Strong auction results and strong collector demand served to underpin the market at the Central States Numismatic Society convention April 17-19 in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill.
?Errors are selling like crazy,? Doris Bart declared April 18 of her experience with paper money. The Roseville, Mich., dealer was at the Bart, Inc., table.
?Yesterday was strong,? she said. ?Dealer-to-dealer was very strong. Today was a bit slow with the public, but we?re hoping tomorrow there will be more public sales.?
?The market is strong,? said Steve Contursi of Rare Coin Wholesalers, Dana Point, Calif. His observations flowed from his experience of the U.S. coin market.
?The market seems to be in a good place right now,? he said, but ? April and May are the slowest months.? He attributed this primarily to income tax season. ?The show?s been good. Better than I expected,? said Dallas coin dealer Ed Hipps on April 19, the final day. ?The buying?s been good. The selling?s been good, but I?ve had people bringing me coins.?
What was moving, he said, was ?Early Flowing Hair type and that kind of material.?
And as for bullion?
?Bullion will be $1,200 by September-October and it could be there by the first of July,? Hipps said of gold. ?The world economic situation is what?s driving bullion,? he added.
Greater Milwaukee Coin?s Russ Konig of Brookfield, Wis., reported, ?The show was excellent Thursday, very busy, a lot of dealer business. Friday afternoon it was extremely quiet.?
Paper money dealer Leon Thornton of Eminence, Mo., rated the show this way, ?It was a little above average. It was OK.?
New York City?s Carl Bombara of the paper money firm that bears his name commented first about the auction session he had just attended.
?I backed out at midnight in total amazement at prices realized. I never dreamed currrency would be this strong in my lifetime. It was exciting. It was a memorable and exciting auction.?
The Heritage paper money sessions went until 2:45 a.m. one day and 5 a.m. the next.
As for the paper market generally, Bombara observed, ?There are more collectors than material.?
David Knighten of Salt City Coins, Hutchinson, Kan., said a wide variety of collector coins did well. He singled out silver dollars for particular comment.
?Low grade silver dollars, they basically were moving very quickly.?
He said they were priced at $16.50 on up.
As for the show generally, ?Thursday was extremely good. A lot of dealer-to- dealer and public were buyers. It was slower in the other two days,? Knighten concluded.
World Coin dealer John Ferm of Excelsior, Minn., termed the show excellent.
?The show?s been excellent ? excellent turnout, big show, a lot of interesting coins,? Ferm said. ?The collectors have definitely become quite educated. They just need to adjust themselves to new, higher prices. It is an excellent location and I do like Chicago.?
He forecast that the Chicago International Coin Fair scheduled for the following week would be a good one.
?Europeans are coming over. It will be virtually impossible to buy anything (in competition with them),? Ferm said. Eastern Europeans have got the money to spend now.?
He also made a gold forecast.
?I can see gold at $1,125. I am just surprised at the resiliency of the market.?
New York City?s Don Brigandi of Brigandi Coin Co. said, ?The show was OK. I bought a lot of things that I needed. I think the prices can only go higher because of inflation.?
Anthony Swiatek of Swiatek-Minerva, Manhassett, N.Y., explained, ?What seems to be moving is the Seated Liberty halves, Trade dollars and gold with CAC stickers.? The latter refers to the new company rating already graded and slabbed coins.
Commemoratives, he said, ?are at a crawl.?
?I had a good show,? stated ancients dealer Jonathan K. Kern of Lexington, Ky., ?It was mostly wholesale. The market is strong and I need to get back to my office to take care of my customers.?
Kern had a bourse table backed by windows.
?I had the best bourse table. People were envious.?
George LaBarre, a stock and bond dealer from Hollis, N.H., had his mind on paper money.
?It is hard to find nice looking notes at fair levels,? he said. ?I?ve bought some really great paper money errors.?
Jack Beymer of Santa Rosa, Calif., said of the show, ?Lots of participation, a lot of collectors showed up. In spite of the depth of the recession, coins seem to be doing OK.?
That pretty well summed up both the show and the current coin market.