Vesely, left, said he was about 8 when his grandmother opened a drawer of her old Singer sewing machine, showed him the coins and let him take one of each date.
"She had lived through the Depression and didn't trust banks," Vesely said. "But it got me started."
One of the vendors at the 60th Annual Will County Rare Coin Show on Feb. 24, Vesely also will display part of his collection of Joliet money. But he won't sell anything from that collection.
"If anyone wants to look at it, I'll be glad to show them," Vesely said.
Vesely does buy and sell "just about anything" and will buy and sell at the show, he said.
Why the love for Joliet money when Vesely grew up in Chicago? Because Vesely built his career in Joliet, starting in 1980 by working for another coin dealer, he said. In 1986, Vesely began his own business and had a partner until 2000.
Vesely's son, Ian (right), is the store's office manager and Steve hopes that Ian will one day take over the business.
"It's a hobby that turned into a career," Steve said. "Not many people can say that. It's still a lot of work. It's not a 9-to-5 job."
In a text message, Steve shared information on some of his Joliet notes.