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PCGS’ Members Only Show Report

While preparing for the PCGS Members Only show last Tuesday evening I set the alarm on my iPhone for 3 and went to bed around 11 after writing up my submissions. Well, I guess I really am technologically challenged, because I set it for 3 p.m. And you guessed it, I woke up at 5 a.m. wondering why my alarm didn’t go off. A quick call to the airline and I was booked on the next flight out after my originally scheduled 6:30 one.

An uneventful five hour flight later and I was at the beautiful Venetian/Palazzo resort and ready to do business. Its kind of funny, but after 30 years of attending coin shows I still can’t figure them out. When ever I think I will have a great show, I don’t. And when I don’t get my hopes up, it turns out pretty good. So I’ve learned to just go and do my business and let the chips fall where they may (Vegas lingo). Well this was one of the shows that surprised me with the results. From the very beginning I was busy selling coins to other dealers (after submitting my coins for grading) as well as looking at potential items for inventory. You may recall that I really like this type of environment for coin shows. They aren’t too big that a person can’t get around to see everyone in the room. Unhurried and laid back. Just like I like them. After a few hours of the show it was time for dinner and I had the pleasure of dining with 3 of my fellow dealers at a great restaurant. A fitting end to a very long day.

Thursday morning arrived very early for me. Living on the east coast my internal clock is set to wake up around 5 EST. Well that my friends is 2 a.m. in Vegas. I tired to get a little extra sleep, but that is easier said than done if you know what I mean. So I answered emails and made notes of the things that I wanted to accomplish at the show that day. When the show opened up at 8 a.m. I was there for the bell and ready to go. From the onslaught it was busy and let up only when lunch arrived. Seems that the only thing coin dealers and collectors like better than talking coins is talking coins over a meal. After an hour or so business got back to usual and time started to fly. Early in the afternoon a customer, who awhile ago became a client, and is now a friend, showed up and we talked coins, collecting strategy and everything in between (as well as dinner plans). This is a classic example of relationship building that I have mentioned time and again. As the day went on business was done and coins were bought and sold. It was early Thursday afternoon that I started to get coins back from PCGS and I am pleased to say that, in my mind, they did a great job. Fresh, no problem coins were rewarded as they should be. After writing a few more invoices it was off to dinner and evening festivities. It was another great night of fellowship with yet another “coin geek”.

Friday was like watching “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. Coins were bought and sold throughout the day, and I was constantly getting freshly graded inventory back from PCGS. “Coin Nirvana”. As hard as I try I still can’t predict what happens at a coin show. I sold coins that I never thought would sell there, and was able to buy a lot more that I would have anticipated.

To sum it up the show was great. From wholesale to retail I can honestly state that the market is very much in good health. And this is a trend that I think will continue for quite a while.

Christine has been busy getting my newps and freshly graded coins ready for the web. So check out the listing of new inventory and if anything rings your bell give me or Christine a call (or send an email). We’ll do our best to make sure its the right coin for your collection and get it to you P.D.Q.

Remember…we love to talk coins!

Long Beach Coin Expo February 2013

I apologize for this very short report in advance. I was writing it on my home computer and it ate it. So now I am writing an abridged version on my iPad.

In a nutshell it was great. The show doesn’t even resemble the show of years gone by, smaller and more refined if you like. During set up there wasn’t panic to get things done, just grown up and methodical, business in a relaxed environment by my account. Just like I like it.

Our buying speaks for itself. Our new purchases are some of the nicest in recent memory, and many of the coins we took to the Beach found new homes. I did notice that collectors are getting a bit more finicky in their purchases, which is just fine with me. Nice coins sell themselves.

Christine and I had the pleasure of dining with a couple of clients while out there and as usual it was great to hear what makes a collector tick. It was a blast.

One thing that does need to be addressed, as I heard it from MANY people, is the PA service. The public announcements were extremely loud and obnoxious. It made it very difficult to speak with anybody in the room. Other than that I think that the staff of the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo did a wonderful job. Keep up the good work.

So there’s my show report, short and to the point! But fret not as our new purchases are lengthy and should provide hours of enjoyment. Look them over and if something rings your bell, give us a call (or email). Remember…we love to talk coins.

2013 FUN Show Report…A sign of things to come?

I am an optimist. I really am. But at the same time I am a realist. The annual FUN show, usually held in the first week or two of the New Year in the resort town of Orlando, is a bell-weather of the year to come. After a month and a half long Holiday season most collectors and dealers are chomping at the bit to start the New Year and their numismatic quests. It’s no wonder that attendance records are set as collectors and dealers alike make the trek to Florida. Along with this comes the anticipation of a good and profitable FUN show from a Dealers point of view. But, and this is a big but, I had my reservations. There has been a lot of press lately about the fiscal (financial) mess and new tax rates coming down the pike. Usually there is a little trepidation with unknowns like this hanging around. Read on to see the outcome…

I arrived in Orlando early Tuesday morning and Christine (who had to travel across the country diagonally) landed later that afternoon. After attempting to check into my hotel, which I couldn’t do early, I went to the auction lot viewing to check out a few things for clients and inventory. Have you every done that? If you get the catalog for the FUN sales then you have a concept of what its like; it’s like looking through a New York city phone book, a daunting task to say the least, but even then you don’t really get the full experience. Try and visualize thousands and thousands of coins and a few hundred people at any given time trying to see them. Now remember that Mr. Murphy (of SNAFU fame) is an ardent coin collector and made sure that you had to wait for hours to see the boxes you need. He and some of his buddies are the consummate coin hogs. Perhaps they did that on purpose, perhaps not. It didn’t help the staff at lot viewing try to accommodate you buy with a little perseverance I was able to see everything I needed to and make the appropriate notes. Then off to dinner after a very long day.

Wednesday started with a few appointments (relationships, remember?) to buy some really fresh to the market pieces and then off to the auction for the first session, which started at noon. Christine and I sat through most of the first session waiting for the really cool Three Cent Silver pieces being offered. I know the dealer who helped assemble this collection (and respect his eye) and had some very strong bid on the pieces I wanted. We even had a client who sat next to us, anxiously waiting to buy one. Well we left empty handed. These coins went for prices that were off the charts. Both Christine and I have loved this series for many, many years and have several advanced collectors that we advise with their acquisitions. I have always said that “trimes” have a cult following, but after this I would say they shot to the top of main stream numismatics. Perhaps 2013 will be their year.

Right after the first session of the auction the bourse floor opened for dealer set up. There was a lot of “Happy New Years” exchanged, talk about the holiday season, and the usual pleasantries exchanged. With this many dealers and tables to view Christine and I tried to concentrate on buying for the first few hours, occasionally showing our inventory to other dealers and making a sale. As you can see from the new purchases that have been recently added to our web site we were pretty successful. After another long day it was off to a quiet dinner, just two of us.

The first full day of the show, Thursday, had the bourse opening at a reasonable 8:30 and we were there ready to do business. For the next hour and a half it was again dealer to dealer, until the collecting public was admitted at 10:00. After that there was barely any time to breath. From 10 until 7 it was non stop with at least 2 and sometimes 3 or 4 people at our table looking at or talking coins. Many old clients and customers came by as well as some new and potential ones. At times I felt like I was running for office as I shook what seemed to be ten thousand hands (if I ever ran for an office or something I’d like to think you all would vote for me). By the end of the day we were completely exhausted, but in a good way. Talking all day about something you love can’t be all that bad…can it? As tired as Christine and I were we were happy when we were invited to out to dinner with a few really great people who just happen to be clients as well. I can’t remember when I laughed that much, but that’s what this is all about isn’t it? Coins and camaraderie. An unbeatable pair.

