This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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I have just returned from the FUN coin show in Tampa. This is my 2nd FUN trip as I went for the first time last year in Orlando. I thought I might do a two year comparison as the venue was changed from central Florida to the Gulf Coast location.
First, let me say that I enjoyed my day at the Tampa Convention Center. I was warmly greeted by a volunteer and left that kind person with two nice mementos from the local sponsors. I entered the bourse floor a bit more knowlegeable than last year (I was a first timer to a big event like this) and did a quick (if an hour is quick) tour to get oriented.
I had a twofold purpose for my visit this year. For the first time I was getting a coin certified. I had purchased a 1909-S VDB a few years ago and wanted it checked and graded. I chose ANACS. It was quite a visit with them. They kindly checked my coin to make sure it was worthy of review.
That turned out not to be the case for a gentleman next to me at the time. He had the same coin and it was “counterfeit.” He was not happy with that and questioned the authenticator (who was nice enough to compare our two coins and tell what made the bad coin bad). I felt relieved for my situation, but bad for the other guy. I will be waiting happily the next two weeks to recieve my coin back graded and slabbed. It will be one of my notable coins in my small collection and “have a story.”
ANACS were very nice people and did a most professional job. From there I moved onto the sales on the bourse floor.
Like last year, I was greeted by table staff in a kindly, non-pushy manner that was friendly and interested in my needs, helpful to answer my questions and engaged in chats to educate me. All but one vendor was like this.
The one vendor in question dismissed me with a wave of his hand as I was inquiring about a 1954 proof set he was selling (he attended to a customer that walked up after me). I did comment to him that I thought his behavior was uncalled for, but left him to move on to the many tables of other helpful folks. As it turned out I bought a 1954 set from a vendor on the backside of the unhappy vendor. It was my gain to his loss as the vendor I bought from was knowledgeable, negotiable and had several to choose from. In fact, I made several other purchases from him.
After my purchases from additional vendors on the floor I walked to the educational exhibits. They were fascinating, varied in themes and worthy of the visit all by itself. I particularly liked the WWII exhibits of the bomber and its crew. I also enjoyed the military script, which brought back memories of my time in-country in 1969. Hard to believe it is over 40 years ago. The crisp “monies” looked as they did back then.
I also dropped by the U.S. printing exhibit and bought the 2011 FUN printed card from them. A nice token of my visit and an excellent intaglio example for my grandson. The rep was nice to chat with about the process and as a retired engraver he was most willing to be a voice for the process used at the Washington, D.C., “print shop.” Thanks to him/them for their efforts.
My last stop was to a vendor I met coming across the street to the Convention Center. We had earlier exchanged greetings. It turned out that he grew up as the son of the commander of Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach where my wife and I reside in the winters. He was most interesting and sharing in my short visit with him before I left to return to the other coast.
By general comparison of my two visits, last year and this year, it would seem that things were a bit busier this January with maybe more monies from buyers – a good thing. I felt the prices asked and paid for were generally in the buyer’s favor. In no case was a negotiation turned away.
Last year seemed to be the year of gold in coins and sales (just my non-expert eye) while this year seemed to have a larger increase in the sales of paper money. There was plenty of everything for every price range including the young, new collector.
I think all who came should have left with a good feeling from their visit. I know I certainly did! I look forward to my visit in 2012 somewhere in the state of Florida.
As always, nice job with the magazine.
I continue to value your articles, whether they are political or not. Your balance and willingness to listen to the many contributors lends a special air not seen in other voices of collecting. Kudos to Editor Dave Harper and the NN staff.
This Viewpoint was written by Glen McClary, a hobbyist who is from Cocoa Beach.
Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Numismatic News.
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