Paper money showed a strong kick as it raced through the final major paper money event of the year, the National and World Paper Money Convention, Nov. 16-18 in St. Louis, Mo.
An active bourse and well-attended $4.5 million Lyn Knight paper money sale (see related auction story on Page 24) were anchor components of the show.
?The sale was wonderful,? said Knight, ?We had a nice full room. There were 419 successful buyers, and that?s a fabulous distribution of the merchandise.?
While sparse collector attendance is typical at St. Louis ? exemplified by dealer Lou Rasera of Southland Coins and Currency representing 15 different bidders at the auction ? this year?s show appeared busy, and the auction sessions drew 80-90 people each night.
The bourse maintained an air of activity during public hours Thursday and Friday, and until about 3 p.m. Saturday, the final day of the show.
?It?s been fair,? said Gene Wheeler of Gene Wheeler Rare Coin Co., Seymour, Texas, who offered a mix of U.S. coins and paper money at his table. ?Sales have been a little bit soft the last few weeks, I don?t know if it was the elections or what. ... Attendance has been pretty good. I?m heading more into paper money as I get older ? it?s easier to carry,? he quipped. ?I?ve been a collector for 50 years, the last 10 years I?ve been doing more with paper. It?s got a lot of great history.?
Judy Kagin, who hails from Iowa and was representing the firm Kagin?s based in Tiburon, Calif., said ?I think there was constant activity on the bourse this year. ... I think everybody who came to this show came to buy, as opposed to tire kicking.? On a more personal note, she commented, ?It was really great to see Chet Krause getting around so well at this show. It was a highlight of the show for me.?
On the wholesale front, ?It was phenomenal,? said Peter Treglia of Spectrum Currency, Irvine, Calif., adding, ?In the auction, Nationals appeared to do well.?
The show also featured educational presentations by Mark Hotz and James Downey, as well as a Society of Paper Money Collectors group discussion about developing an educational program to teach the basics of bank note evaluation.
Rather than teach a grading scale, SPMC plans to focus on what characteristics to look for in a note, what sorts of flaws are common, how to detect alterations and how to safely handle and store notes. SPMC plans to debut an educational program along these lines at the Florida United Numismatists convention in January. Some members expressed a desire that materials be developed so any interested SPMC member could deliver the program locally.
The St. Louis show is sponsored by the Professional Currency Dealers Association, which lists all members on its Web site at www.pcdaonline.com.
Next year the PCDA show will be held in the same location as this year, the St. Louis Airport Hilton, Nov. 14-17, 2007.
For more information, contact show general chairman Ron Horstman, P.O. Box 2999, Leslie, MO 63056; or bourse chairman Kevin Foley, P.O. Box 573, Milwaukee, WI 53201; telephone (414) 421-3484; e-mail email@example.com.