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Philadelphia makes me optimistic

I had a rosy glow when I got home from the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia.

I had a rosy glow when I got home from the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia.


It could have been the heat, but I don’t think so. It could have been the state of the coin market, but I don’t think so. It could be that I am just a glutton for punishment, but I will reject that notion as well.

After six days in Philadelphia I feel more confidant about the future of numismatics generally and the American Numismatic Association specifically.

Dealers who worked the bourse floor were there to do business and those I talked to made what I considered to very astute observations. I hope you will read their comments in the story on Page 1.

There was no giddiness in this year’s comments as was the case at last year’s bullion festival in Chicago. Nobody faults dealers for taking advantage of the huge cash flows generated by bullion booms, but these flows are not reliable.

Comments this year were more oriented toward collectors, their needs, interests and behavior and whether they bothered to show up in Philadelphia – all good and healthy indicators.

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I was disappointed to see that fewer people attended the show this year than was the case in 2000, but when I thought about it, can that be truly surprising?

Nowadays we are in the aftermath of the banking crisis and the great harm it inflicted on the number of jobs in the American economy. In 2000 a rosy glow was generated by an incredible new state quarter program. The U.S. Mint rocked. It was working three shifts a day to meet coinage demand in the months leading up to the convention. It is unreasonable to expect such white heat to come out of a bottle 12 years later.

The individuals who came by the Krause Publications booth were interesting to talk to. They freely shared their thoughts. Topics were all over the lot, which is a healthy sign. We are a hobby of very diverse interests when we are not united against problems at the ANA, or with Mint orders.

It was great to reminisce. It is our 60th anniversary. We gave away anniversary medals one day and the first “S”mint circulation strike America the Beautiful quarters on another.

I think the quarter won the popularity contest between the two, but then coins usually do trump medals.

There was a surprising number people who took a quarter who have not yet heard of these new “S” products. The Mint might have some additional upside to garner from this new program.

This lack of familiarity emphasized to me that I have more stories to write and more newspapers and books to sell.

Every collector learns at his own speed and in his own way. While it is up to all of us to help each other along, it is especially up to me to be as helpful in providing useful information as often as I can. That is a task I relish.

My take-away from Philadelphia is we have an interesting and lively hobby. If collectors are not prevented from doing so, they will do what they do best: collect.

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