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FUN starts year right

Positive results were achieved by coin dealers on the bourse floor of the Florida United Numismatists convention Jan. 8-11, 2015, in Orlando, but there were weak spots.

Charmy Harker, also known as the Penny Lady,

Charmy Harker, also known as the Penny Lady, said Thursday and Friday were nonstop.

Lincoln cents were popular, according to Charmy Harker, the Penny Lady of Irvine, Calif.

“Thursday and Friday were nonstop for me,” she said on Jan. 10.

“I hope it is a good gauge for how the market will go this year.”

She said her sales were heavily in the $500 to $1,000 range, which before the show “was like $500 and  under.”

Among the cents most in demand were the 1922 “No D” cent, also called a plain cent by collectors.

The classic 1955 doubled die was also in demand, as were toned  proofs, she said.

St. Paul, Minn., dealer Greg Allen agreed that toned coins were popular.

But he also “ended up selling this time quite a few common date nice white classic commemoratives to collectors.”

Paper money dealer Steve Perakis of Lima, Pa., said, “The buying was exceptionally good at the show.”

Pawn Star Rick Harrison talks to Fred Bart at the NGC booth at the FUN convention.

Pawn Star Rick Harrison talks to Fred Bart at the NGC booth at the FUN convention.

He said he was getting fresh collector material.

“The sales were decent. I’m hoping the next couple shows will be good.”

Offering world notes was Dave Cieniewicz of Huntsville, Ala.

“It was steady,” was his evaluation of his show results.

“Better notes were still difficult to locate. New collectors are coming into the hobby.”

Notes of South Sudan “dried up, especially higher denominations,” Cieniewicz said.

The country has nine notes, he said, three denominations in piasters and six in pounds. The 100-pound note is the key.

“I can’t sell Russia,”  said world coin dealer Al Boulanger of Pittsboro, Ind. “The Russian dealers are not here.

“The market here has been hurt by the stronger dollar,” he said.

He added that dealers from outside the United States generally did not attend.

“Business seems a little lighter than usual,” Boulanger said. “Overall, the show is a little better than I was afraid it might be. I am looking forward to going to Tampa next year.”

Early American copper specialist Col. Steven Ellsworth of Butternut in Clifton, Va., was happy with the crowds at the show.

“I don’t know what they did, but they had more people attend this show than in the past five years,” Ellsworth said. “I thought they shrunk the aisles it was so crowded.

“I had the best opening day I’ve had in 10 years. Overall, the show is up.

“Nice early coppers are pretty scarce, so I’ve done really well.”

While Ellsworth spoke, brothers  Christian and Jeffrey Turner of Fairfax, Va., were waiting for his attention at his table.

Ellsworth introduced them and pointed out that they were still in high school. They have gone to all of the American Numismatic Summer Seminar classes, he said. The result is they have already earned enough in the coin market to nearly pay for college.

Gus

Gus Tiso said the FUN show was “very good. It was great.”

Gus Tiso of Salisbury, Md., called the show “very good,” then corrected  himself and said, “It was great. Big coins sold, condition rarity coins. It was one of the best shows probably in five, six years.”

Silver Spring, Md., dealer Julian Leidman said, “I was really disappointed. The coin market has changed so much the majority of the people coming in are really just looking.”

Leidman said the auctions are where a lot of the activity is as well as the Internet.

“I’ve got really nice coins, but I just haven’t sold anything.”

It started slow, but overall it was a good show for Dahlonega, Ga., dealer Al C. Adams.

“In light of the economic situation, I’m pleased,” he said. “Attendance was strong.”

Flying Eagle and Indian Head cent specialist Rick Snow of Eagle Eye Rare Coins of Tucson, Ariz., said a problem is arising because of high demand for quality coins.

“Grading services are vastly overgrading a lot of Indian cents, especially the key date ones,” he explained.

He said he had seen 1877 cents in AU holders that he would grade only VF and XF. He said he had seen only one AU coin in an AU holder.

“It is very difficult to maintain a quality oriented pricing structure.”

Obviously, 2015 has some question marks in the marketplace, but optimism does not seem out of place as the year begins.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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