Caution and optimism battled for control of the bourse floor at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show March 24-27 in Fort Worth, Texas.
In the end, optimism seemed to win.
“It’s been a very good show for me,” said Bob Campbell of All About Coins, Inc., Salt Lake City.
“It really started strong at dealer set-up,” he said. “After the first day, I said I made my show.”
Campbell said he didn’t see any slowness. “Everything’s still bringing what it’s worth.
“What I think is really hot right now is toned dollars,” Campbell said. “That’s what I sold a lot of.”
He was optimistic about business generally. He noted that coins survived the recession better than did other collectibles.
Campbell is also putting his money where his optimism is.
“I plan to triple the size of my shop here in the next three months,” Campbell said.
For Chris Fazio, “Business here was fantastic.”
He was at the table of Bozarth Numismatics of Brenham, Texas. He cited gold among the areas that was most in demand.
“Even though people are skeptical of it, we’ve been selling a lot of gold,” Fazio said.
He also said collectors were buying coins for sets.
Vic Bozarth concurred.
“It was good. It was better than we expected,” he said of the show. “I think the larger city venues for midyear ANAs are always preferable. Collector stuff is really firm. Higher end coins are somewhat soft.”
Mary Sauvain of New World Rarities, Happauge, N.Y., said of the show, “It was all right. We made some sales.”
“We’re pretty happy,” said Brian Stubbs of RARCOA, Willowbrook, Ill., as he pointed to the gold in the display case.
Tom Hallenbeck of Colorado Springs, Colo., said, “I had an exceptional show. I’ve heard some of the dealers who are wholesalers-only had a downturn.”
He also mentioned that the new time restrictions on early bird entries benefited him. He said there was “better business because of it” at his table.
“I’ve actually had pretty good retail sales, too,” he said, giving the show a grade of A-.
Campbell happened to walk up to the table during the conversation and interjected that the only things slow in the market are promotional coins. He cited the 1928 Peace dollar, the 1909 VDB cent, the 1931-S cent and the 1894 dollar.
To that list Hallenbeck added the 1883 “No Cents” nickel, the 1938-D Buffalo nickel in MS-67 and slightly better dates of the $5 and $10 gold Indians.
Gold coins were hot for Col. Steve Ellsworth of Butternut, Clifton, Va.
“If it’s yellow, it sells,” he said. Also selling were “really nice key-date or early type.”
What was slow, he said, was “common stuff, unholdered” specifically citing common Morgan dollars, but key dates were in demand.
Nobody wants coins “with issues,” Ellsworth said. “They want quality.”
Andy Lustig of Nyack, N.Y., said, “The market is strong and seems to be moving higher for good material.”
It was a “wonderful” show for Michael C. Annis of Ann Arbor, Mich.
“There are a lot of good people in this area. I sold all of my gold coins and I had many,” he said.
Selby Ungar, the King of Carson City who now works for Monaco of Laguna Beach, Calif., said, “Carson City dollars are hot.”
He explained Monaco’s purpose at the show: “We mostly buy. We have a customer when we go home.”
But he did make some sales.
“I sold a lot of books here,” he said, referring to his new work, Carson City Morgan Dollars: Featuring the Coins of the GSA Hoard, that he co-authored with Monaco’s Adam Crum and with Jeff Oxman.
Paper money dealers figured their market had bottomed out and were looking forward to the June International Paper Money Show in Memphis.
But then at the end of every show, attention always turns to the next one.