Friday. What a day. It started off a little slow but by noon I have to say that I don’t remember a show like this in recent history, truly non-stop, with virtually every person who stopped by ending up walking away with a new addition to their collection. That coupled with numerous phone calls with those who, unfortunately, couldn’t make it to FUN this year. I’d like to take the time to again mention that NONE of this would be possible without the many relationships we have built over the years. I know that those are the most valuable assets I have; as well as the most cherished. As with the night before, Christine and I were invited out to dinner with two other great guys, and very advanced collectors as well. Again, laughter throughout the night!

Enough of that though…what about the coins?

Well we really did buy some “stellar” pieces. From the phenomenal 1836 Lettered Edge Half in PCGS MS66, to the unbelievably rare 1872-S Seated Half in PCGS MS65, I think this is one of the best selections we have acquired in a long while. Keep in mind that many of the coins we bought never made it to our web site as they were bought with specific customers in mind and dealers as well. Early on, as in before the show even started, we had the opportunity to by a really cool 1911-D $10 Indian. We didn’t have a customer in mind, but I knew a fellow dealer who might. We offered it to the dealer and they were happy to buy it, finally finding one for their very patient client. It’s great when you know that a collector finally gets their white whale, and that you were part of it.

I could go on and on about the coins we bought, but I think I’ll let Christine’s photos and descriptions do the talking. As I’ve always said, “If you like the photo you’ll love the coin”. Check them out and then give us a call (or email) if you see something on your wish list. We can have them to you before the weekend (and then you can have a play date with them and your collection).

And remember…we love to talk coins.

Ringing in the New Year with a little FUN!

Now that the Holiday season of 2012 has come and gone, I thought I’d take a time to write down a few thoughts about the past year and the up-coming new one.

As a relatively new company (Christine and I have had Numismatic Americana for a little under three years now), we are grateful for the success that has been bestowed upon us. It is a fairly known fact that most start-up companies don’t make money for the first few years, but through hard (and smart) work, what we think is unparalleled customer service, and some of the most eye-appealing coins available we have had the privilege to provide hundreds of collectors with coins (from gem Walking Liberty half dollars for under $1,000 to superb proof gold coins). It is a simple mission statement for our company, but it works. Thank you to all of you for another successful year.

It has been said that if you don’t evolve with the times you become extinct. Keeping that in mind Christine and I are constantly striving to streamline our company, all the while keeping it simple, so that your coin buying experience is an easy and FUN one. If you have any ideas or suggestions that you would like to see from us we welcome your input.

In the upcoming months we will be trying a few new ideas and implementing some new strategies. One of them is to revise our want list program. So now might be a good time to think about updating your want (or wish) list. We sell a lot of coins directly to our clients that never make it to our website, so this definitely could benefit you and your collection. Think about it, and if you like the idea, give us a call or send us an email.

As some of you know, Christine and I are not sales people. We are coin people. We love to talk coins with our customers, even if it means talking someone out of a particular piece. That’s just who we are. One of the great innovators in our hobby in the past 50 years is David Hall. Yes he is a competitor of ours, but more importantly it was he who, although he didn’t come up with the concept, took third party grading to the level it is now. A lot can be said of Mr. Hall, but there is one thing that keeps sticking in my mind. His company tag line: Have FUN with your coins. I don’t think I could have said it better.

HAVE FUN WITH YOUR COINS! Wow, what a concept…

And if you happen to be in Orlando next week, stop by the FUN show and look us up. Table 904.

Remember…we love to talk coins.

PCGS’ Members Only Las Vegas Show Report

The last major coin show of the year was held this past week in Las Vegas at the beautiful Cosmopolitan Hotel. Put on by PCGS, the Members Only Shows are attended by a small but dedicated group of dealers and collectors alike. Most serious collectors are starting to realize just how important this venue is and are starting to show up in greater numbers. Dealers in the know regularly attend. A lot happened this week in Vegas, some good, some bad, but I promise that what happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. We have a customer who lives in Las Vegas and was planning on attending the show. He even went to the bank and got his coins out in preparation of attending. Unfortunately he made the grave mistake of leaving his coins at home unattended for just a short while. And yes you guessed it, he was robbed. I am telling you this story because it happens all too often. Please don’t make this mistake. It only takes a few minutes for your life to be turned upside down. Safety and security should be paramount when it comes to your valuables. Be vigilante.

Now for the good…

One of the good things about shows is the ability to socialize with friends, clients and dealers alike. Christine had received a text a few weeks ago asking if she and I would like to go out to dinner on Wednesday. Of course she graciously accepted. Well, as the party who invited us so appropriately put it, we were “punked”! Seems that the couple had planned on getting married that night and wanted to surprise us (along with virtually everybody at the show) and surprised we were. Congratulations to Irma Kane and her new husband (and fellow dealer) Doug Winter. It was a beautiful ceremony followed but an outstanding dinner/reception.

Oh, did I mention that both of the above mentioned events took place on the same day? Talk about highs and lows.

Now on to the show…

Set up was at 11 a.m. and when I arrived the doors had just opened. Right away there was a buzz in the room. Dealers came trying to take advantage of some last minute, and year end, business. Many came in anticipation of the Legend-Morphy auction being held there. While I wasn’t able to attend the sale, it was a great success. Another congratulations is due; this time to the staff and owners of Legend-Morphy Auctions. Good job!

Early in the afternoon the public was admitted and that is when Christine and I really got busy. Not overly busy, as in no time to breath, but just a slow and steady flow. If you’ll recall I like this type of show and being able to spend some quality time with our customers and clients is really nice. No frenzy, no pressure, just great conversation and the occasional sale.

We submitted our coins early Wednesday and started to get them back late Friday afternoon. My experience was that PCGS was again holding the line just where it should be. Reward the really nice coins and well, and from the complaints that I heard from other dealers, error on the side of conservative with the not so nice or fresh.

Thursday night Christine and I had the pleasure of dinning with a couple of clients and talking coins, family, and everything in between. We had a great time and look forward to doing it again soon.

As I promise in my last show report we have some pretty special coins available for your consideration this time. These coins are really cool and represent some of the best pieces available, as well as highest graded in some cases. Those, in addition to some neat purchases from our secret sources (relationships, remember?) will soon be listed on our web site under the “all new coins” drop down page of our “coins and currency” page. Christine has been busily imaging them and getting them ready for your perusal. And if you see something of interest have your spouse or children give us a call. We can have it there in the “Nick” of time for the holidays.

This will be the last show report of 2012. So we’d like to take this time and wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday season and great New Year!

Bill and Christine

Greater Houston Coin Club’s Money Show

Last week was the 56th showing of the Greater Houston Coin Club’s Money show of the Southwest. A Texas size shout out (thank you) goes to Carl Schwenker and all the members of GHCC that volunteered at the show. Their efforts make this venue a must attend event of the year (as always).

I arrived in Houston early in the afternoon, with enough time to attend Heritage’s lot viewing for their auction that week. I met a couple clients there and we talked about the lots as we looked at them. After lot viewing it was off to my hotel and a couple hour meeting with clients regarding their collections. It is always good to sit down (or plan a phone call) with your dealer of choice and talk about what direction you want to head with your collection. Times change, client’s taste change, and life changes, it is a good idea to keep up with it.

