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Numismatic Americana Market Report – The 55th Money Show of the Southwest

The annual Money Show, held in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center was held last week, the second week of the Holiday season. And while I didn’t really meet any people there that were looking for Holiday gifts, it appeared that many were giving themselves a little something early this year. One of the ways I measure a show is by the number of new clients we meet. That is those collectors that give us their want lists or take a little extra time in explaining their collection. The second is ratio of wholesale to retail sales that we make at a show. At this show the retail won by a landslide.

They say EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas, and this show certainly lives up to that. The bourse floor was large with wide aisles. And unlike many of the other shows we attend, there wasn’t an issue with either the air conditioner or the heating system. Both Christine and I would like to thank the show promoters for bringing in an outside food vendor. It was really nice to have a choice at lunchtime for a change. The weather, both inside and out, was perfect. Much like a log cabin amidst snow covered trees. Not too hot, nor too cold, just right. Plenty of collectors and dealers made the annual journey. Oh, I might add that there wasn’t a hint of snow down there like there was two years ago.

Several of the bigger dealers, many from Texas, didn’t make the trip though. And there wasn’t the usual December auction this year. Many of those in attendance would look at that as a bad thing, but we didn’t. This gave us time to spend talking to, and doing business with, numerous collectors and dealers. The action wasn’t as fast paced as we’d like it, but when we added up the sales we were surprised we did as much business as we did. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it a thousand times again, but virtually all of the collectors we dealt with were armed with a want list and knew exactly what they were looking for. Not a whole lot of impulse buying was seen by us.

One of the really neat things about Numismatists is the free sharing of knowledge. We had a coin, one which we had sold to a client, and submitted it to PCGS for reholdering. When we put it out on display with a “NOT FOR SALE” sign, it created quite a stir with every major Mexican and Latin America dealer as well as most U.S. dealers. It is really a neat coin, probably the finest known for the type. It is an 1847-A 8 Reales from the Central American Republic, in PCGS MS 66, the coin you see imaged in this show report. As one dealer put it, it was the “coin of the show”. We’d like to thank all of the specialists in the field who came up to us and shared what they know of this short lived series. It was a lot of fun.

So…what was hot? Well, the usual. Gem Commems with color, or type coins exhibiting that little something extra, like outstanding eye appeal. Christine and I were both really pleased to meet and do business with three different collectors of Three Cent Silvers. As you probably know, this is one of our favorite series and it was great to see others appreciate them like we do.

Buying on the other hand was a little more difficult. Seems those Texans don’t like to part with their coins. But we were able to find a few which are up on the web under the “All New Coins” header. Check them out and if you see something of interest give us a call.

I apologize to those of you who were expecting to see us at Parsippany this month. I just needed a day off after Houston. We will, however, be in Las Vegas next week at PCGS’ year-end Invitational, held at The Venetian/Palazzo resort. If you get a chance to sneak off for a few days during this Holiday season, stop by and say hello. Remember…we love to talk coins!

Bill and Christine

William Shamhart
William Shamhart
I am known within the industry for having a “great eye” for both beauty and technical aspects of coins. It is through this trait that John Albanese enlisted me to put together Numismatic Guarantee Corporation’s (NGC) grading set back in 1987 as well as becoming one of NGC’s first graders. And twenty years later, with the inception of Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC), I was again recruited to be one of three graders. My love of coins has led me to appreciate all coins, in their natural state, with a serious distaste for “coin doctoring” and fraudulent practices. Website: Numismaticamericana.com

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