles in 1864, involving Union forces marching towards Richmond that spring. The Confederate Army defeated General Ulysses S. Grant’s troops at Cold Harbor in a devastating two-week fight that saw more than 17,000 dead.

Quercia has amazing reviews everywhere you look online, even though the store doesn’t have its own website.

A five-star example:

“Wonderful store with a very nice collection of American coins! I even had a few foreign coins, but the American coin collection is awesome! If you need to fill in any gaps in your collection, come here! Jacqueline was very helpful and very pleasant to chat with!

And another:

“Awesome place to find that room or that room you were looking for. Lots of old jewelry and cool coins.

Another mentioned “competitive and fair prices. … I would like my schedule to allow me to spend more time in the store.

This one says it all. The list goes on and on, but this one really encompasses how welcoming and unique this store is. It is a rare gem like those that pass through its doors every day, a unique reminder not to forget the hidden treasure in your own hometown, whether it is physical gems or the treasure of seeing a beautiful store. who loves his city.

The store is at 35 Franklin St .; call (860) 886-2730 to check hours or make a private appointment.

Brian Barganier is a touring comedian and writer from Salem.