The show set up at 8 o’clock on Thursday (9 on Friday) which allowed a few extra hours of wholesale, or should I say dealer to dealer, time. I’ve always had a hard time with the phrase wholesale in this industry. There isn’t any set pricing or warehouses where a dealer can go and buy his inventory and then mark them up a certain percent. In fact I’ve looked at a coin (at somebody’s table), asked for a price, passed on it, and then watch a collector (not a dealer) ask for a price while I am still there, get quoted the same price and then buy it. I guess one man’s wholesale is another man’s retail.

I did a little “wholesale” business in the morning (Christine couldn’t make it this time) and then got ready for the collecting “public” to arrive. And they did. As usual this show gets a large crowd of collectors, dealers, vest pocket dealers, speculators, and everything else. There was a constant flow of people throughout the three days the show was open. I got to talk to a lot of customers of ours as many of them made the trip to Houston. In particular there were four different clients that I had the liberty of spending quite a bit of time with. It was the high-light of the show. These relationships Christine and I have built of the years really mean a lot to us.

As I said, there was constant flow of people through the George R. Brown convention center for the duration. Sales were a little weak for what I expected, but our buying more than made up for it. Sometimes you just don’t have the right coins for the right collectors at the right time. That is why we are continuously buying new coins for inventory. And, you guessed it, if it weren’t for the relationships we have built over the years there is a good chance Christine and I wouldn’t get as many coins as we do. In fact it is because of these bonds that we are able to offer the items that Christine is busy putting up on the web. Virtually all of them were purchased from existing customers or dealers with whom we have done business for a long time. It would be nearly impossible to acquire this many high quality pieces one at a time on a bourse floor, they simply aren’t out there (lying in dealer cases).

I’m not going to list any of my favorite purchases here because I don’t think I could pick two or three that I like better than the rest. I think they are all pretty cool. Oh, and remember that meeting I had on Wednesday night? Well the outcome of that is that we will have a few VERY neat gold coins available after PCGS’ Members Only Show next week in Las Vegas (this time at the Cosmopolitan). Stay tuned for those or if you get to attend that show take a look at them. I know you’ll be pleased.

The Holiday season is in full swing now, and we wish everyone a great one. And thank you for your patronage throughout this past week. We really appreciate it.

Happy Holidays!

Bill and Christine

Whitman’s Baltimore Expo Show Report

A lot has happened since I last sat down at my computer to do a show report. In a word: Sandy. I’d like to take this time to thank all of our customers, clients, and friends who inquired about how we weathered the storm. Everyday I see trucks from all across the U.S.A. working feverishly trying to restore power to the residents of the East Coast, as well as helping to just clean up the damage. I know that not everyone would agree with me, especially those still without power, but I for one am impressed with the progress made in the wake of this disaster. Thank you to those who are working around the clock over here, it is greatly appreciated.

The first major show after Sandy was Whitman’s Coin & Collectibles Expo held in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. It was a little hectic getting ready for the show, but once Christine and I arrived in the Inner Harbor (as the locals call it) it was almost as if Sandy had never happened. After checking into our hotel we immediately welcomed our first appointment. I know that I keep talking about our relationships with dealers and collectors alike, but the reality is that without them our business would be a fraction of what it is. In this case it was with another dealer who we do a lot of business with throughout the year. Our purchases were, well, great. Christine is busy imaging them (as well as all of our other NEWPS) and getting them ready for your consideration. After a few hours of business in the hotel, it was time for dinner and getting ready for Thursday, the first day of the show.

Set up was an early 8:00 in the morning. We barley had time to get to our table when we were inundated with fellow dealers wanting to see our coins, as well as ask how we survived Sandy. We did some wholesale selling, and looked at many dealers boxes. As has been the case lately, the boxes of coins we looked at were the usual tired stale inventory. We were lucky if we found one or two coins after looking at hundreds. But as with anything in life there are always exceptions, and we were very happy that three other dealers came straight to us (first) looking to sell fresh, new to the market, deals. Of course both Christine and I did everything in our power to buy those coins. These, along with the aforementioned deal, are among the new purchases being offered this week.

Around noon on Thursday the public was admitted to the show. Again many customers and clients stopped by to see how we fared with Sandy, exchange pleasantries, and also to BUY coins. I must confess that the retail aspect of the show was greater then I had expected. A good many coins in our inventory found new homes among their other high quality pieces. There were a few of our clients that had asked for our opinion on some of the auction lots being sold there, we advised them as if we were buying them for ourselves. Some were successful, some were not, but each and every one of them came away with a little more insight to the market.

I must confess that I am a little rusty with my show reports. I promise that the next one will be more in depth. In the mean time Christine and I, would like to give thanks to each and everyone of you for your support throughout the year. We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to enjoy some time with your families. But if you find yourself in a position this weekend of either going holiday shopping (really?) or spending some time at home, might I suggest you get some of your coins out of the bank and enjoy them. After all isn’t that what this hobby is all about? And if you find a coin in our latest offering that might fit into your collection, give us a call. Remember…we love to talk coins.

Hurricane Sandy Update

By now most of you should have heard of the widespread devastation on the East Coast caused by Hurricane Sandy. As bad as it looks on the television I can assure you it is worse in person. And while there has been an outstanding show of unity and humanity here in New Jersey (Numismatic Americana’s headquarters are less than 50 miles from the Jersey shore) as with any natural disaster there are always a few bad apples that try and capitalize on it.

In particular I am talking about the mail system. I received an email this morning (on my I Pad as I have no power at home) telling dealers across the nation about a rash of thefts that have occurred due to Sandy. Therefore Christine and I have decided not to attempt to ship any coins for at least another week (that is assuming we can get to the bank and retrieve them). I know that many of you have ordered coins from our web site, purchased them on eBay, or have deals currently in play. Rest assured that we will honor ALL deals already made, and will put coins on hold for you in the order in which they are received. If you have already ordered coins and sent a check you have the option of waiting another week or so for the coins or canceling your order. There will be no questions asked regarding your decision either way. Many of you have already contacted us (Christine in particular as she is on the West Coast), and understand the situation. To you I say “thank you”.

I would also like to take the time to say “thank you” to those of you who called or emailed Christine or me inquiring about my safety. I am without power but because of friends over here I am able to clean up and get hot food. Word on the street is that I might have power early next week, let’s hope so.

I have to tell you about a conversation I had with a client (who quite awhile ago evolved to friend status). Both of us grew up in the mid-west and have experienced many natural disasters. He actually went to the bank and got his coins out before the storm hit. And get this, he has been spending time looking at his collection admits all the devastation. All this by FLASHLIGHT! That is a resourceful and dedicated collector.

Thanks again and if you have any question please feel free to email either Christine or I and we will do our best to answer you promptly.

Bill and Christine

Big Tex, JFK, and Me! My Dallas ANA show report

When I was driving home from the airport after returning from “The Big D” Saturday night I was listening to an interview with the members of the group Crosby, Stills, Nash, or CSN as they’re known, on the radio. It was one of those interactive shows where members of the audience could ask questions. Let me tell you they asked a lot of good questions, but one in particular and their answer really hit home with me. Someone asked how, after nearly 50 years of touring, they do it or better yet, why they do it. I believe it was Stephen Stills who answered it best. He said it was the 3 hours on stage that made the other 21 hours of the day bearable. Riding on a tour bus and constantly being woken up, right after you fell asleep, by an expansion joint on the highway was part of the deal. It was those three hours that made everything else okay. Boy could I relate to that.

