Every now and then, a parent will bring their child into Direct Gold Outlet Inc. for a little slice of history.
The store, while primarily in the gun and gold business, features a collection of rare antique memorabilia. Owner Jerry Haynes has spent the past eight years since the store opened purchasing many of the items, including World War II relics like bayonets, badges and uniforms. The items aren’t just from the Allied Forces, but include German and Japanese artifacts as well.
“I guess I’ve just been known to buy these kinds of things,” said Haynes as he pointed to the M1919 Browning machine gun resting in the corner, adjacent from the register. “I just have a great appreciation for history.”
Hanging right over the register, a slightly wrinkled Japanese flag found its way into Jerry’s hands after a man found it at the bottom of his army duffle bag, where it had remained hidden for 60 years. Inside the glass display, Nazi badges and medals blend in with the rest of the American wartime pieces.
“I tried to give them to some of my kids, but they don’t seem to have any interest in Nazi stuff,” Haynes said with a chuckle. “So we’ll see how these items sell at the auction.”
But these bits of history won’t be there long. On the last Saturday of October, Haynes plans to hold an auction to sell the historic items. He also plans to sell his compilation of collectible coins and antique American dollars.
In addition to buying and selling gold and silver, the business (also known as Covington Guns) offers over 100 different styles and brands of hunting rifles, handguns and accessories. Haynes recently opened a new tackle-and-bait store right next door, which he hopes to see flourish within the next year. Surprised to see Direct Gold increasing its sales in the last year, Haynes attributes the success to the wide selection of products and the friendly service.
“You know, we have a computer, but we handwrite our tickets here,” said Haynes. “We actually talk to people and take our time explaining things to them.”