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Great time at ANA show

I enjoyed the American Numismatic Association convention held last week. I always am keenly interested in the main ANA event of the year.

A real treat was when I listened to Q. David Bowers’ talk on the ANA’s 125th anniversary on Friday afternoon.

To see the best of the hobby on display, you can’t beat an ANA gathering.

Meeting and talking to people are things I thrive on. I like finding out what they are thinking.

Seeing old numismatic friends is just frosting on the cake. I would rate the convention a modest success.

Unfortunately, there are not enough people like me who will fly to attend such an event. You need huge crowds to call convention results gang busters, but there were none in Anaheim, Calif., last week.

Some of the fault is the state of the market. It has been on the slow side leading into the show.

Another problem is the California location. As important as the California collector base is, it cannot carry a national show to new heights of success.

ANA quite correctly points out that 10 percent of the membership is in California and this is the single largest group of members. However, that means most of the rest of the 90 percent live further away than they will drive.

Without a good chunk of that 90 percent, an ANA convention simply cannot be a great one.

I asked collectors who stopped by the table for a copy of Numismatic News where they were from. They unanimously all drove in from various spots in Southern California. It was good to see them.

Some pointed out that they had not been to an ANA convention since the 2009 Los Angeles event.

While it is a good thing to give them a chance to see the ANA convention, it also reinforces the fact that if a convention is not drivable, most collectors simply will not go.

I do not envy the ANA board’s perennial choice of choosing between hot spots on the East Coast or Midwest and places like Southern California where members might feel neglected if no conventions come their way.

But if the event is to be in California and there is no hot market action for support, the logical outcome is the best you can say about it is results are acceptable.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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