World notes, U.S. nationals, type and obsoletes were all in demand, and dealers were generally pleased with sales and buying opportunities at the 38th Annual International Paper Money Show at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis. The show, which ran from June 12-15, is owned and operated by Lyn Knight’s LFK Trade Shows.
“I think it’s been a really good show,” said Stephen Perakis of Alex Perakis Coins and Currency, Lima, Pa. “It’s definitely above my expectations.”
Interviewed at the start of business on Saturday, June 14, he said, “If today goes even half as good as it did yesterday, it will probably be one of the best Memphis shows we’ve had in six years.”
Perakis said his selling was basically across the board, with everything from large-size type to nationals finding new homes.
“We even sold a couple of obsolete sheets at this show and obsolete individual notes,” he said. “We’re very happy with the show. The turnout was nice and we’ve pretty much been busy non-stop.”
Sergio Sanchez of Sergio Sanchez Rare Coins and Currency, Miami, Fla., found the floor traffic to be better than expected.
“Lyn [Knight] again has gone out of his way to try to make this a very pleasant show,” Sanchez said. “We’ve been very happy with it.”
When asked what’s been selling, Sanchez told BNR, “I’ve been selling a lot of the large-size type, especially either the high, high grade or the high grade on the circulated end – everything from 45 EPQ or PPQ 58.”
Overall, he believes the paper money market has been stable to moving up.
“Really high grade material is being sucked by the market very, very quickly,” he said. “The advanced collectors are basically looking for really, really sexy material out of the norm and that is extremely hard to find nowadays. But there are still new collectors coming in, not at the pace we would like to see, but everything is definitely stable and moving upward.”
“World paper money seems like it’s really hot right now,” said Barry Ciociola of L.S.C.O.A. Barry Ciociola, Durham, N.C. “U.S. type notes are doing all right, U.S. nationals are looking on the soft side and obsolete notes seem like they are popular right now, with a lot of collector base following.”
Ciociola said his Memphis selling as of Saturday morning wasn’t as good as he hoped. However, “Saturday is always a good day,” he said, and buying opportunities had been plentiful. He was purchasing mostly obsoletes and Confederate notes and was able to make purchases to fill customer want lists.
Weather problems delayed several dealers trying to attend this year’s IPMS. Dealer Pierre Fricke, Sudbury, Mass., seemed to have hit the brunt of it, but despite his problems with getting there and the even longer delay for his luggage, he was happy with the show results.
Fricke, who deals in Confederate paper money and early American copper coins, said, “We’ve had a great show. It was very active yesterday. We haven’t had time to sit down and think about what we were doing almost. We didn’t get around the floor too much, but we had a lot of people come to the table.”
Among Confederate notes, he said, rare varieties, type notes and the issues of 1864 were particularly in demand.
“Every show this year has been strong,” Fricke said of the market. “Heck, I sold quite a bit of Confederate money at the Early America Coppers convention and I’ve sold some large cents here.”
Fricke added that it’s getting harder to find choice Confederate notes, with not a lot of new material showing up. What does come in, he said, has been of mixed quality.
“I think the real choice stuff is being held pretty tightly right now,” he said. “We haven’t seen any big Confederate deals here, per se, as far as new stuff coming in the building. But it’s been a good selling show in particular.”
World paper money offerings were also represented by the bank note division of Champion Stamp Co. Inc., New York, N.Y.
“It’s been a good show,” said Jonathan Morowitz of Champion. “We’ve had decent sales here. We’ve been moving our specimen notes from our new catalog. Champion was selling specimen notes from countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe through the 10th edition of its “Worldwide Banknote Specimens” catalog.
Morowitz characterized the overall market for world material as moving up.
Tom Surina of Tom Surina, LLC, Old Bridge, N.J., who said this was his firm’s first year as a table holder at Memphis, was taken by the amount of world notes being offered.
“We are impressed with all of the world note activity,” he said. “We don’t do a lot of world, but we plan on doing a lot more.”
Surina, who has been dealing paper money for the last 15 years and coins for 41 years, graded the overall paper market as good to good plus.
Admitting that the weather was a problem, Lyn Knight told BNR he believed that overall it had been a smooth show.
“It’s still difficult to get people anywhere,” he said. “And certainly the weather screwed up the flights for a lot of people coming in, but everybody that is here is having a good time and it seem like the dealers for the most part are very satisfied. Most of them would like to see more collectors. But, you know, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”
Knight continues to expand the educational and exhibit aspects of the annual Memphis gathering of paper money enthusiasts.
“The exhibits were better than ever,” he said. “We had 198 cases of exhibits and just unbelievable exhibits. The National Bank Note exhibit brought by the National Currency Foundation, if you came and saw that – that was worth price of admission. It doesn’t get better than that.”
The exhibit, in 16 cases, featured serial No. 1 large-size National Bank Notes by state or territory.
Knight also marveled at the variety of world dealers at this year’s IMPS.
“If you look at the dealer representation here, I want to know where all of the dealers are from,” he said. “There has got to be dealers here from a lot of different countries and that’s cool. I mean from places like Bulgaria. Who would ever have thought? Bulgaria, Jordan.”
Dates for the 39th Annual International Paper Money Show have not been finalized. For additional information, visit www.memphisipms.com.