Behind the razzmatazz of the proof gold Kennedy half dollar sales on the floor of the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money Aug. 5-9 in Rosemont, Ill., dealers with bourse tables were not happy with their commercial results.
“The half dollar was a huge distraction, said Col. Steve Ellsworth of Butternut, Clifton, Va., at his table of early copper coins.
Not only did it discourage the true collector, he said, “it sucked all the cash off the floor.”
Paper money dealer Leon Thornton if Eminence. Mo., said, he usually tries to be positive, but not at this show.
“The problem with this show is I have sold the least amount of material than at any other ANA show,” Thornton said, also citing the gold Kennedy half sale as a reason.
“It is sucking money out of the show,” he said.
The Mint should have given something back to the dealers, he said, suggesting an allocation of one or two gold Kennedy coins to every dealer who had a table.
“This ANA was an absolute disaster,” said Gus Tiso, a dealer from Salisbury, Md.
The rush to buy gold Kennedy halves created a “breach of security due to the fact that you had all kinds of people hired by other dealers to buy the coins,” he said. “How greedy can the ANA get?”
For Brad Karoleff of Cincinnati, Ohio, the show was good, but not great.
“At least we didn’t have to trip over the gold half dollar buyers for the last couple of days,” he said.
Minneapolis dealer Gary Adkins, who also is a member of the ANA board of governors, called his sales results excellent. Of the hoopla surrounding the gold Kennedy, he said, “That kind of made it a sour note for the show.”
He, too, suggested giving every table holder a ticket to buy a gold Kennedy. “It would ensure a sellout of tables,” he said.
Jack Beymer of Santa Rosa, Calif., gave a one-word description of his results: “Poor.”
“We do better at Baltimore than we do here,” Beymer said. “I have no explanation for it. There just has not been very much activity. Wholesale business is the only thing that’s happened.”
Beymer did not blame the gold Kennedy for impacting his sales.
His wife Sondra said of the people who stopped at their table, “They are just kind of looking.”
The show was “slow on retail” for Sam Kaeppel of Greenfield, Mass., and “the dealers aren’t spending a lot of money. “They are buying what they have want lists for.”
Larry Shepherd of SIMCO of Colorado Springs, Colo., said his show results were OK.
“It’s not great. It is probably weaker than most of us would have hoped for, but OK,” Shepherd said.
Business was spotty for Julian Leidman of Silver Spring, Md.
“I sold some important things, but I didn’t sell a lot of things,” he said.
He did not point the finger at the gold Kennedy, either.
“In my opinion this is how business will be because of the Internet,” Leidman said. “As much as I hate to say it, I think shows are becoming less important.”
Former ANA President Bob Campbell of Salt Lake City, Utah, called show memorable.
“Business was sporadic, but it was enjoyable to meet with all the friends in the numismatic community,” he said.
Glen Jorde of Devil’s Lake, N.D., thought it was a good show.
“It’s been very good for both buying and selling in both coins and paper,” Jorde said.
Glenn Schinke, a world coin dealer from Montrose, Calif., said he did all right at the show.
“It actually was OK. It’s done all right,” Schinke said. “It started out slow. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were very good. It’s a nice jump-off for the fall.”