Christine and I both arrived in Dallas at what is rapidly becoming our customary 3 to 5 hour plane ride, before the show started and a rather long, yet uneventful, cab ride to the Omni in downtown Dallas. After a quick lunch we were able to check into our hotel room and then it was off to the show. The show itself was located in a convention center which was semi-attached to the hotel. As you’ll recall, I like that type of set up. Our table location, picked by Christine, was great; centrally located and towards the front. We submitted some coins to PCGS for grading, and then got down to the art of buying and selling. Sometimes I still have a hard time making the transition from wholesaler to retailer at shows. It used to be that I would sell virtually everything that I brought to a show at the beginning and at the same time buying new coins and prepping them to get graded. Not so much anymore. You and Christine have transformed me into a retail dealer. Like David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Gram Nash, I love it!

While Wednesday wasn’t anything special in terms of business, Thursday morning was the beginning of a memorable event. Several clients, and a few new customers, had emailed us before and had made the trip to Dallas to see us. One gentleman, someone who we had never done business with before, emailed me about a particular coin he had seen on Collector’s Corner and wanted to see it at the show. He stopped by Thursday morning and introduced himself, the beginning of a new relationship. Let me tell you how he found us. Collector’s Corner, which is owned by Collectors Universe (the parent company of PCGS) has a feature where a dealer can “earmark” his or her inventory that will be at a show. That feature is how this individual found us. Pretty cool, huh? After what seemed like a short three hours, the day was over and Christine and I went to dinner with a client/friend and his wife. We dined and talked for hours about everything under the sun, including how our client’s wife had attended the Texas State Fair earlier in the day. Sadly the big news the next day was how “Big Tex” had caught fire and burned to the ground, a Texas icon gone forever but not forgotten!

Friday came and it was like we never left the show on Thursday. Many of the same customers, and several new ones, stopped by and we did more business. One client again /friend, and his Dad, stopped by for most of the day. We had done a deal earlier in the month that needed a little TLC before it was finished, and proceeded to “get ur done”. I was in that above mentioned “3 hour” space for most of the show. Later that evening we had the pleasure of dining with him over great Tex-Mex. it was heaven Texas style.

We started to get freshly graded coins back from PCGS early in the day and made time to prepare them for our clients. One of our new clients patiently, and persistently, waited to see them. We chatted about his collection, how he got started, and what he liked in a coin. It was another of those “3 hour” experiences. I loved it!

I need to thank the entire ANA staff for making this show a hit. While there will always be snafus associated with any show, the ANA did their best in making this one a hit. Throughout the three days the public attended and it was non stop. Buying, selling, and building relationships (got it in there didn’t I)! I did get the opportunity to go and view the treasures brought from Colorado Springs by the ANA and they were amazing. A big thank you also needs to go out to Legend Numismatics and their client Bob Simpson for loaning coins to display. Way cool pieces indeed! I also got a chance to see the two Columbian commemorative half dollars once owned by John F. Kennedy that we loaned to the ANA for this show. Unfortunately we weren’t able to see the site made so famous by President Kennedy’s assassination. We should have made the time.

I started writing this at 4 a.m. this morning and I am just finishing it up on a plane in route to see a friend and client. Christine has worked feverishly to get the coins ready for your viewing and consideration. So if you see something of interest, give us a call or send an email. Remember we love to talk coins…

Las Vegas. St. Louis. Dallas. Racking up the miles…

I didn’t get the chance to write a show report when I got home from PCGS’ Invitational as it was off to St. Louis for the Silver Dollar and Rare Coin Expo. Well, as promised here is what I hope to be the first and last multi-show report.

Some of you might recall that I have been a big fan of the small intimate shows PCGS puts on, commonly referred to as “The Invitationals’”. This one, as expected, reaffirmed my faith in them. Back at the beautiful Venetian after a one show at “The Cosmopolitan”, Don Willis and the ENTIRE staff at PCGS are to be commended. An early flight, as usual, and I arrived a few hours before noon on Wednesday. After checking in it was a leisurely walk to the bourse and the electricity that filled the room. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of attending one of these, let me give you a mental picture. The entire show, from the bourse tables, PCGS’ table, and the dining area are in an area about 75′ X 150′, big enough to accommodate everyone, yet small enough that one doesn’t feel as if they missed seeing someone.

Las Vegas has been called America’s playground (as well as sin city) and most people there are having fun. These shows just add to the experience. I have found that most of the collectors, and dealers, in attendance look at this show as a mini vacation within a major show. That is a win-win for everyone. There is plenty of time to do the usual wholesale business as well as spend all the time you want talking coins with clients (remember we love to talk coins). It seems, in my book, that many dealers save coins up to have them graded there. And now more than ever advanced collectors are starting to realize that many great coins are produced there and make every attempt to attend. That is what I saw happen at this one.

We sold all of what we wanted to wholesale and then set out searching for “cool” coins. Let me rephrase that: We waited for the coins to find us. Remember, Christine and I have spent a lifetime making relationships and this is the type of show where that becomes evident. By Thursday the coins started to be returned from PCGS and that is when the fun started. Mind you there wasn’t a huge amount of coins graded there, but there was enough to get excited about. We were able to find more that we thought, and that included three that standout in my mind. They are:

1867 With Rays Shield nickel, PCGS PR65+ CAM

1831 Bust Quarter, Small Letters, PCGS MS65+

1882 Trade Dollar, PCGS PR67 DCAM

All three of these had a few things in common. First they all have outstanding eye-appeal, a trait that all of our customers desire. Second, we purchased them with specific clients in mind. So if you haven’t given us a want list, perhaps you should give us a try. And lastly, well they were just too cool not to buy. And while it is always fun to buy coins like those listed above, that isn’t the norm. The one thing that all our purchases have in common is quality, plain and simple.

As I said above, Las Vegas is America’s playground. That is not to say one has to gamble to enjoy them-self, as there are endless entertainment options there. My personal favorite is a good meal and I wasn’t disappointed. I had the pleasure of dining with a client, who I now call a friend, and got to know them even better. It seems that Vegas is a good environment to get to know someone. Contrary to what the Las Vegas Board of Tourism would have you believe, what happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas.

After a few short days back home it was on to the airport for an early morning flight to St. Louis. As much as I like the above mentioned Vegas shows, I must say that this show, The Silver Dollar and Rare Coin Expo (and its sibling show in August), is my favorite on the circuit. It is located in a new convention center that is adjacent to an Embassy Suites in convenient St. Charles, MO. I have been attending shows in the greater St. Louis area since 1977 and have met many a collector and dealer there. If you did the math you see that that is over 1/3 of a century (35 years to be exact), and a person can build many a relationships over that amount of time, which I have. That is why we were offered some pretty cool items this trip. One that stands out is a complete 144 piece collection of U.S. Commemorative coins. The collector that assembled this set had a great eye and picked some really nice coins, all PCGS, all totally original, and all with great eye appeal. Unfortunately these won’t be up on our web site until we return from the upcoming ANA’s show in Dallas, TX. Stay tuned for them. Another item of interest is an 1894 proof set, cent through dollar, in a period correct box. We bought this raw and will have it graded in Dallas next week so keep an eye out for this one.

