I am at the Florida United Numismatists convention in Tampa. I arrived yesterday afternoon.
Usually, this is the best place to be early in the New Year as market trends unfold in the bourse room and in the auction.
However, financial market news this morning and yesterday coming out of China makes it seem like I am in the wrong place.
I cannot go to Shanghai. All I can do is put on my Chinese numismatic tie, a souvenir from a previous World Money Fair in Berlin.
It will remind me that no matter what I witness in Tampa, we coin collectors are as much affected by world events as everybody else.
What am I seeing here?
Many of us needed new security badges to get in this year. That made the lines quite long for a time.
I am not complaining. Security is important. FUN's is superb. I feel well protected.
It is early to try to categorize the state of the market. I will not be able to do more than a few generalizations.
I expect the current uptick in the price of gold to be a positive, but the fact that 2016 bullion coins will not be available from the U.S. Mint until next week will make actual observations impossible.
By chance I ended up flying in from Atlanta on the same plane as Arkansas dealer Bob McIntire. His decades of experience always make his words important.
He told me that December was a surprisingly strong month.
Even before either of us knew what was coming out of China he observed that things were a little bit shaky in late summer.
You might recall that this was precisely the last time the financial markets were swooning over news out of China.
Will this happen again? Will China be a cloud over activities here at FUN?
But Bob has come to FUN to do business as have all the other participants.
If you are interested in slabbed Confederate notes, you had better head for his table before they are gone.
In the meantime, I have taken the opportunity to greet old friends and colleagues as we all get ready to see what 2016 has in store for us.
I am optimistic.
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