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Memphis goes foreign

The market was leaning toward world paper money at the International Paper Money Show held in Memphis, Tenn., June 27-29.

The market was leaning toward world paper money at the International Paper Money Show held in Memphis, Tenn., June 27-29.

Though U.S. paper money retained its dominance, the presence of foreign buyers armed with strong currencies definitely gave the show a more international flavor than it has had in many years.

Joel Shafer, cataloger for the Lyn Knight auction, which had a significant world note portion on June 26, said, ?We?re very pleased with the overall results.?

He ticked off some of the various high points.

?Cuba was very strong.?

He spoke of four bidders for the Russian material, making that area very lively. ?When a country emerges, people are looking for things to buy,? he explained.

?India notes went very well.?

For the Chinese section, he said, the hammer price of the Ming note was $33,000 to a floor bidder. That was four times estimate, more with the buyer?s fee.

?It?s been a little bit slow for a Friday,? said Arthur Morowitz of Champion Stamp Company of his bank note business at the show. ?I thought I?d see more traffic.?

David Leong of New Hampshire said, ?For world notes, prices are zooming. The catalog is not keeping up. Some of us think it has gone a little insane. In general people are asking a lot higher prices.?

Leong said that notes were going at auction for twice what you can buy them for on the bourse floor.

As for his own bourse experience, Leong said, ?It?s been very, very good. It looks like I?ll even break last year?s sales.?

Less enthusiasm was expressed by U.S. dealers.

?I don?t know, ? replied Scott Lindquist at the Spink Smythe of New York table regarding how business was going. ?It?s been OK. I actually haven?t done that badly. It has been slightly disappointing.?

Spectrum?s buyer Don Severance said, ?This is my first time at Memphis. I honestly expected a little more. It fell a little flat for me.?

Richie Self of American Coins, Shreveport, La., reported his experience as, ?It started out slow, but we?ve seen a greater public attendance today (Saturday). Things are starting to put up a head of steam.?

Small-size U.S. paper money dealer Bob Kvederas Jr. of Titusville, Fla., said, ?It seems to be a lot of dealer to dealer going on.?

He noted that the public was kicking tires, but added, ?It?s always good to come to Memphis. It?s good for the soul.?

Rhode Island?s Roger Durand said of his obsolete note business, ?You can?t replace the stuff you sell.? He forecast that he would run out of inventory by next year.

?I?ll have to write another book,? he quipped.

New Orlean?s Larry Marsh said of his stock certificate and check business, ?I think the show was very good on the whole. I think the stock and bond market is going to come back.?

He noted there were more dealers on the floor handling that kind of material.

?I had my usual customers in the old check department.?

Marsh added that with paper money at parity with coins, the material he handled was an attractive, historic and cheap alternative.

Glen Jorde of Paper Money Guaranty grading service in Sarasota, Fla., said, ?World notes are making great advances in third-party grading.?

He said buyers were looking for both protection for the notes as well as correct attributions.

?We grade world notes with the same standards as U.S. and that seems to be well accepted,? Jorde said.

Minnesota?s Charles Parrish was upbeat. ?I had a very positive show. I was very satisfied with the show. My business level was very good.?

Don Kelley, author of National Bank Notes, the guide for that form of paper money, said, ?It was another great show.?

It was a great show, but compared to the white heat of last year?s experience in the U.S. field, and with the greater emphasis on world material, this year?s Memphis was a somewhat different