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CICF reports glow

Dealers rave about activity at show.

It is no fun to be denied an answer as a reporter at the Chicago International Coin Fair held March 31-April 2 at the Crowne Plaza O?Hare in Rosemont, but business was so good on the bourse floor March 31 that a late-afternoon sandwich seemed more important to at least one dealer who hadn?t had a chance to eat lunch at the usual time than my questions.

Not to worry. There were plenty of other dealers to talk to at the show. Response was uniformly glowing.

CICF is one of two major world coin shows held in the United States and it was the first chance since the New York International show in January to take the pulse of the world field.

?It was an extremely good show,? said Excelsior, Minn., dealer John Ferm. ?Much better than last year.?

He said market conditions were good across the board from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

?It was easy to sell and hard to buy,? he explained.

Lexington, Ky., ancients and bullion dealer Jonathan K. Kern was early in to the Chicago suburban show and early out, but he said he had done $175,000 in business in just the first few hours of the event. He made his comments during the special early bird hours March 30.

Though the bourse was certainly the focal point of CICF, there were other things to occupy the hobbyist.

Ponterio and Associates called an auction that realized a total of almost $1.4 million. See some highlights of the 2,427-lot sale on the Auction page.
Second officer Charles Lightoller told the harrowing tale of his survival as the highest ranking officer of the R.M.S. Titanic after it struck an iceberg and sank in 1912. He dispelled myths and common misconceptions of the maritime disaster that still resonates with the public today. Historical re-enactor David Wiedenkeller provided the in-character program of Lightoller?s experiences, which later included commanding a destroyer in World War I and helping to evacuate British soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 in his own yacht.

Numismatic Ambassador Awards were given April 1 to Wayne Sayles and Harlan Berk. See Page 4 for details.