I wouldn’t say, nor did I hear, that retail sales were off the charts. I did, however, see first hand many collectors armed with want lists and buying coins for them. This is the Heartland of America, where collectors rule. It hasn’t changed in over 30 years. I like it.

There you go, two cities, two completely different scenarios. Both of which I would do again. Christine has been working all day getting these coins really for your viewing, so check them out and give us a call if something strikes your fancy. Remember…we love to talk coins.

Bill and Christine

P.S. We will be attending the ANA show in Dallas next week, so if you have any additions to your want list please let us know.

Las Vegas Fall 2012

Right now Bill is at the Silver Dollar Show in St. Louis Missouri. We will have new coins next week from this show and a dual Coin Show Report. Please check out the new coin purchases going up on the web today and in addition on our Decorative Arts page there are some great works of Art by John Martin Blankenberg. Blankenberg was born in Tragdor, Norway, October 24, 1860. He came to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush and worked as a photographer in Dawson-Haines Alaska and possibly other locations. Little is known of his personal life. He was married at one time and spent the latter part of his life in Tenakee, Alaska, which is where he died, August 19, 1939. He is best known for his photos of Haines, Lake Bennett, and Lake Lindeman, the Chilkat Indians, and activities on the Chilkoot Pass. All information on Blankenberg was taken from the Alaska State Library. Please give me a call if there is anything that interests you or if you have any questions.

PCGS, So-Called Dollars, and an emerging market

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Don Willis, President of PCGS, at one of the major shows. I’ve known Don for many years and have always respected him for his professionalism and knowledge of the coin industry, so it was no surprise to me when he took his current position at PCGS. During the course of our chat we discussed many things; from how the market is in my segment of the hobby, to my clients views on PCGS, and everything in between. One of the topics that came up was potential areas of growth for PCGS and how they might be obtained.

I mentioned that many of our customers who purchased federal coinage also bought medals and tokens to complement their collections. Two areas that came to the forefront were U.S. Mint medals and So-Called Dollars. I can now say that the outcome of these talks is that PCGS now grades and encapsulates both of the areas of numismatics. As this article is about So-Called Dollars I won’t talk about PCGS’ grading of U.S. Mint medals, but rest assured that I will write about them in the future.

So just what exactly is a So-Called Dollar? Well we get that term from two gentlemen who coined it in the 1960′s (pun intended). One of the hottest areas of collecting in the 1960′s was medals whose size was comparable with that of a U.S. silver (or gold) dollar. This was a fun and inexpensive alternative to collecting regular American coins. The big problem was that there was not a reference book, or any books, available to help the average collector with this endeavor. Enter Harold E. Hibler and Charles V. Kappen. In 1963 The Coin and Currency Institute, Inc. published their book So-Called Dollars, an Illustrated Standard Catalog. It was an instant hit.

The authors looked at thousands of medals to include in their book, eventually settling on less than one thousand. How they did this is beyond me. I have seen literally thousands and thousands of medals that met their criteria but did not make it into the book. A daunting task to say the least.

Hibler and Kappen decided to divide their book into three separate areas of medals that met the guidelines they set forth. They were:

Part l Commemorative and Expositions Medals of National Significance

Part ll Commemorative and Exposition Medals of Local Significance

Part lll Monetary and Miscellaneous Medals

I could spend hours and hours telling you just exactly what deserves to go into each of those categories, but I will let the titles do the talking. Personally I like the medals of part l and lll. National events and monetary policy appeal the most to me as a numismatist. That is not to say that the medals of part ll aren’t important, because some of them are, it’s just that some of them are so obscure that I don’t think they were that popular when they were issued. So-Called Dollars were minted by a variety of manufactures, one of which was the U.S. Mint. I find that these, usually found in Part I of the book, are generally well made, sometimes designed by artist who also did coins, and are the most popular of the series.

As with most things in life popularity sometimes comes and goes, this happened with the So-Called market. For most of the 1970-1990′s there wasn’t much demand for them, in fact collectors of them had all but fallen off of the face of the earth. But then slowly their appeal started to re-emerge. Demand picked up and during the first decade of this century there was actually a “bull” market for them. The problem was that there weren’t any copies of Hibler and Kappen’s original book available for this new generation of collectors. As more and more people became interested in these pieces it became evident that a new “revised” edition would help ease this problem. We have Tom Hoffman, Dave Hayes, Jonathan Brecher, and John Dean to thank for this. In 2008 they released a second edition, somewhat revised, and it became a best seller. I should also note that there were other major players in this field at that time, most importantly Jeff Shevlin, the newly appointed Executive Director for the American Numismatic Association. New life had been born into the long forgotten field of So-Called Dollars.

There are two other reference books that deserve to be mentioned here. They are National Commemorative Medals of the United States of America since 1873 by William Swoger and National Commemorative Medals of the United States Mint, An Illustrated Catalog, by John T. Dean. Both of these books are great in their own right, but for the sake of consistency and continuity PCGS has decided to attribute these medals by their So-Called Dollar numbers.

The medals of Part ll, to be blunt, aren’t nearly as popular as those of Parts l and lll. In my opinion they have very limited appeal to most collectors. The phrase I like to use is “nobody cares about the Shamhart Family reunion medal of 1936 except for; you guessed it, the Shamharts”. I’m not picking on those listed in Part ll, in fact they have many (okay a few) loyal followers of their own. The biggest thing these pieces have going for them is that you need them to have a complete collection of So-Called Dollars.

The medals of Part lll are really cool. Some of the neatest ones included are the Bryan issues, Lesher Referendum Dollars, and the Pedley-Ryan Dollars of 1933. In fact many of the medals listed in this section have other, stand alone, reference books of their own. If you’re a student of American monetary policy and the way it has affected our country, then these So-Called Dollars are for you. Way cool in my opinion.

After my talk with Don Willis, PCGS decided to begin grading So-Called Dollars. Mind you this ISN’T because of me. So-Called Dollars had been on PCGS’ radar screen for some time, but I like to think that my talk with Don didn’t hurt.

So now you know what a So-Called Dollar is. You know who wrote the original reference book on them and also those responsible for the new and revised edition. And you know my opinion on which areas of them are cool and which area isn’t (To paraphrase the comedian Dennis Miller…”hey that’s just my opinion, I COULD be wrong.). Now all you have to do is go out and buy a copy of the So-Called Dollar book (and maybe the others I mentioned above) and start reading. Then you can start on your new quest for them.

Christine and I have a few of the first pieces graded by PCGS. Look over our listing, then look them up in your copy of Hibler and Kappen’s book, and if you see something you like, give us a call. Remember…we love to talk coins (and medals).

Long Beach Expo Fall 2012

It is well known to the readers of my show reports that I have a hard time writing them. Sometimes, like when a show is really good, I can sit down at the computer and it all starts to flow easily. Then there are the times when the show wasn’t quite what we were hoping for and writing becomes more difficult. And then there are shows like last week’s Long Beach…..

In defense of the show promoters and their entire staff, it wasn’t them. They did all they could in my mind. All the tables were filled and on the surface it looked like the Long Beach’s of years past. But I get the feeling that it wasn’t all that good for most that attended. I try and talk to as many dealers as possible to get their take on the show, as well as read as many of our colleagues show reports as I can. From all indications you either had a great show or a lack-luster one. Ours was the latter.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad we went. We were able to buy some great pieces for our customers (and web site) either on the floor or from some of our clients who brought coins to sell. Remember we pride ourselves on the relationships that we build and are always grateful when we get offered our own coins back. Kind of like a homecoming if you will. Both Christine and I BUY our inventory because we like the coin and believe in it. So it is always nice to be able to sell a coin again. But if it weren’t for our customers and a very select few dealers (ones that we do a lot of business with because they like the same kind of coins we do) I don’t think we would have bought anything. The floor was very dry when it came to fresh new coins.

