The third week of August was a very busy one in Hong Kong. The first four days started off with a series of local auctions, starting with Stack’s Bowers’ and Ponterio on Monday and finishing with Spink on the Thursday. The inaugural Hong Kong Coin Show (HKCS) followed immediately on Friday, August 19 and was an immediate success. The show had over 100 exhibitor tables and many industry related components other than the usual buying and selling.
The organizers consisted of Spink, Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio, Shouxi and Coin in Coin and the idea of organizing a show in Hong Kong was first conceived in August 2015 when we felt the time has come for Hong Kong to host a real numismatic show. After months of meetings between the four partners and searching for a suitable venue we decided upon The Mira Hotel on Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong. Tsimshatsui is a strategic area with easy access to all forms of public transport. It is just as easy to travel there from Hong Kong Island to the south as it is from the New Territories to the north. The Mira Hotel’s grand ballroom on the 19th floor is spacious, stylish and elegant. The view of Kowloon Park from its large side windows is top of the list of its advantages over its peers in the same neighborhood.
The Friday morning was an exciting day for all of us and a surprise to our expectations (an intentional oxymoron!) it was very smooth. Exhibitor badges and information packs were made in the days before the show and were given to exhibitors and helpers from 07:30. Members of the public and traders who did not have a table in the bourse made an entrance from 09:00 by purchasing a HKD$300 early bird ticket. A normal HKD$30 three day pass could be bought from 10:30am. The enforcement of these clear and simple rules raised the standard of HKCS above other in the region.
As can be expected from the strong coalition of the four partners, a lot of effort went into the promotion of the HKCS and this involved: three local newspapers, paid Facebook adverts, Twitter, Instagram, auction catalogue adverts and the old-fashioned person-to-person contact by HKCS board members. The effect of this generous advertising and our existing reputation meant HKCS attracted many high quality exhibitors and entrees alike. We sold over 1000 entrance tickets and gave out about 400 exhibitor badges and note that many entrees were to bourse for three days running!
A few words must be said about our exhibitor specialties; these include world coins, world banknotes, coin mints, antiques, auction houses, grading companies and local numismatic societies. The former two specialties can be further divided into vintage, modern, Asian, European, North American and South American. To me it seems as if all numismatic items and specialties are present under one roof during those three days.
The Saturday and Sunday were also very busy days with many exhibitors disclosing that business was better on Saturday and Sunday compared to Friday! Throughout those three days there is a constant buzz in the ballroom and the timeless questions such as ‘What price?’, ‘Any cheaper?’, ‘Any more stock’ was heard by myself on numerous occasions. It was also very nice as many new friendships were made, many thoughts on collectibles were discussed and above all else a lot of cash was exchanged! An old timer told me that he has not seen anything like this in Hong Kong for over 20 years.
I will give special thanks to our two sponsors, PCGS and NGC/PMG. These high-quality independent third-party grading companies have always been very professional in their service and to have lent their full support during an inaugural show is almost unheard of. HKCS is proud to be recipient of this honor and we will work close with them in order to make the show stronger for everybody.
Messrs. Mike Sargent and Bruce Thornton from PCGS and PMG respectively very kindly gave free advice to entrees with coin and banknote related queries whilst Huaxia Grading Company and Professor Hsu Yih Tzong with China and Taiwan was very helpful in advising on ancient Chinese coins/sychees and Chinese banknotes. These four experts are very busy in their own fields and HKCS sincerely thanks them for their time and expertise to disseminate their knowledge to make our hobby safer and attractive to the novice and to would-be collectors.
To finish I will tell you that the second HKCS will take place on the 18th Floor of The Mira Hotel on April 7 to April 9, 2017.
We welcome old and new exhibitors to attend and please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Charlotte Ho, the HKCS Liaison Manager on [email protected] or call +852 3952 3031. We are selling out of tables fast!
Spink is the world’s leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds & shares, autographs, books and wine. Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide. Headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, Spink holds over 70 auctions a year. Catalogues can be accessed through the Spink website (www.spink.com) or via the Spink App for iPhone and iPad.