Did the commercial market pause to digest recent gains at the American Numismatic AssociationWorld?s Fair of Money Aug. 16-19 in Denver, or is it the beginning of a slump?
This question will be debated by hobbyists in the coming days as the autumn collecting season gets under way.
In the photo: Steve Contursi, left, president of Rare Coin Wholesalers, eyes a few rarities that he doesn?t own ? the 10 1933 $20s ? on display at the ANA show. Other viewers are visible through the glass of the display, the construction of which made it possible to see both sides of all 10 pieces.
Winchester, Ind., dealer Leon Hendrickson, commented as the show closed. ?The market is still very good. It slipped this week when gold fell. I think people backed off a little bit,? he said.
?They didn?t get a lot of people in here. There were not enough people for a full ANA show,? Hendrickson pointed out.
After the show, official attendance was pegged by the ANA at 9,237.
?It was better than San Francisco,? Hendrickson said.
Andrew Absil of Absil Coins of Johannesburg, South Africa, said his business results were extremely good.
?We were affected by the crash of generic coins, but only slightly,? he said of the weakening market.
Certainly from auction results, you cannot see weakness in the prices realized. Some bidders did note that more common coins were not bid on as aggressively.
Mark Stroud of Netherlands Coin of Staten Island, N.Y., said, ?There was very good wholesale activity, particularly strong in dollars, Morgan and Peace.? He added that this demand was in all grades, circulated on up.
Lorraine and Warren Weis of Hopatcong, N.J., were strongly positive.
?The show has been wonderful for us. We?ve seen customers from all over the country,? Warren said.
Lorraine explained that they go to 40-50 shows a year and have been in the business for 15 years.
World dealer and auctioneer Rick Ponterio of Ponterio and Associates, San Diego, Calif., said, ?The show was OK, but Denver is a dismal place for an ANA. It didn?t draw too many collectors. Nearly all the business was dealer to dealer.
Working at Harlan Berk?s table, Chicago, was Tom DeLorey. He said, ?The show was good, not great. We bought a lot of stuff here we are very happy about.?
Steve Ellsworth of Butternut Coins, Clifton, Va., who dealers in early copper, said, ?It was not crowded. Dealers could spend time with collectors. I?ve never seen such a great selection on one bourse in my life. Unfortunately, there weren?t a lot (of people) here. It was terrific for collectors.?
Julian Leidman, Silver Spring, Md., said, ?My sales were not up to expectations. It was a nice crowd, but won?t set records. The auctions are draining a lot of money from the bourse floor. I wasn?t offered much by the public.?
American Numismatic Rarities? Frank Van Valen said, ?The show was very active. We did some nice buying and got consignments. I am always happy to be here at ANA.?
Larry Shepherd of Alexandria, Ky., said, ?I thought this show was OK. It wasn?t exceptional. Traffic was a little light for an ANA.?
Paper money dealer Jesse Lipka of Flemington, N.J., said, ?The show was just awesome. It wasn?t until Saturday when I even had time to breathe.?
In the paper money area, he said, ?The market is exploding and it is hard to ascertain what it?s worth.?
Arthur Fitts of Colony Coin Co., Newtonville, Mass., said, ?It is not as good as expected, but certainly well worth being here. Good quality foreign, ancient and medieval doesn?t exist or is sky-high.?
Anthony Swiatek of Manhassett, N.Y., said rare Charlotte, New Orleans and Carson City gold made his show. ?I was able to sell and have a wonderful show,? he explained, but added that it was all wholesale business.
David Christensen of Excelsior Coin Gallery, Sacramento, Calif., gave a one-word answer when asked how his show went: ?Mediocre.?
Paper money dealer Harry Jones of Cleveland, Ohio, said the show was ?not the best ANA I?ve ever done, but certainly a decent one. Overall, I was happy with the action.? He noted that there were ?not as many collectors.?
Jack Beymer of Santa Rosa, Calif., was in a joking mood and called the show, ?less than average ANA, about like a Long Beach with higher bourse fees and higher general costs, too. We love the city. We invite everyone to come to Denver except coin dealers.?
Howard Simmons of Simmons Gallery of London, England, said, ?It was OK. It?s not very easy to find new material, but selling?s been quite good.?
Malcolm F. Todywalla of Mumbai, India, said business was ?pretty OK. It was more dealer-to-dealer trade for me.?
There you have it. Strength and weakness seemed to walk side by side down each aisle. What comes next, we will have to see.