Honoring founding member Eric Newman and holding a great convention were two of the things on the to-do list of the Central States Numismatic Society board of governors May 9-12 in St. Louis.
Both goals were achieved, but commercial conditions on the bourse floor were somewhat weaker than some market participants would have liked and public attendance was a little light.
Newman was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Saturday morning awards breakfast May 12. He was appointed CSNS secretary after the organization was founded in 1939. The plaque said the nonagenarian researcher was being cited for more than 80 years of contributions to numismatics. See the full story on Page 4.
Heritage Auction Galleries called the official sale, which featured coin and paper money segments.
?The auctions are going great,? said Steve Ivy, a Heritage co-chairman, before their conclusion. ?The market is actually better than I expected.?
Joshua Moran of Civitas Galleries of Madison, Wis., said, ?It?s been a little slow. Our location is not exactly premium. It?s been OK, but slow.? His partner, Benjamin Bell, replied, ?It?s been more retail than dealer, $50-$300 kind of stuff,? when asked to characterize the business being done.
Paper money dealer Lyn Knight of Overland Park, Kan., an early bird, said, ?I didn?t see a lot to get me really excited, not a lot of exciting material.?
Knight explained, ?I think that is because collectors like the stuff and they want to keep it. Good notes come into the market and they go out immediately.?
Anthony Swiatek of Manhassett, N.Y., called the show ?on a scale of 1-10, it?s about a 7-1/2.? But he did have a personal triumph to relate. He bought an MS-64 high-relief Saint-Gaudens $20 after 36 tries.
?Type seemed to be moving well. The rarer date gold I had was moving. Commems seemed a bit slow except for the exceptional specimens. I was able to purchase a fairly large dollar amount of currency. Educational (notes) were hot. The Bison was hot. The Battleship seemed real hot.?
Illinois dealer Jim Simek said, ?The show has been relatively strong. As usual, there?s a lack of quality merchandise to be had, but diligent searching has proved fruitful.?
Simek summarized by saying, ?I was very happy with the results of the show.?
Irma Kane of Teletrade and Debbie McDonald of Bowers and Merena had a little fun on the bourse floor. Kane asked for a photo to be snapped of the banners at their table. The fly in the ointment was they violated bourse rules, so they could only be up long enough to take the photograph. See the results on the photo page on Page 34.
James Garcia of EarlyUS.com of Fenton, Mo., described his show as ?excellent. I had a very good show. Early coins are selling well.?
Fractional Currency specialist Rob Kravitz of Rob?s Coins and Currency of Chesterfield, Mo., said, ?Wholesale?s been very good. Retail?s been OK. I?m getting more dealers buying Fractional Currency. That?s good for the market.?
Error dealer Fred Weinberg of Encino, Calif., said, ?The show has been disappointing in the lack of errors that I?ve even been shown to make offers on.?
When asked how the market for plain-edge Washington dollars was doing, he replied ?$115-$120 for -64s, $140-$150 for -65s and $320-$350 for -66s in PCGS holders. There are no -67s.
?I wish I could have bought more errors,? Weinberg concluded.
Hollis, N.H, stock and bond dealer Christopher LaBarre, noted, ?I?m very pleased with the outcome of our first Central States show. We will be first in line next year.?
Brad Karoleff of Coins Plus, Cincinnati, Ohio, said of the show: ?It was fine. It was not outstanding, but it was fine. I found numerous items on customer want lists. Selling was a little slow for me, but buying was good.?
The mood of market participants going forward to Long Beach and other shows was optimistic.