Born and raised in Bellingham, Washington, Tim Rathjen aspired to do greater things for his small town despite his dark childhood. Entrepreneurship was in his heart from a very young age, he was collecting stamps from friends and family to start a collection that he could sell off to a local stamp and coin shop. After his hard work being rejected, Tim was crushed, but learned quickly that he needed to change his strategy. He stopped focusing on soaking off stamps to make extra cash and turned to many different types of odd jobs; such as raking leaves, washing cars, picking up apples, mowing lawns, collecting bottles and other tasks to earn money. After seeing the fruit of his labors, it gave him ambition throughout his life to work hard in all forms of business.
Later in life, he decided to start his own timber and excavation business. He specialized in clearing and developing land, selective logging, large parcels, he was also a preferred bidder for the local parks and rec. He ended up with a few very significant jobs and went on to do the logging at Deception Pass state park, Larabee state park and cleared and built Rasar state park from an area highly populated with trees to a beautiful park that is admired to this day.
Deception Pass Bridge, Goose Rock (behind bridge); Ben Ure Island (upper left); view direction: southeast.
After devoting more than two decades of his life to logging, he decided to recommence his aspiration of being in a profession with stamps, coins and collectables. In 2003, he sought after The Stamp and Coin Place, a local coin shop that was looking to sell their business. Tim saw his opportunity to finally rekindle his dream of a career filled with eagerness and creativity. And that’s just what he did, he has paved the way for technological advances in the numismatic industry. With his determination and daring innovative mind, he created two inventions that are impressive to say the least. After creating “Numan”, a machine that sorts coins by date, mint mark, color and value in 2012, he also created a coin identification and imaging app named Lookzee in 2015 that share the same software/artificial intelligence. It’s no wonder he has been called the “Elon Musk” and “Steve Jobs” of coins.
Follow Tim on his journey…