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Coin Shows for the Fun of It – Part 2


By Peter Mosiondz, Jr.….
In our first installment about attending coin shows, we spoke about making an outline of the people and events we want to meet and see. This outline will be converted into a list. Here’s a typical checklist:

  • Seminars I want to attend (list by date, time and location)
  • Friends I want to meet at the show: Where? When? Did I call them?
  • Dealers I plan to visit (list by booth number)
  • Make certain to see all of the exhibits.
  • Is my “want list” up to date? Make a list of the coins I want to buy. List these by denomination, date, grade and the maximum price I’d like to pay. Make a “secondary” list if I can’t get my first choices.
  • If there’s going to be an auction, did I receive the catalog? If not, pick one up at the show. If I already have the catalog, did I list all of the coins I’d like to examine before the sale?
  • If travel is required, what arrangements need to be made?

Upon arriving at the show, I review my checklist. I want to contact my friends first. Then I review the list of seminars or lectures I want to attend. Are any of my friends attending these with me? If so, arrangements are made to meet in the room that will hold the seminar.

When I have the “free” time to spend on the bourse floor (where the dealers are located), I’ll navigate from one dealer’s booth to the next using the handy floor plan that I either printed from my computer before the show or picked up at the registration desk when I entered. If things are moving along a bit quicker than expected I’ll make a different type of check-mark next to dealer names and booth numbers whom I’ll visit time permitting.

If I encounter crowds at the dealer’s booth and this trend continues from dealer to dealer, it tells me that I’d better plan my visits a bit later, perhaps after lunch. In the meantime, I’ll see the exhibits. In most instances this can be accomplished in an hour, and it may be the best hour you spend at the show. Then I’ll check my list again to make sure I don’t miss a seminar.

Coin shows offer the chance to see many unusual items
Coin shows offer the chance to see many unusual items

Time is allocated for visiting the area of the auctioneer and to request an examination of auction lots in which I have an interest. For a modest number of lots to view, a half-hour is sufficient to allocate.

Whether a national, regional or local show, the chances are excellent that there will be one or more club (or society) meetings scheduled. Most are open to non-members as well. The thought here being that perhaps a few interested non-members will quickly sign up as members. Sad to say, many collectors do not belong to a coin club. Sad, because they’re missing out on a lot of fun. See my two-part installment entitled here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). I hope you’ll read it again and become inspired to join and participate in one or more clubs.

A return to the main bourse floor indicates that the crowds have diminished a little bit. It’s time to make the rounds of the dealers. Some I may have only dealt with by phone or mail. Now it’s time to meet some of these individuals in person and attach a face to a name; always a fun thing to do. Many years ago I did this and made the pleasurable acquaintances of several prominent dealers–who, I might add, I am still friends with to this day. This doesn’t mean that the friendships and resulting conversations are confined to numismatics. Of course, if the topic is coins, you will have much to learn from these established professionals. There is one major dealer with whom horse racing and betting systems are discussed. Another on the topic of antiquities. I remember when I first met the late, great Abe Kosoff that the conversation soon turned to families and many other personal things. True friendship after all is a concern and interest in the other’s situation in life. Sometimes it’s good to change topics lest we suffer from burn out.

Having visited my list of dealers and made some good purchases, it’s time to take a look at that checklist again.

  • Am I staying for the auction or heading home? If the latter, did I place my bids with the auction firm? Some collectors use an auction agent (we’ll touch upon this in an upcoming article).
  • Have I attended all of the meetings and seminars for the day?
  • What else is to be accomplished?

This isn’t work – it’s fun. I keep checking my list because I don’t want to be on the way home and say to myself, “Drat, I missed such-and-such an event”.

Coin collecting is fun and so is attending a coin show. Try one out for yourself.

Until next time, stay well and enjoy your hobby.

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