Coin collectors from throughout the U.S. and around the world gathered in Rosemont, Ill., April 22-25 for the 35th annual Chicago International Coin Fair, and the results were pleasing to most in attendance.
"From dealers to attendees to auction companies, there were plenty of smiles in the room," said convention chairman Scott Tappa. "One long-time dealer told us it was the best CICF he's had since the '90s. A first-time attendee and long-time collector from Florida told us it was the best coin show he's ever been to. And the people at Heritage were quite pleased with the results from their auction."
Dealers and attendees representing 10 countries and nearly 30 different states made the journey to the Crowne Plaza O'Hare, conveniently located near an interstate freeway and a short shuttle ride from Chicago's international airport. Early-bird Professional Preview attendance was approximately five times greater than last year, and general public attendance was stronger than previous years.
"On Saturday one dealer remarked to us that it seemed there were more people in attendance than the last two shows combined," Tappa said. "There certainly was a buzz in the room from start to finish. Certain areas of the bourse floor were bottlenecked to the point of momentarily stopping foot traffic, and at times we had to turn sideways to get down an aisle."
First-time CICF auctioneer Heritage Auction Galleries held four sessions during the show, featuring coins from all over the world and possibly the largest Brazilian collection ever put up for sale. The auction brought in nearly $5 million, with that figure likely to be surpassed with a post-show Internet-only session.
Prior to the show, organizers wondered whether the Iceland volcano eruption that disrupted international travel would adversely affect attendance, but it appears the impact was minimal.
"We had one dealer email us on Monday before the show to inform us that he was stuck in Europe, but that was it," Tappa said. "We welcomed visitors from Russia, Italy, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Switzerland -- and that's just Europe. The strength of the Heritage sale brought in two Brazilian dealers who signed up for bourse tables at the show."
The 36th annual Chicago International Coin Fair is scheduled for April 14-17, 2011, at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare. Visit www.cicfshow.com for more details.
Check www.numismaster.com in the days ahead for a more detailed show roundup.