Dear Rare Coin Enthusiast, In this month’s Road Warrior I am going to discuss the latest coin show news from the Summer FUN Show, the PCGS ‘Members Only’ Invitational Show, and the Missouri Numismatic Society Show in St. Charles. I also want to talk about the upcoming ANA Show in Philly, the great Fall Show schedule, and some of the news from the show circuit.
Despite the typical Summer ‘slow down’ we normally see each year, I am seeing a little more aggressive buying from other dealers at recent shows. Although this is still a buyer’s market for more generic coins, high end quality, especially better date, collector coins are hot. Dealers are always trying to buy certain coins. At shows, ‘certain’ coins are snapped up within the first couple of hours of the show opening IF they ever make it to the show at all?
Certain series like Seated Liberty and Barber coinage are in demand in virtually all grades. Collectors and dealers alike have always coveted the coins from these two series-especially the better date coins within each series. Not only do collectors like the two series, but there are collectors that want Very Good or better coins and there are collectors who want only GEM BU MS65 certified PCGS, NGC, or CAC approved coins. Most dealers recognize the scarcity of coins in these two great series because after buying and selling thousands of coins, they just haven’t handled many.
I really believe focusing on a specific area, whether you are collecting or specializing, is a wise way to pursue numismatics. Focusing doesn’t have to be on a specific coin type either. You can focus on ‘value’ also. Compare mintages, populations, auction records and study the price levels. When you are studying the numbers don’t forget demand and collector interest. Factor in all this data and ‘target’ coins that fit ‘your’ numbers. For example, you could focus on nice type coins in MS63 or MS64 that have huge price spreads to the next grade. These are coins that both collectors and dealers pursue and because of their relative affordability they should perform nicely.
At recent shows, especially in Orlando and St. Louis, we saw a greater focus and demand for collector coins versus more generic items. Yes, there are still large deals of generic items trading, but generic type gold coins especially are very slow because of the risk and small margins. Dealers are focusing on value too. At a recent show, we got to see a small group of original proof sets that came into a shop in the Midwest. These were from the late 19th and early 20th century and had the original paperwork. Needless to say, they were snapped up quickly. Rarity and quality always sell.
The Summer FUN Show is a decent show, but the Orange County Convention Center leaves a lot to be desired. This HUGE convention center has some parking issues and because of the size, did I mention HUGE, there is no way you can park close. The Florida United Numismatists do a great job running this show, but personally I would love to see a new location. Parking at this year’s show WAS a problem because of overcrowding from other conventions.
The PCGS Invitational is a great dealer’s show. Dealer’s, although limited in number, like to attend because the venue is secure, comfortable, and fun. The latest ‘Invitational was held at the Cosmopolitan recently in Las Vegas. This is the first time for an ‘Invitational’ at this location and most dealers really enjoyed the hotel. The show itself was very active and PCGS received a lot of coins for grading onsite. This show IS open to the public on Thursday and Friday as long as you are a member of the club.
Last week’s Missouri Numismatic Society Show in St. Charles, MO was active on the wholesale side of the trade, but not terribly busy with collectors. Many dealers opted out because of the long ANA Show starting this weekend in Philadelphia. Although there was a good Scotsman Auction the show itself was a typical Summer Show. We left a little early Friday to spend time with family in Western Missouri over the weekend.
What can you say about the ANA? Years ago when I attended my first ANA, I was overwhelmed. This is the BIG ONE for numismatists. Not only is this the show of the year, but it is the only show some dealers and many numismatists are able to attend each year. I attended my first ANA in 1979 in St. Louis and the show did not disappoint me then. Fast forward 33 years and I am attending my 26th ANA. This year’s Philadelphia venue is really exciting to me. In 1999 when the ANA was last in Philadelphia, I had an incredible buying show.
Philadelphia is the sight of our first mint and because ALL of our early U.S. coinage was produced in Philadelphia it is common sense that a good portion of those coins are still in the area. In 1999 at the last ANA in Philadelphia, I purchased a set of Large Cents, a set of Bust Halves, and numerous other single rarities. It was a blast!
This year’s event starts early Saturday morning the 4th of August with set-up for the PNG/ANA Pre-Show. This is a mostly dealer oriented show and many larger dealers as well as lot of East Coast dealers will attend. The Pre-Show can be VERY active. Although last year’s Pre-Show was somewhat ill-conceived and poorly advertised, we had an incredible weekend. In fact, we believe this Pre-Show will be more successful because of better advertising.
The ANA Show itself starts Tuesday the 7th with dealer set-up a day earlier this year than in the past. Many dealers will work ‘straight through’ the Pre-Show into the regular ANA and once ‘set-up’ starts for the ANA itself the bourse floor is usually buzzing! For diehards, the show is pretty much non-stop business, because the show is so large you can’t possibly see everyone. Old friends and colleagues are everywhere. Sometimes nicer collections or deals change hands several times. The atmosphere is frenetic.
The Show Schedule after the ANA is kind of quiet, with only the Blue Ridge Numismatic Association Show in Dalton, GA and the new Santa Clara Show in Santa Clara, CA the week following the ANA. The BRNA Show is well established and promises a good turnout. The Santa Clara Show is a new ‘edition’ so to speak, as it is the replacement for the semi-annual Santa Clara Show held for years at the same Santa Clara Convention Center. Although the new Santa Clara Show will be smaller, Scott Griffins is doing a nice job promoting the new show.
September starts with a bang as the Long Beach Show immediately follows the Labor Day holiday. The Illinois State Numismatic Association Show in Tinley Park (Southern suburb of Chicago) is scheduled for mid September. Late in the month we will be attending another PCGS Members Only Show at the Venetian in Las Vegas. There are also September shows scheduled for Sarasota, FL, Manchester, NH, Portland, OR, Westchester, NY, and Fredericksburg, VA. October begins with the annual Silver Dollar Show in St. Charles, MO followed two weeks later by the ANA Fall Show in Dallas, TX. Other good shows in October include Lakeland, FL, Brooklyn Center, MN, and the Denver, CO show which is one of our favorite destinations.
In next month’s Rare Coin Road Warrior, I will have news from the ANA itself as well as the new Santa Clara Show.
Bozarth Numismatics Inc is a full service rare coin dealer. We buy and sell PCGS, NGC, and CAC graded and approved high grade U.S. coins. We sell coins at shows and on both our website bozarthcoins.com and in our Ebay store bozarthnumismaticsinc. Because of our extensive show and buying travel schedule we can often locate those ‘hard to find’ items. We offer free confidential want list services and will call or email you ‘first’ if we locate an item for you. Thanks and Best Regards, Vic Bozarth/The Rare Coin Road Warrior.
Another enjoyable column. Thanks for the continuing commentary.