The Numismatists of Wisconsin show in Iola, Wis., is over. As shows go, it is not at the top of the standings, but shows like this are what make numismatics tick.
It is a bread and butter show of a kind that sends you away thinking things are going to be just fine. I saw a couple looking at multiple examples of a 1914-D Lincoln cent to find just the right one.
I saw several elderly women each with a handful of silver coins selling them off to dealers at current prices. They seemed pleased to be able to do so.
I saw George Cuhaj and Howard Quimby and 10 Boy Scouts head for their merit badge clinic.
I saw American Numismatic Association vice president Patti Finner conducting a treasure hunt for young collectors as well as conducting state quarter quizzes.
I saw an 8-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister sorting through every single coin in a friendly dealer’s junk box. They were supervised by their mother.
Chet Krause, the founder of Numismatic News, was there to reminisce about 48 years of NOW from his perspective of someone who has collected for roughly seven decades.
It was the type of show that fills the weekends of collectors across the country. It was grass roots.
It wasn’t ostentatious. It was collectors being themselves.
Perhaps the best comment was from Jerry Koepp of Coins, Stamps ’n’ Stuff, Des Moines, Iowa.
“It’s surprising they can bring so many people into this little town.”
That’s a tribute to the organizational skills of Joel Edler as bourse chairman and ANA governor Cliff Mishler, who should be called the social director.
Am I prejudiced? Of course. I am always prejudiced in favor of collectors. Collectors go where they are wanted and where they feel at home.
This past weekend that home was Iola, Wis.