As has been the norm in the recent past, most of our clientele that attended came armed with want lists (and occasionally check books) looking for that special coin. Most of the customers we deal with are pretty disciplined when it comes to buying for their collections and would only make a sporadic on the spot purchase if the coin was really special, as in something you don’t see everyday. There is another dealer out there who constantly says they have a $25 million want list but can’t find the coins. I believe it and you should too. There is a lot of demand for coins (special coins) but the available supply is virtually non existent. That is why you see great coins go up on a web site only to be put on hold moments later. Advanced collectors know how to pull the trigger and don’t hesitate to do so.

So there’s my take on Long Beach. We have some pretty neat coins for you to entertain buying. Look over the new purchases and give us a call. Remember…we love to talk coins

California here we come!

While most of America is preparing for the highly anticipated 3 day weekend celebrating Labor Day, Christine and I have our eyes set on California. Southern California and Collectors Universe’s Long Beach Expo to be specific! It’s not that we won’t have time to enjoy what is commonly called the last weekend of summer, because we will. But we will also busy packing supplies, double checking want lists, and everything else we do before a major show. If the last Long Beach Expo is any indication then this one will be a barn burner. We sure hope so.

As usual we will be at table 633. We will have all the coins you see on our web site, as well as Collector’s Corner, along with a great group of new purchases (relationships, remember?). Neither Christine nor I will be able to attend on Wednesday, but rest assured we will be there throughout the rest of the show, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and we look forward to seeing you.

One of the many new coins we will have with us, (pictured above) is an 1879-CC PCGS MS65 (CAC), a great piece, undoubtedly from the GSA hoard of the 1970s and exhibits the ever desirable crescent toning that can be acquired only from years of storage in a canvas bag. Check out Christine’s photos and then give us a call if this is on your wish list. Even if it isn’t don’t be afraid to call us. Remember…we love to talk coins.

Christine and Bill

ANA’s World’s Fair of Money; Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love

The most anticipated numismatic event of the year is over. It’s history, and like most history it will be recorded for people to read about over and over again. But this time I was there. I am sure that there will be many show reports written during the next week or so, and a lot of them will have different views (some vastly different). So this report is based on my observations while I was there.

First off let me give a HUGE thank you to the entire ANA staff for putting this together. I know the logistics, and the associated problems that I have had when attending a show so I can only imagine the ANA’s (mine X 1000). Finding a venue that satisfies everybody is impossible, but the ANA did a great job trying to make all attendees happy.

The host hotel, The Marriott, was directly attached to the convention center. This I liked. As you can imagine, hauling around your inventory on the street of Philadelphia isn’t a wise move. Being able to check into your hotel and then go directly to the show takes a little stress off of you at the beginning of a show. Hotel accommodations get an A+ in this show report.

The convention hall, actually two halls, was clean, secure, and set up properly when we arrived. No hassles at all. Show accommodations: A+

Food is an important part of every show, and life itself. Usually the food provided in convention halls is sub-par at best. Hot dogs, hamburgers (way overcooked at best) with the occasional dried out chicken is usually the fare. I can’t say that about this show because I didn’t eat it. The Reading Market was directly outside the convention center and we had lunch from there everyday. Some of you might have seen it in the movie “National Treasure” starring Nicolas Cage. If you couldn’t find something you liked there then all I can say is that you probably have some sort of eating disorder. As far as dinners go, well again, outstanding. Philadelphia has everything you could want, some good, some bad, and some great. Finding a great restaurant is like finding a great coin. Everyone has an opinion, but everybody agrees on the great ones. Food: A+

When Christine and I got to the show on Monday afternoon, the transition from the previous weekend’s pre-show to the ANA was just starting. I did make the trip down to Philadelphia on Saturday to do one deal, but other than that neither Christine nor I thought it was that important to attend the pre-show, after all that would have made for a very long trip. So we showed up on Monday as planned and all went well. We had made arraignments to see a few of our regular dealer contacts that afternoon and were VERY happy with the coins we bought. By now you should realize that relationships, whether in business or everyday life, are very important. Thankfully both Christine and I have a long list of great relationships we’ve built over the years. Set up: A

The official ribbon cutting ceremony wasn’t until Tuesday morning and then the collectors started coming in. We were glad to see them all, catch up on what’s happening in their life, and find out what is going on with their collecting (remember…we love to talk coins). There was a steady flow of people throughout the day, yet it never seemed overwhelming or slow. Nice and steady…just like we like it. In addition to seeing our existing customers and friends, Christine and I were very happy to make new acquaintances and customers. We look forward to seeing them for years to come. This show, more than any other in my recent memory, was one where we were able to really sit and talk with people. One of our long standing clients, an advanced one with a great sense of humor, was talking with me on the phone yesterday (he got our new purchases email and wanted something he saw) and commented how there was a lack of anything neat on display on the bourse floor. The exhibit area is FULL of really cool things, but not the bourse. It used to be you could see some wild coins on display at dealer’s tables. They weren’t for sale, only shown for the publics viewing pleasure. That gave me an idea, one that Christine and I will be doing at next years ANA (or maybe CSNS). I won’t tell you what it is, but rest assured it will be fun. Customers: A++++

So what did we buy or sell? Let me see…


1836/1336 50c PCGS PR64CAM

Lots of Civil War era coinage, from a MS66 1863 Indian cent to an 1861 gold dollar in PCGS MS66+. Remember, America is honoring the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War for the next few years, and collectors are getting a major dose of its history in all forms of media. How cool is it to actually have coins from then! Makes me want to call up Christine and order them for myself!

GEM type coins! Both Christine and I were able to find quite a few of our favorite type coins. From Three Cent Nickels to Seated Halves we bought some. When you add in some really neat gold coins it gets exciting quickly.

Commems! Arguably our most popular area we were able to find some for your viewing pleasure. Not a lot, but then again most of those we were offered didn’t stack up to our, or your, standards. Those that did we bought.

Key Dates. It’s always nice to have a few examples of the classical key date coins. Coins like the 1909-S VDB and 1937-D 3 leg Buffalo nickel come to mind. We found a few (not a lot mind you) of these in totally original condition. If you’ve wanted some of these since you were a kid, now is a good time to entertain getting one.


1836/1336 50c PCGS PR64CAM (Yes it is the same coin listed above. It created quite a stir at the show)

1898 25c NCG MS68* CAC: We bought this coin the week before the show from one of our clients, along with several others. Remember that whole relationship thingy? Now you get the idea…

1794 1/2c NCG AU58 CAC

Gold medal from the Lake George Regatta Association, designed by Victor D. Brenner

1911-D $2.50 PCGS AU58

Those are just a few of the pieces. We sold many others, but they all had one thing in common; all had great eye appeal, just as they should have.

So there is my show report. I had plenty of ideas about what I wanted to write about, but as usual when I sat down at the computer they all disappeared. Oh well. At least the show was one for the history books.

