lost coins

Surfside Survivor Hoping to Recover Lost Rare Coin Collection

After surviving the Champlain Towers collapse, Moshe Candiotti is hoping to recover the rare coins he spent years collecting

NBC Universal, Inc.

A survivor of the Champlain Towers collapse is hoping to recover something he spent years collecting. 

Moshe Candiotti started collecting coins at age 10 in Israel. Later in life, he moved to Miami Beach and opened an electronics store where he collected currency from customers from all over the world.

"I would give them a discount sometimes depending on the coins," said Candiotti.

Now many of Candiotti's rare coins are missing. 

The 69-year-old lived in Champlain Towers South and managed to escape his building wearing only underwear.

"I try not to dwell on it because it's only going to get worse," said Candiotti. 

Through the help of organizations like the Global Empowerment Mission and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Candiotti is living rent-free for a year and a half.

He's retired, trying to keep busy, and hoping court settlements will be enough to rent a more permanent home. 

"Sometimes I'm very proud. I'm embarrassed to take," said Candiotti. I always say 'God, help me to give and not to receive.' Because it's embarrassing." 

Candiotti says life after the collapse has never been the same. His main hobby was collecting coins and his lifelong collection was inside a safe at his demolished apartment.

"I called several times and they said, 'We don't know. Wait, wait, wait,'" said Candiotti. "But this week they told me outright, 'You have no safe, we can't find it.'"

Candiotti believes even if his safe was flattened or destroyed, there should at least be some evidence of the safe or his coins. 

"I had a [coin] book that you could not even lift with your own hands, you need like two people."

Candiotti believes his coin collection is worth about $200,000 but says it's not the monetary loss that hurts.

"I'm afraid it's going to fall again because it hurts. You work so hard to go from coin show to another coin show and then one day you don't have nothing. It scares me to start again." 

NBC6 requested a statement from Miami-Dade Police about the status of recovering items, and they said: “The Miami-Dade Police Department is working with Miami-Dade County along with the courts and the assigned receiver to determine the proper procedures that will be set forth once all legal proceedings are concluded.”

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