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FUN convention off and running

The Florida United Numismatists convention had a good set-up day yesterday and I am looking f0rward to the rest of the event.

Of course, just getting to Orlando successfully puts me way ahead of my no-show status last year.

There was a small echo of last year's weather-related travel issues. My early morning flight out of Appleton, Wis., was delayed from its 6 a.m. departure time by almost an hour.

The plane was fine. The de-icing truck was having issues with the extreme cold. Go figure.

But after this little problem, away I went with colleague April Krueger from the sales department.

Once in Orlando, it was very nice to be able to walk outside without cringing.

The bourse floor was humming with activity. The Mint booth was being set up.

I am glad to see the Mint has returned to FUN. It is an important element of numismatic conventions. Naturally, I want to see how collectors cluster around the area.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing booth is here also.

This is the 60th anniversary convention for FUN. A special 1715 Treasure Fleet display was arranged by Bob Hurst. He has bird-dogged this the entire way. He told me yesterday that the state of Florida had not finally signed off on it until two days ago. Its museum owns the items being shown.

Set-up day is generally a time to have conversations on the fly. I had a number of them.

New initiatives are being planned by one firm. Another business owner is in the process of selling it to someone who has worked with him for 28 years.

I fielded questions about the Coin of the Year Awards that will be given at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany, on Jan. 31.

In short, the year 2015 is getting started on an upbeat note. Certainly the mood of everyone I encountered was generally optimistic.

It is also interesting to rub elbows at the gigantic Orange County Convention center with people setting up at the surf show. The Rosen Centre Hotel is hosting other business events. I passed a large formal cocktail hour on the way to my room last night.

Even though it is not related to numismatics, the high level of activity inspires confidence in the state of the economy generally. If collectors have jobs, they will spend some of their earnings on coins.

I see gold is around $1,209 this morning and silver is at $16.40. Those prices should be broadly neutral for the start of business this morning.

Now it is time for me to go witness the opening ceremony.