Information is the gold standard of the numismatic business. The best place to find information at the beginning of the year is the bourse floor of the Florida United Numismatic Convention. I kept my ears open yesterday. Here are some of the things that I heard.
Last year was a good year for dealers. Wisconsin dealer Mike Schiller was particularly noteworthy when he said that the five hot areas were silver dollars, Walking Liberty halves, Buffalo nickels, type coins and silver 3-cent pieces.
Other conversations I had included a number of first-time convention goers. Two different people came up to the Krause booth at different times, and I had virtually identical conversations with them. Neither one quite knew what to do. I asked them what they were interested in, and they both replied, “Everything.” How can you help someone who offers that kind of general response to a question?
If they find the right dealer, and ask the right questions, they will probably become longtime coin buyers. If they can’t provide more specific areas of interest to someone asking them, they could also leave frustrated and never come back. The job of all hobbyists is to somehow find out the specifics of their interests and cater to it. That’s both a challenge and a hope.
I talked to Pat Heller. He writes commentary for our weekly e-newsletter. He pointed out that gold coins in many circulated grades have virtually no premiums over bullion value. If you have gold bullion coins to trade, now might be the time to find those specific date and mintmarked gold coins that you’ve been looking for.