While the political junkies were talking about the appointment of Larry Shepherd as the new executive director of the American Numismatic Association, the bourse floor at the National Money Show in Phoenix was absorbed in the business of business.
Dealers with tables went out of their way to praise the public crowd and ANA?s success at bringing people through the doors, but overall, business at the March 7-9 show ended up being ranked a little on the slow side, though with notable exceptions.
?This show was very much as expected as the ANA always puts their best foot forward bringing coins into communities that don?t get to see the national dealers,? said Jon Lerner of Scarsdale Coin, Scarsdale, N.Y. ?I had the opportunity to buy some super collections.?
Lerner cited his buys in so-called dollars and Mexican coins. He described this overall as ?something us New York dealers don?t ordinarily get to see.?
Selby Ungar, the King of Carson City West of Laguna Hills, Calif., said, ? The show ... had plenty of people coming around.
?The guys were tired from four shows in a row. There was business here. CC?s were very strong.?
Paper money dealer Scott Lindquist of Smythe of New York City said, ?The first day was OK. Unfortunately, there wasn?t much retail traffic.?
He added it was ?a little thin for the paper market here, but it was fun. All in all it was a pleasant experience. There was good public traffic and certainly general interest.?
Error coin dealer Fred Weinberg of Encino, Calif., said, ?I would say that it looked like I could tell that Phoenix hadn?t had a major coin show in many years because of the inquisitive nature of the public.
?There were a lot of people here Saturday. It slightly exceeded my expectations,? Weinberg concluded.
When Boston paper money dealer Tom Denly was asked about his results, he quipped, ?Was there a show?
?I guess I am starting to worry that eBay, the Internet are taking over and shows are obsolete,? Denly said. ?Yes, the real collector seems to be not coming the big miles to come to a convention.?
Denly mentioned that his sales at National Money Shows and their midwinter predecessors were higher with a smaller inventory.
Denly then changed gears and said, ?The ANA did an excellent job of broadcasting the show all over TV locally and in the newspapers, but we need to find a new way of attracting people to come. I commend the ANA. They did a great job.?
Harlan White of San Diego, Calif., was sitting at Denly?s table listening to the comments. When it was his turn to speak, he said, ?Same thing that he just said.?
When asked about the show, Col. Steve Ellsworth of Butternut, Clifton, Va., said initially, ?I think that the clubs have done a really great job.?
He noted there were four clubs and 80 local volunteers. He made a donation to pay the initial dues for new club members.
?I thought there was a lot of public here,? Ellsworth said in wrapping up this portion of the conversation.
As for business, Ellsworth said, ?We?ve done really well, but we sell the key dates to all the series. Early copper was just on fire. Anything that is early does really well. There just isn?t enough material to go around.?
The details of specific businesses aside, the bourse floor was often crowded. Scouts and other kids with their parents played Treasure Trivia. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing attracted many visitors, especially when doing their drawings. The U.S. Mint booth steadily attracted people and considering the blizzard that was hammering much of the Ohio River valley and points East, Phoenix was a great place to be.