With gold bullion playing tag with the $1,800-an-ounce mark during the opening day action on the American Numismatic Association bourse floor during the World’s Fair of Money at the convention center in Rosemont, Tampa, Fla., dealer Lance Tchor of Worldwide Numismatics explained the virtues of a hand-lettered “Buying Gold” sign at his table.
“That has paid my expense at every show,” he explained. “I don’t want a preprinted sign.”
He said people tend not to see preprinted signs or think they are old and not reflective of up-to-the-minute activity.
And Tchor is definitely on top of the action.
He characterized things this way:
“It’s a seller’s market and a buyer’s market. Quality is always selling.”
Since he has been in business since 1977, he remembers the 1980 peak from the prior great boom.
“I was young and stupid,” he recalled. He said every dollar he made he blew. He isn’t doing that this time.
And the market itself is different, he explained.
“It’s not as quick, but I think its going to be a lot longer and more parabolic.”
Joel Rettew of Lake Forest, Calif., said business at his table was 85 percent bullion.
But the market is rising so rapidly it is almost impossible not to make money.
He said the week before the convention he went on a cruise. In that time gold rose by $150 an ounce.
“I made $60,000 while on a cruise.”
He said it was tempting to sit back and do nothing but let the market continue to do the work for him.
Though paper money dealers were not too much in evidence on the bourse floor, they were there. Carl Bombara was at the convention and working hard.
“I didn’t even realize it was a sea of gold,” he said. “Paper money is as strong as ever.”
He offered a standard dealer lament: “There is a lack of quality material,” but for emphasis, he stacked bundles of circulated $1 Silver Certificates with blue seals and $2 and $5 United States Notes with red seals on his case and said there is plenty of this stuff around. However, he was on the lookout for better notes. He had four more convention days to find them in a bourse area double the size of last year’s in Boston.