Employing the slogan, “If you want to talk paper money, you have to come to Memphis,” the 35th International Paper Money Show held June 9-12 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center proved to be a delight for everyone from the hard-core collector to the novice, with plenty of shades in between.
This year’s Memphis show featured a number of new twists orchestrated by owner Lyn Knight, including the introduction of Memphis money presented to those who paid the $20 admission fee. A soiree on Saturday afternoon featured food, music and refreshments to honor the important hobby anniversaries and a Jeopardy-style quiz show that pitted a number of hobby luminaries in head-to-head match-up to determine who had the most knowledge of paper money.
Those interviewed by Numismatic News’ sister periodical Bank Note Reporter were generally upbeat and enthusiastic about the show and market in general.
“I really have to comment on the exceptionally wonderful collector orientation of the show as it was produced by this management,” said Ed Rothberg of Emporium Coin & Currency, Moorhead, Minn. “Lyn [Knight] has a sense of the history of this show. He is profoundly and wonderfully aware of the tradition here.
“He realizes that this isn’t just any other show. So he’s taken it over with a mentality that is very, very pro-collector, very, very pro-tradition.
“In many ways this show is the paper money hobby at its finest. I give management an A+++ for this show.”
He described his sales as “brisk and very good.”
“The show has been very respectable in view of the economy,” said Alex Perakis of Alex Perakis Coins & Currency, Lima, Pa. “It was worthwhile doing.”
“I think it’s been a great show,” added Larry Schuffman, Mount Freedom, N.J., who specializes in U.S. war bonds and financial documents. “The bond market has been very bullish. I had received some Liberty Bonds on consignment and sold them all at the show, and I think the consignor is going to be very happy as well as the people who bought them.”
Featuring a robust calendar of events, including educational seminars, a Society of Paper Money Collectors author’s forum, major non-competitive exhibits capped by selections from the American Numismatic Association’s Aubrey and Adeline Bebee Collection and Dr. Andrew A. Shiva’s National Bank Note exhibit, and the celebration of the 35th Memphis and the 50th anniversary of the SPMC and the International Bank Note Society, the wealth of activities available at this show was exhaustive and well appreciated by those who made the trek to this celebrated annual gathering.
American Numismatic Association President Clifford Mishler was also on hand and was instrumental in bringing the Bebee collection to Memphis.
“I haven’t been to the show for seven years,” he said, “but it looks like the dealer tables have been pretty busy.”
Of the Bebee display, he said, “Bringing it here was a concept I took to ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd because I felt that the ANA has not really come out to the paper money hobby and the world coin area. I also got them to go to New York International this year, which they hadn’t been to before.
“I think it is important, as we are a community and the ANA historically has not functioned as a leader of a community. It has functioned as a leader of U.S. coin collecting.”
For those who viewed the exhibits, he said, “I think the people who are really into the material are appreciative of seeing it and there are so many things that they can’t imagine existed.”
“The show was magnificent,” said Sergio Sanchez of Sergio Sanchez Rare Coin and Currency, Miami, Fla. “There was a tremendous amount of activity at our table, and the auction was just spectacular. It beat expectations of what maybe a lot of people were expecting, but I figure the type of quality material that was there and the rarity that was there would bring people out and it did.”
For $20 those who attended were allowed admission to the bourse for the three days of the show, admission to speaker events, auctions and a drink ticket for Saturday’s soiree. They also received money, including a three Penguinos note from Marie Byrd Land Western Antarctica, convertible for two euros or three U.S. dollars; International Mississippi River Bank $1, $2, $3 and $4 notes; and Military Fest Payment Certificates of 5-cent, 10-cent, 20-cent, 50-cent, $1 and $5 denominations.
All of these notes, which added up to just shy of $20 in face value, were spendable at participating dealer tables and for auction purchases.
At the soiree on Saturday, a Jeopardy-style quiz program, with Ron Simonian playing the Alex Trebek role, saw Neil Shafer, Wendall Wolka and Steve Feller advance to the final round, which was won by Feller.
Among the numerous awards presented at the show (expanded coverage of which will appear in the August BNR), ANA President Mishler presented four ANA Presidential Awards. Receiving the awards were SPMC President Mark Anderson, IBNS President Peter Symes, former Memphis bourse chairman Mike Crabb, and current Memphis show owner Lyn Knight.
Next year’s IPMS is slated for June 15-17.