To help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chicago Coin Club, the board of governors of the American Numismatic Association decided to schedule the 2019 summer convention in Chicago.
Naturally, club members are pleased with the decision to hold the World’s Fair of Money in the Windy City.
It is appropriate that our national numismatic organization recognize milestones in the field whenever they consider them appropriate.
The selection of sites for national conventions is one of the most changeable elements of the ANA board of governors’ responsibilities. And it is getting harder for them to boot.
Numismatics overall is a small fish in a very large national convention pond.
Our ability to compete for space is limited.
Even the mighty Florida United Numismatists convention, which is huge by national standards, gets bumped from time to time from its usual home at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando despite its long-standing association with the convention center and the city.
Imagine how the changeable ANA is treated going from city to city.
This year is the last year of an attempt to change that.
This is the third time in a row that the summer convention will be held in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephens convention center.
This anchoring was done to reduce costs for ANA and to locate the event in a place that is tax friendly and easy for the vast majority of potential attendees to travel to.
There is a great deal of material that must be shipped to conventions by the ANA. With a show that is permanently in one spot, these shipping costs disappear as the material can be stored.
However, the board and members got restless even before the experiment in centralization and cost reduction had even begun.
Next year we are to go to Anaheim, Calif.
There are tax issues awaiting dealers in Anaheim.
There are airline schedule issues there as well as it is difficult to get back to the East Coast at reasonable times without leaving at the crack of dawn and paying for yet another hotel room night.
In short, it is less budget friendly.
That might prove to be no problem, but we will not know that until 2016.
A hot market overcomes many hurdles financial and otherwise. A cold market will magnify them.
So the ANA will leave Chicago and then return in four years.
Board and membership restlessness over convention locations is not unusual.
It is one of the things that you can count on.
We have had an hoc approach to conventions. We have had a rotational grid to assure every region gets a show on a schedule. We have had the anchor concept. We have even had an expansion in the number of shows in my career first to two and then briefly to three.
One thing we can count on though is once we arrive at a summer convention, no matter where it is, it is always memorable. Nowhere else can you interact with so many of the national numismatic participants from auction firms to dealers to well known specialists.
Congratulating the Chicago Coin Club will become one of those many memories in 2019.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."