Missouri Numismatic Society Show Report

I grew up in Missouri. And while I do remember it being hot there in the summers, I am pretty sure that this summer’s heat wave is one for the record books. When I landed Wednesday afternoon it was still 104 degrees, and somewhat humid. Folks, that’s hot! And it makes virtually any outdoors activity unbearable, except maybe swimming.

For the past half decade or so The Missouri Numismatic Society has held its annual summer show at the Embassy Suites hotel in St. Charles, Missouri. If you’ve been following my show reports you’ll recall that THIS exact hotel and connecting convention hall is my favorite on the show circuit. Easy to get to, plenty of free parking for the collectors, good restaurants in a close proximity, and the show and hotel under one roof, makes for a very pleasant and stress free environment. Everything that a dealer/collector could want in a show!

The show set up at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, but beings that I am on east coast time and get up early, I decided to start viewing the auction lots at 8 o’clock. Oh, I forgot to tell you about the auction? It is put on by Scotsman Auctions every year in conjunction with this show. They have a knack for finding fresh to the market consignments and this auction proved no different. Filled to the brim with collector coins galore, I was able to view all the lots with ease and find some to bid on. Time flies when you’re having fun and soon enough it was time for the show to start.

While this show isn’t as large as, say, Baltimore or Long Beach, it is very big in comparison to most other state and local shows. But that didn’t stop it from giving off the “small town” atmosphere. As the dealers systematically moved into the bourse room, all I could think of is “why can’t all shows be like this?” If you’re getting the feeling I like this show, you’re right.

As you know, the beginning of the show is where I try and do most of my buying. The old adage “if you snooze, you lose” truly applies here. Getting an early shot at some of the regional shop owners (the ones who only set up at one or two shows a year) is important. And while I didn’t find any wildly expensive, one of a kind, coins I was able to purchase a very nice group that Christine is busy getting ready for the web site. I’ve always said it, but if it weren’t for the relationships Christine and I have built over the past thirty years I wouldn’t have gotten as many coins as I did (sorry I didn’t stress this point in last weeks show report, it won’t happen again). Gem type coins, commemoratives, and even a few circulated “collector coins” were acquired. I’m sure you’ll be as pleased with them as I was.

One of the reasons I like this type of show is the camaraderie. There was a constant flow of collectors/dealers at my table. Some came to chat and catch up, while others were there on a mission: to find that perfect coin for their collection. But they all showed courtesy to me and anybody at my table. Nobody opened their briefcase (on my showcase) and proceeded to camp out. It was “coin nirvana”! I had the opportunity to talk with several of our clients there, as well as at least a dozen of my past students from the ANA’s summer seminar.

We will be quite busy this week with the new purchases and getting ready for “The Big Show” next week in Philadelphia. But don’t let that stop you from contacting us if you see anything of interest in this week’s listings. We always have time for you, our customers. And remember…we love to talk coins.

Bill and Christine

PCGS Members Only Show

I have just returned from PCGS’ Members Only show held at the Cosmopolitan on the Las Vegas strip. This was the first time that PCGS has hosted the show at this venue and what a different, yet great, one it was.

The Cosmo as it is called is a relatively new resort in Las Vegas but it has quickly proven itself as the place to be and be seen. As a seasoned traveler I am pretty adapt to finding my way around a hotel and The Cosmo was no different. Originally built to be condominiums it somehow transformed itself into a casino and hotel. Good idea if you ask me. The lobby was a little different than I am used to, but the quest rooms were UNBELIEVABLE! As most of you know, I am technologically challenged which is usually a problem for me when confronted with a hotel so equipped. Not so with the Cosmo. But enough about the hotel, on to the show report.

The show opened up a few hours earlier than usually which was just fine with me. The customer service staff at PCGS has dealer submissions down to a science and everybody got their coins in early. Then it was time to get down to the business of buying and selling. Usually the summer Members Only show is the slower one, and while that was evident, the room was full and business was being done. I was able to get first shot at a few dealers’ coins, which along with the freshly graded pieces we had done there makes for a nice selection of NEWPS. I had to leave early Friday due to a prior commitment, but I understand that it began to slow down somewhat by that time. That’s okay with me as I leave for St. Louis tomorrow and need just a little time to recoup.

Until next week, enjoy your summer, look over our new purchases and if you see something that you like, give us a call. Oh, and if you’re attending the show in St. Louis this week stop by and say hello. Remember…we love to talk coins

Colorado Springs? Baltimore? Where am I?

First let me apologize for this report, I am writing it on my iPad. Technology isn’t my strongest suit, so bare with me.

As some of you had noticed, I was originally supposed to be in Colorado Springs beginning last Wednesday but Mother Nature put an end to that. The residents of Colorado Springs, along with all the students and instructors at the ANA’s summer seminar were subjected to what was a horrendous wild fire, with the worst days being last Tuesday and Wednesday. Needless to say I was in constant contact with the ANA and decided to cancel my plan to arrive last Wednesday. That meant that I would also miss the local show that is held every year in-between the first and second sessions of summer seminar. It was a hard decision to make but I had to do it. So what to do? Baltimore!

I got up early Thursday morning and drove down to the summer show put on by the good folks of Whitman. Have I ever said how great they are? How accommodating, Professional, and just plain nice? We’ll if I haven’t, let me say it now. Thanks!

So there I am walking into the show and it felt weird, like I didn’t belong. Countless people looked at me like I was a ghost. I guess I didn’t realize how many people follow our show schedule. It made me feel good when people finally figured it out; that I had changed my plans because of the fires.

So down to business. First off I got to buy some neat coins from one of my long time contacts. You know, the kind of people who I’ve spent years building a relationship with (ha, got it in there pretty quick, didn’t I). I also was able to spend some time with three of my favorite coin people in the entire industry. You guys know who you are. Thanks for being there.

So after a hectic 36 hours in Baltimore, I was on my way back home so that I could catch a flight out to Colorado. What? You didn’t think I would find a way to make it there? Well I did, and all is right in Bill’s world again. Classes started yesterday and already I can see improvement in our students. If you haven’t ever made the pilgrimage out to the “Springs” for summer seminar you need to do so. Your life, and the way you look at collecting will be changed forever.

I could rattle on, but I have an evening seminar to get to, and then onto dinner with some friends. So while I get to play (after all my show report is done), Christine is busy getting some new purchases ready for you consideration. Look them over and the give us a call if you see something of interest. And remember…we love to talk coins.

June Long Beach or the rebirth of a classic?

We, that is, Christine and I, just returned from the second Long Beach show of the year and WOW what a few months make. Christine is busy getting our new purchases ready for your viewing pleasure, but until then it is my job to write this show report.

As I said earlier, what a difference a few months makes. In the last few show reports on Long Beach I have said that something needed to be done. I even went as far as to say that the Long Beach show was terminal, as in dead. Well it appears that the show promoters listened to me (I’m sure it wasn’t just me, but saying so makes me feel important). With a new heart (show staff), a new diet (new marketing and pricing for tables), and a daily regiment of exercise (listening to the attending dealers as well as the public), it now appears that the long running and highly coveted Long Beach show will be around for quite a while. Well done! I’ve listed a few of the “new” ideas below, and I think you’ll like them:

1 Free Wi-Fi for dealers with tables. A big bonus for them, as the show is basically in a bunker and all other Internet providers have a hard time penetrating it.

2 NO EMPTY TABLES! Yea! There is nothing I hate more than having a table at a show, surrounded by empty booths. It just looks bad and is a security risk. I am sure that the attending public would agree. Good job Long Beach staff!

