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ANA more value than gold?

It is great to be home after the American Numismatic Association World’ Fair of Money in Philadelphia.

I had a great time in the City of Brotherly Love, but after six days, I was ready to return to Iola.

Evaluating the convention on the basis of the rosy glow of memories of conventions past does the current one no favors.

There was much more public at the 2000 Philadelphia event than in 2012. Last year’s convention in Chicago was hot, hot, hot, but that was a function of the gold and silver market and not of the location or the general state of numismatics.

Philadelphia was just hot – weatherwise.

There seems to be a consensus among dealers that collectors in the middle of the market were holding onto their funds because of present uncertainty over the state of the U.S. economy.

Early Saturday morning Col. Steve Ellsworth of Butternut Coins told me that it was a market that any coin with any kind of problem just would not move easily. It was a time for accepting reasonable offers on them, if the offers came at all, and to keep the inventory turning over as much as possible.

The topic of Sunday bourse hours came up when I happened to catch world coin dealer Glenn Schinke at his table talking to fellow dealer Al Boulanger.

Both of them were convinced that Sunday hours were a good thing. They were not particularly picking on the ANA, though this convention ended Saturday afternoon. They mentioned Long Beach. They also mentioned my own firm’s Chicago International Coin Fair, which has abbreviated Sunday hours that they thought were a little too abbreviated.

The conversation was interesting and it was of a type you can only have at rare moments when all the parties can fully focus on each subject at hand.

I treasure those moments. I learn a lot.

But more than that, it makes me ever more sure that numismatics is populated by a great group of people and the opportunity to talk with them at an ANA has more value than gold.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."