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Gold Buffalo brightens ANA future

Deputy Mint Directory Richard Peterson has decided that the American Numismatic Association convention is an event at which he wants to launch at least one new product each year.

He told me this in an interview last Tuesday during the convention in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., that was published in Numismatic News.

His conclusion was reached after personally witnessing a rush to buy the reverse proof 2013 Buffalo gold one-ounce coin. The Mint had 1,000 available at the booth on Tuesday, which was opening day for the ANA convention, and they were gone by the middle of the afternoon.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation was offering a special convention-only label that would be applied to the coins submitted for grading during the show.

Who can resist what essentially became a special show issue?

If you look on the Mint website, delivery is promised Sept. 27 and those Buffalo coins will not be eligible for the special show label.

The Mint was able to bring in another 1,000 pieces, which went on sale Friday. The purchase limitation was reduced from Tuesday’s five coins to three coins.

The result was the lines became lengthier and lasted longer than on Tuesday.

While Peterson’s decision is based on what is good for the U.S. Mint, it is also something that is very good for the American Numismatic Association.

When on Saturday morning the new President Walter Ostromecki asked ANA executive director Kim Kiick to report on how attendance was running at the convention, she reported to the newly installed governors and officers that it was over 1,000 a day.

Gov. Laura Sperber jumped in and said this was unacceptable. She said 5,000 a day should be what ANA draws.

While I would not expect an organization of under 25,000 members to draw 5,000 a day to its national convention, a higher attendance goal than what was achieved this year is possible if the wider numismatic community is made aware of the fact that the U..S. Mint will launch a hot new product at each one.

If other world mints would do the same, who knows how high daily attendance could jump.

The ANA needs to be more than just another coin show, especially since it will be in the same place for three years in a row, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Peterson’s decision to launch a new product at the ANA will be a big boost toward meeting this attendance goal.

Word will get out in coming days about the commotion surrounding this year’s reverse proof Buffalo sales at ANA. That will whet the appetites of those who will consider attending next year’s convention.

I can’t wait to see the result next year.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."