Both candidates for president of the American Numismatic Association had tables on the bourse floor of the Florida United Numismatists Convention Jan. 10-13 in Orlando.
Both joined the vast majority of dealers who said they had good commercial results.
“It has exceeded our expectation,” said Tiburon, Calif., dealer Don Kagin.
His results helped break a slack few months in the numismatic business generally.
“The market has been in the doldrums for months,” he said.
In Orlando, it was very different. Collectors were buying.
“We have been nonstop busy, coins, currency, exonumia. They want to buy coins again. They are here, and they want to buy,” Kagin said.
Col. Steven Ellsworth (ret.) of Nashville, Tenn., said, “It was pretty good. Yesterday was real good. Today (Saturday) was steady."
His specialty is early copper coinage.
“The really nice pieces sell really well. The lower-grade common stuff nobody wants. Everything is moving to slabs,” he explained.
Ancients dealer James Beach of Owosso, Mich., said, “I say this show started really well. It was very busy opening day.”
He added, “We are continuing to see great traffic. I had a great show.”
Beach noted the conflict between the FUN show dates and the New York International Numismatic Convention going on simultaneously.
“I had better collector sales here versus New York,” he said.
Patchogue, N.Y., dealer Harry Miller of Miller’s Mint said, “I’ve been swamped the whole show,” hardly looking up from a box of coins brought to his table by another attendee who was seated across from him.
Error dealer Fred Weinberg of Encino, Calif., described the show as “one of the most well-attended FUN shows I’ve seen in years.
“Friday business was unexpected. Hearing from other dealers, everything was very, very active,” he said.
One dealer was so fired up about business at FUN that he came up behind me and slapped me on the shoulder to get my attention while I was speaking to another.
“'Good show. Put it down' [in my notebook] Salisbury, Md., dealer Gus Tiso enthusiastically exclaimed while I was talking to Bob Campbell of All About Coins in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Campbell, whose table always has something from off the beaten path, was displaying the second-largest gold nugget ever found in the state of Arizona.
He valued the 28.22 ounce monster at $140,000.
It had been found in the mid-1970s at the top of a pile of tailings at an old mine by a Wisconsin geologist.
As for his sales results, Campbell said, “We did real good.”
Gary Adkins, who is current ANA president, said, “I think it was a fabulous show, very busy. The crowds were great.”
He explained that he remained on the bourse until 5:30 p.m. on Friday night and there were still lots of people there.
“If you come to do business, I think you’ll have a great show,” he said of the event overall.
Dealer opinion was not unanimous.
Jack and Sondra Beymer of Santa Rosa, Calif., were in the negative camp.
Jack said the show was “sleepier than usual.”
Sondra emphasized the point by saying “surprisingly sleepy.”
Part of the reason, Jack explained, was that potential buyers were asking for things he did not bring along to the show.
What did they want?
“Lower grades, circulated Buffaloes and Indian cents. The kind of thing I didn’t bring,” he replied.
“They are putting sets together for their grandchildren,” he said.
This, though, is good news in its way.
Even though this potential demand didn’t help him at the FUN show, it is good to hear that collectors are still building for the future by building sets for their grandchildren.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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