3 Computers at the front of the show allowing Collectors to locate coins. Dealers that list their inventory on Collectors Corner check which coins will be available at the show. With this Collectors look on the computer and can find the coin and which table it is at. Another great idea! And we even had collectors come by looking for the coins we had listed. I never thought I’d say it, but “isn’t technology great?”

As you are aware, I sometimes suffer from writers block. I know that there are numerous implementations that I forgot to mention, but you get the idea.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the fact that there are too many major shows now. I have to agree…sort of. I don’t think there are really too many shows, it is just that the show promoters do not seem to talk or communicate with each other and inevitably have their shows back to back, or in the case of next years June Long Beach and Baltimore shows THE SAME WEEKEND! (In fact the ANA had their spring show the same weekend as PAN, the organization that they hooked up with to do the show last fall. Duh!) As my mother is so fond of saying…”can’t we all just get along?” There is no reason that either of those two, Long Beach or Baltimore, should have to give up a show. Maybe they should just look at a copy of the “coin show calendar”. Both Christine and I have clients on both coasts that don’t make it across the country to another show. Enough complaining, let’s work together and find a solution.

Enough of that though. On with the show report…

The show opened up earlier this year, at noon. What a difference that makes. The extra two hours allowed for a more relaxed time and also allowed the dealers to see more of each other before the public came in. I like it.

We came with a lot of coins ready for grading; coins that we had bought from old time collectors and in deals recently. They immediately went to PCGS and were returned on a somewhat timely fashion throughout the show. I personally think that PCGS did a great job of holding the line, crossing the coins they should have and rewarding superb original coins. I did however hear several dealers complain, but when I looked at their coins, all I could think was “man these coins sure do look tired”. So be it.

Christine and I were able to buy some really cool coins this time. In fact this is probably the best looking batch of coins we have purchased in a long time. We’re really glad to have gotten the opportunity to buy them, both from dealers and collectors alike. In fact we bought back several pieces from a long time client, as well as a couple others at the show. And while many dealers still try and get us to buy their tired old stock, several new dealers are starting to realize that we pay dearly for quality and don’t try and beat them up on price. That is why we got to buy what was the talk of the show (at least in certain circles, as in Commem collectors). We were offered, and Christine immediately bought, a wonderfully toned 1928 Hawaiian half dollar. I assume the buyer was equally impressed with it because several other dealers and collectors mentioned to us that they had seen it. To give you an idea how cool it was, we could have sold it at least ten times to different clients. I guess it pays to be a nice guy (or girl) after all.

As I said earlier, I liked this show. Yes it might have been a little smaller, but that is my style. It allowed us to spend just a little more time with our clients talking coins. Getting to know your clients is what relationships are all about (you were wondering if I would get this in weren’t you?). We had the pleasure of dining with one of our clients, and his wife, this time. I used to think that I traveled a lot. Not so much. Those two know how to travel and live life to the fullest. Kudos to them!

So there it is my Long Beach Show report. Hoped you enjoyed it, but if you didn’t that’s okay. I’m sure you’ll enjoy looking over our new purchases.

And remember…we love to talk coins.

Denver or Bust!

Horace Greeley once said of Denver and Colorado, “Come West”. Through time, and a little artistic license, that has evolved into “Go West”, a catch phrase for prosperity and wealth. Not so much with the ANA’s recent National Money Show. I could go on and on with a list of reasons of why this is true, but I will try and be upbeat with our show reports…so here it goes.

An early (like 6:30 wheels up early) flight makes for a long day. Usually I have no problem sleeping on long flights, but this time I was seated next to a lady who was intent on talking to me whole flight. But I made the best of it and got to the show early enough to start viewing auction lots, only to find out that there wasn’t a sale this time. Huh…who’d a thought!

No problem, as that would give me even more time to prepare my submission (for on site grading) to the grading services. What? You didn’t get the email? No on site grading! Okay…

Let’s try the bourse floor. Dealer registration was an ease. That of course was due in part to the fact that the ANA mails your ribbons early. Good idea because if there had been a long line for dealers badges that would have been a bad deal. Why? Perhaps the 4.5 mile (not really, but very long) trek to the very far end of the convention was not the easiest. At least not all of the stairs had to be climbed (with your inventory in tow). There were a few ramps that helped.

Once inside the bourse room all was well. At least with table set up and such. Only thing missing was enthusiasm. Seems like most of the attending table holders were noy to happy with Denver and its convention center. Oh well, lets turn these lemons into lemonade (that’s a little trick that Christine has been continuously trying to teach me). We tried. Boy…did we try.

So we set up our booth and opened for business. I could say that we waited and waited, but the truth is that the people there actually wanted to due some sort of business. This wasn’t our best show (far from it, very far), but we were able to make a few things happen. Neat thing about our business model is that we do a lot of different things. Servicing want list is one of them. We were lucky enough to find a few things that our customers had expressed interest in. Keep in mind that a coin show isn’t like going to the grocery store. Everything you’re looking for isn’t necessarily in stock. So if you get a phone call or email from us when we’re at a show, do a little gig as we’ve surely found something you’ll like. One of our customers actually made the trip out there and luckily we found him a great little proof gold coin. Way cool. He was like a little school boy (and he’s been out of school for a while). That is one of the reasons we do what we do.

Both Christine and I scoured the floor looking for coins for you, our loyal clientele. It wasn’t easy but Christine has been busy getting them ready for your viewing pleasure. So check them out and then give us a call if you see something of interest. And remember…we love to talk coins.

Bill and Christine

P.S. I will be in attendance of the Garden State Numismatic Association’s annual show this week. If you’re in the area stop by and say hello

Contact Information

Numismatic Americana Incorporated
P.O. Box 608
Chester, NJ 07930

William Shamhart, Jr.
Phone: 1-908-962-1500
email: Bill@numismaticamericana.com

Notes on Our Next Show

Long Beach Expo

January 29-31, 2015
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, CA

If you have items to SELL please stop by our table and we will be happy to discuss purchasing them

We will also have many items with us for you to view. If you are looking for anything in particular, or have an interest in anything on our website, please email or give us a call, prior to the show and we will make sure we bring this item for you to view.

Thank you and we look forward to meeting you.

Show Schedule

Long Beach Expo
January 29-31, 2015
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, CA

St. Louis Numismatic Association 51st Annual Coin Fair
February 5-8, 2015
St. Louis Airport Hilton
St. Louis, MO

PCGS Members Only Show
February 18-21, 2015
The Venetian/The Palazzo
Las Vegas, NV

National Money Show
March 5-7, 2015
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, OR

Whitman Coin Expo
March 26-29, 2015
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD

Central States Numismatic Society
April 22-25, 2015
Schaumburg Convention Center
Schaumburg, IL

GSNA Convention
May 14-16, 2015
Ukrainian Cultural Center
Somerset, NJ

Colorado Springs Coin Show
June 25-28, 2015
Freedom Financial Services Expo Center
Colorado Springs, CO

Whitman Coin Expo
July 16-19, 2015
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD

Missouri Numismatic Society 55th Annual Coin Show
July 23-25, 2015
The Saint Charles Convention Center
Saint Charles, MO

American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money
August 11-15, 2015
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, IL

Whitman Coin Expo
November 5-8, 2015
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD

The 59th Houston Money Show
December 3-5, 2015
Geo. R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, TX